Hour Hands Top Tip – Practice Saying No

May 08, 2024 by Natalie Brewer
Hour Hands Top Tip – Practice Saying No

Our challenge to you this month is to say ‘no’ and mean it! 

We’re not trying to be difficult, rather we know that many of us take on too much. Whether it be in work: requests from our boss, colleagues or clients – or at home with family and friends demanding help with tasks or attending events. But rather than just say no – we recommend that you offer an alternative solution.  Read on to discover what we mean.

Why it’s important to say no sometimes

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything. – Warren Buffet

We are preprogrammed to say yes as it is part of human nature to cooperate and support others. Indeed, we are inclined to prioritise others’ needs before our own – and especially if you are a parent and the request is from your child. The desire for social acceptance, and fear of causing disappointment or conflict, further pushes us to say yes, even if it’s against our best interests.

But let’s be honest, saying yes all the time is exhausting. Many of us have conflicting priorities and spending very limited ‘spare’ time on other people’s priorities can negatively impact us at home and at work. You may miss your own important deadline or simply need time out to think.

Great ways to say no without offending

Learning the art of saying no is liberating. Not only will it give you back time to focus elsewhere, it puts you back in control of life. As many life coaches have pointed out – saying no enables you to not just react to what life throws at you, it allows you to seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be. And, importantly, better manage your time. (Read our ‘time management’ blogs to learn more tips about this subject.)

Hour Hands comment: You know that you can’t say ‘yes’ to everything but like anything in life, you need to practice saying no, to make it a more natural and comfortable response. Next time you’re asked to do something, quickly analyse whether it is part of your role or something that you want to do. If it isn’t, then say ‘no’.  The trick is to balance saying ‘no’ with saying ‘yes’!

Below are a few ways to say “no” – next time you’re asked to do something you don’t want or can’t do, why not try one of these phrases. Let us know if you have any other great ideas!

  1. I’ll need to check my diary, may I get back to you?
  2. I wish I could, but it’s not possible right now.
  3. I’ll need to check my diary, may I get back to you?
  4. I can’t, but I know someone who might be interested. Have you heard of Hour Hands?
  5. I’m committed to another project with a tight deadline. Perhaps next time?
  6. I’m really busy right now, but thank you for considering me.

Or a simple

  • No, thank you.

Offering an alternative solution after you’ve said no

We all know that saying no is just the start of it. Very often, we feel guilty after giving a negative response and question whether we did the right thing. The trick to mitigate these feelings is to offer an alternative. 

Could the task that you’ve been requested to do be fulfilled by someone else? Could it be outsourced to a reliable partner? 

It’s not mandatory to offer a solution, but if you have someone you could recommend – why not? 

How the flexible Hour Hands – ready and willing to support your business and home

Hour Hands is made up of experienced EAs, virtual PAs and talented bookkeepers all ready to support you with those urgent and important tasks that you just don’t have the time to complete.  We’re always happy to take on your outsourced tasks, and can flex our time to when you need support – be it ongoing support or for a one-off project or resolving a particular task. 

From booking travel, to managing your diary and managing your accounts and tax returns, booking parties or finding the perfect venue or gift – we can help complete tasks and shift them off a to-do list! So if you say ‘no’ to a request – point them in our direction. We’d love to help!

To find out more simply call us on 01727 818262. We will ask how we can support you and offer a solution either on an hourly rate or package cost. The choice is yours – we simply want to help.