Is your schedule getting less hectic? Thought so… What if you just said no to some things? Watch this video for strategies to easily and effectively decline.
(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at http://bit.ly/lm-no.)
Hi. I’m organizing and lifestyle expert, Lorie Marrero, creator of The Clutter Diet. One of the things I hear most often from people who are having challenges with scheduling is that they have a difficulty in saying no to other peoples agendas and priorities. In order to focus on what’s most important to you, you have to learn some ways to say no. I want to share with you some ways to think about that today.
First of all, remember that no is a complete sentence. You are an adult. You are not required to explain yourself to everyone, even though you feel like you should. You can just stop at no. It is enough.
Secondly, if you do feel like you want to give some sort of explanation, consider the very powerful word available. It is a very neutral word. I learned this from Montessori school when my kids were little. They would try to phrase it in a positive way, which I think is great. They would say something like, “This toy is available to children who have finished their work.” Instead of saying something like, “You cannot play with this because you’re not done,” you know.
The word available is this lovely neutral word and I do use it in the negative, but I’ll say, “I’m not available for that activity. What else did you have in mind,” or you know, “I’m not available on that day,” or whatever. I don’t have to tell them, “It’s because I’m going to take a bubble bath,” or, “Because I have other kinds of personal plans.” I’m just not available. That is a wonderful way to shift and redirect the conversation without having to explain.
Thirdly, I want you to remember that you don’t owe anyone an answer immediately. I have definitely fallen into this trap in my life thinking that, “If someone asks me something, I need to give them an answer right now,” and I don’t. I have the freedom to ask for more time. Remember to say, “Please let me think about that. I’ll get back to you soon.” Even give them a certain time you will get back to them if you want to be very above board and make them feel more secure about that interaction, but you don’t need to tell them immediately your answer. You may want to consult with someone else or you may want to just have some time to get away and think about why you want to say no.
Lastly, I’d like to encourage you to examine any feelings you might have of needing to please other people, or be very agreeable, or any feelings of obligation or reasons that you should do all of these things. Volunteer for these committees or whatever it is. Really look at that and if you need to spend some time in your journal, think about that, but that’s really the overarching issue is sometimes the shoulds and the why and the pleasing and all of that that comes around saying no. You own the outcome and only you are really in control of your priorities. Make those decisions count and use some of these techniques to say no more effectively.
We’d love to hear from you, so share in the comments if you’ve been able to use any of these techniques or if you have any ways to say no creatively of your own. Thank a lot. We’ll see you next time. May you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.