The Power of NO

The Power of No

“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” According to Peter Drucker, one of the most well-known and influential thinkers on management.

I believe the quote to mean that a wholly unimportant irrelevant task was completed in a highly capable manner, but the sad thing is that it probably didn’t need to be done at all. Let’s face it-if we were all being completely honest, we could all recall numerous tasks that we had to complete in the past that we completed well despite likely not being at all necessary. So “doing something efficiently that should not be done at all” is worse than doing nothing, because being efficient also consumes our energy, unnecessarily.

Yes, in this technological age, we need engage and act in a quick and agile manner if we want to be productive. However, how frequently do you simply say “Sure thing” or “Yes” when someone asks you to do something, which causes your to-do list to balloon and leaves you feeling stressed and frustrated? Please keep in mind that you were the one who said yes to them before blaming others. It’s worth asking if things are necessary. If the answer is a straightforward “no” and the advantages of saying no are so clear, why do we say yes to our coworkers, family, and friends so frequently? Undoubtedly, there may be a variety of factors at play, such as the desire to maintain goodwill, a working connection, other significant aspects of one’s life, or social considerations. However, we must take into account the fact that whether we say “Yes” or “No” to a request, it will still take time and effort from you in the future.  No – is a decision. Yes – is a responsibility.

I’ll use my real-world work experience as an example. I’m interested and love to learn new things, so I typically said yes when my coworkers asked me to do anything because I wanted to and because I believed I would learn something new from the request. Saying “yes” all the time had the effect of leaving my time management for work tasks with a question mark. My former boss therefore frequently reminded me that “No is an acceptable answer.” Then, I had to get in the habit of saying “yes” occasionally rather than always in order to refocus my time and energy on productivity and future growth. Saying no, on the other hand, has the effect of making you say yes to yourself.

I won’t go into further detail on techniques or steps of “How to Say No” because there are so many excellent books on the subject. “The Power of A Positive No” by William Ury and “The Art of Saying No” by Damon Zahariade are a couple of examples.

So, in order to sum up, learning the importance of saying “no” will undoubtedly help you live a better and more successful life.