Time Management Tip #4 – Say “NO”

I cannot tell you how many of my coaching calls involve this epiphany:  “I need to say ‘no’ more often.”  It’s interesting to me how much we say “yes,” when our businesses would run smoother, not to mention our personal lives, if instead we said, “No.”  So many of us have a knee-jerk reaction to say “yes” to whatever is asked of us.


But think about the prices we pay for saying “yes” when we don’t really mean “yes”:

  • Because we wanted to say “no” in the first place, we often don’t follow through and others come to feel they cannot rely on us
  • We are overburdened with work we didn’t want to take on and that is not ours
  • We feel overwhelmed
  • We don’t do a good job
  • We feel resentful to the person who asked


So why do we do it?  You have to figure out your own reasons, but here are some examples I have heard in many organizations:

  • If I don’t do it, who will?
  • I want to make sure the job gets done right
  • I could tell she needed help
  • I don’t want him to get mad at me
  • I want to be a team player (even though this is someone else’s job)
  • It’s just easier to do it myself


What is the solution?  I can think of two basic answers to this dilemma.  First, find out why you are doing it and work through how you could say “No” in the situation.  For example, “I want to make sure the job gets done right.”  If this is your reason, maybe you invest time in training and in debriefing with the employee after the job is done.

The second answer to the not-saying-no dilemma is what most of my clients take on – as Nike says, “just do it.”  Set yourself a goal and say “no” – once a day, twice a day, every other day.  Just experiment and see what happens.  If agreeing to do whatever is asked is in your comfort zone, you have to step out to see what will happen.

Try it with me:


“No thank you.”

“I am sorry; I just don’t have the time for that right now.”

“No; I think Bob is more suited to that job.”

“No; I have a lot on my plate right now and I would not finish on time.”

“I’m sorry; that is not my job.”

“No; but I’m happy to show you how to do it.”

“No; I’m afraid we’ll need to hire someone to take this on.”

“No; I can’t do that.  Who do you think is the best choice for the job?”

Let us know what happens!


Want to learn more?

April 26, 2017 (Wednesday) 9am – 11am

(In just two weeks!)

What Have You Been Doing All Day? Learn to Manage Time for Greater Results

So many busy professionals get to the end of their workday and ask themselves “What did I accomplish today?” They know that they’ve been running, but they don’t feel they have achieved anything. Do you ever have this experience?

Often we feel ineffective and out of balance. This workshop will teach you ways to be intentional in managing your time, your tasks and your energy – in a way that feels better and produces the results you say you want.

We will introduce you to a “paradigm shift” – a different and more effective way of viewing time and time management — and offer you specific changes that can be implemented right away to improve the way you use your time, ease stress and increase productivity.

Join us and learn:
• Prioritization
• Urgent vs. Non-Urgent Tasks
• Tools to Use for immediate changes


Take $5.00/person if 2 or more from same company

Sign up now! Don’t let time get in your way. https://www.eventbrite.com/o/mclaren-coaching-3074191754



I attended the workshop on time management and it changed the way that I work. I learned to block my time, schedule time to read emails, and I now have more time to get my work done (or at least it feels like I have more time). I also sent my assistant to the same workshop. When she returned from the workshop, she said “we need to change things around here so that you and I can be more productive.” Now, our office has now instituted a designated time for questions so that they don’t interrupt our work time, we are purposeful about when we schedule certain meetings, and set aside time to get work done.

Alexandria Goff, The Law Office of Alexandria Goff

McLaren Coaching’s Time Management class is the first of several trainings and other coaching I have done with Cami McLaren. The time management was exactly what I needed at that moment to help me make some firm decisions about managing my time more effectively. Cami offered specific strategies (big rocks, eating frogs) to implement. I no longer play the email lotto and approach managing my email in a specific and organized way. I have trained clients and friends not to expect a response to text messages during work hours. I am now sending 3 of my staff to the next Time Management training so we can all utilize the same approach.

Jennifer Duggan, Duggan Law Corp.

About the Author

Picture of Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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