Have you surrounded your phone and laptop with notes saying ‘Say No!’?

Do you look at next week’s schedule and wonder what were you thinking?

Do you leave meetings looking like this guy?

If so, you may have a bad case of overcommitment syndrome.

Can the Fighty Squirrel offer a quick suggestion?

Someone needs help saying no.

Think about that last time you accepted a project that you regret taking on. In retrospect, maybe you didn’t want to do it, or now you see clearly that you were too busy or unqualified to do well.

Did you say, ‘Yes’ when asked if you could do it?
Or maybe you just said ‘Sure’ ?

If you said ‘sure’, ‘okay’ or ‘no problem’, it may be your your first clue that you have just taken on a project you’ll regret. ‘Sure’ is often a way to say you could do something. But do you want to? Do you need to do it or can someone else do it just as easily?

If there’s a real opportunity at hand, you’ll likely notice that you’re saying, “Yes!’ or “Thank you!”  If the first word out of your mouth is about to be ‘sure’, you should stop talking.

Practice filling that dead space where you’d normally say ‘sure’ with any one of the following:

  • “That’s interesting. Let me think about the best resources to help you.”
  • “That’s a lot to take in. Let me talk to my team and get back to you”
  • “Oh no! The cops are back…I gotta go!”

Time to open up the ‘Nope’ store, friends.

Just one Fighty Squirrel’s way to avoid capture and University Beautification Committee work.

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