Every no to a new commitment strengthens an existing one.
People say yes quickly because they are afraid of the initial awkwardness, but they miss out on the long term cost of failing to meet a commitment when they become overloaded.
A no to a commitment will not change a relationship.
Bring focus to the tradeoffs. What would you give up to find the commitment if it wasn’t presented to you.
A failure to meet a noncommittal yes will tarnish your reputation. But a clear no will garner you respect.
The organized person knows all their commitments and possess the awareness to say no. The disorganized person will overload themselves with too many yeses.
Ways to say no: - Pause before answering will give you time to think, and let the other person consider the implications of their request. - Give a “no but” with an option that works for you. - Ask to check your calendar before responding. This gives you time to consider you options and an easy way to get out of the commitment. - Use email bounce backs for focused work, not just vacations. - If your leader asks you to do something, ask them what you should . - Give them another option that would require less commitment from you. “You are welcome to X. I am willing to Y.” - Suggest someone that would be happy with the opportunity. This will help the person asking and the person receiving an opportunity.
The sunk-cost bias prevents us from quitting when we should. Think of what else you could do with the time and money you are going to keep pouring in with no return.
The endowment effect makes us value what we own more than we would pay to attain it. To fight this effect, get over the fear of waste and ask yourself what you would pay if you didn’t own it already.
Instead of forcing a bad fit, admit your mistake and learn from it.
Question past choice and established practices, otherwise you may fall into the status quo bias.
When you evaluate your schedule, make ever activity earn it’s worth from scratch. Don’t keep it around just because it was there before. Apply zero-based budgeting to your schedule.
Run a reverse pilot by temporarily eliminating activities you suspect to having little value.