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Stop Being a Pushover: Learn To Say No in 10 Steps

Stop Being a Pushover: Learn To Say No in 10 Steps

When I was a child, I never wanted to say no to anyone. I was so eager to please, I found myself agreeing to things I didn’t want to do with people I didn’t want to be around. By the time I graduated from high school, I realized I needed to take a stand and live my own life. I started by flaking out on things, and quickly realized that’s a terrible way to be. Instead I adjusted my perspective and took the steps necessary to learn to say no. Here are 10 steps you can take to stop being a pushover and learn to say no.

1. Prioritize your life

    You need to get your priorities straight immediately. What’s important to you? Write out a list of the 10 long-term goals you most want to accomplish in your life. This makes it easier to make decisions, because you’re basing them on your priorities. When you’re focused on your priorities, you’ll be too busy not to turn down offers.

    2. Envision a path

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      In HBO’s new show Silicon Valley, protagonist Richard Hendricks’ biggest problem is he doesn’t have a vision for his company. This lack of vision is the catalyst for the first season’s plotlines, as investors are excited by his technology, but they all demand to know his vision for the future before they’ll trust him. Series creator Mike Judge hit on an important point. You need a vision of your future in order to reach it.

      3. Stay succinct

        When telling someone no, simply saying no is enough. You don’t need to go any further into reasons why. Simply tell them you’re not interested. High pressure salespeople will prod for more information to keep you talking so they can sway you, but there’s no need to waste any time when you know you’re going to turn them down anyway. Instead of arming your opponent with knowledge, just say no.

        4. Repeat a mantra

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          When you have advanced warning that you’re going to be presented with an undesirable proposition, you have time to prepare yourself. Repeat over and over in your head that you are not going to ____. Even if you don’t have advanced notice, it’s not a bad idea to remind yourself of the things you don’t want to do every so often in case you are. Never forget yourself.

          5. Assert yourself

            Be assertive when telling someone no. If they push, assert your position. As a human being, you have the freedom of choice. Rather than relinquishing that power to someone else, exercise your right to choose your own adventure. At the end of the day, you’re the one that has to live with your decisions, so choose what’s right for you.

            6. Focus on the positive

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              Just because you’re rejecting someone doesn’t mean you have to be rude or cruel about it. There’s no need to tell someone you’re not interested because it’s a terrible idea. Tell them it sounds great, but you’re busy. When you focus on the positive aspects, you’ll maintain the appearance of friendliness while still pursuing your own agenda.

              7. Don’t fear the outcome

                The world won’t end if you tell someone no. They may or may not be upset with you, but it’s not your problem to worry about. Has anyone ever told you no? Did they hold your hand through the entire thing? If it’s not happening to you, you don’t need to do it for anyone else. We’re all adults, and we can handle rejection. Don’t fear rejecting anyone–focus on you.

                8. Avoid being defensive

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                  It can be easy to get on the defensive when rejecting someone. You may feel like you need to defend your stance, but you don’t. Once you’ve said no, it’s over; end of transaction. Don’t defend your choices to anyone. You don’t owe an explanation to anyone.

                  9. Stick to your guns

                    Once you’ve said no, stick to it. Don’t let yourself be persuaded. You don’t want people to think you’re a pushover; it’s viewed as a sign of weakness, and some unscrupulous person is bound to take advantage. Pick a lane and stick to it. You’ll be happier in the long run.

                    10. Practice

                      Like everything else in life, saying no requires practice. Start with little things, like the times you already say no. After you order at a restaurant, for example, they ask if there’s anything else you need. Your server will also come by the table a few times while you’re eating to ask if you need anything. You’re likely saying no to these people without even realizing it. Use that momentum to say no to others.

                      Featured photo credit: John Y via therecoveringpolitician.com

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                      Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                      15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                      15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                      You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                      Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                      A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                      Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                      So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                      1. Purge Your Office

                      De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                      Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                      Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                      2. Gather and Redistribute

                      Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                      3. Establish Work “Zones”

                      Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                      Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                      4. Close Proximity

                      Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                      5. Get a Good Labeler

                      Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                      6. Revise Your Filing System

                      As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                      What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                      Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                      • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                      • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                      • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                      • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                      • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                      • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                      • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                      Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                      7. Clear off Your Desk

                      Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                      If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                      8. Organize your Desktop

                      Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                      Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                      Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                      9. Organize Your Drawers

                      Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                      Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                      10. Separate Inboxes

                      If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                      11. Clear Your Piles

                      Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                      Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                      12. Sort Mails

                      Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                      13. Assign Discard Dates

                      You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                      Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                      14. Filter Your Emails

                      Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                      When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                      Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                      15. Straighten Your Desk

                      At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                      Bottom Line

                      Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                      Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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                      Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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