Have you ever been caught up in a situation in which you have so many things to do and yet they keep piling up and you’re becoming overwhelmed because you have to get everything done but you’re really running out of time? Or have you ever had so much time to do a task but you end up stressed and rushing to complete the task before the deadline because you wasted so much time on things that you really didn’t have to do?

Why do we struggle to be productive and is there any hack towards being productive? The truth is that we sometimes say yes to things we do not really want to do and then we end up regretting after realizing how much time we wasted on unnecessary things. Maybe if we practice saying no often then we would be productive and avoid doing things we don’t need to do. How many times has someone asked you to do something and your response was, “Alright”? A few days later, you become stressed by the amount of work that needs to be done on your to-do list. In the end, you disappointed by your actions even though you were the one who agreed to do them in the first place. We need to develop a habit of questioning ourselves if things are necessary or not. Most of the things we do are actually quite unnecessary and saying no to these things could yield more productive results than any efficient person can ever get. Yet if the advantages of saying no are quite clear, then why do we often say yes?

Sometimes we say yes to so many things because we don’t want others to think that we don’t want to help them or that we’re rude or proud. Most of the time, we have to think twice about saying no to someone we might come across again in the future -perhaps that person could be your co-worker or boss, spouse, family, or friend. It is difficult to say no to these individuals because we have close relationships with them and we really want to be there for them, also, we might need their help too. Nonetheless, only say no if it favors you without hesitation.

Sometimes we struggle to decide when to say yes or no. We are often too willing to do things that would not even improve or support us. The main issue here is possibly how we think about the definition of yes and no. The words yes and no are of completely opposite importance in commitment. Sometimes we don’t realize that when we say no, we are only saying no to one specific decision, and when we say yes, we are actually saying no to any other decision. “Every time we say yes to a request, we are also saying no to anything else we might accomplish with the time.” – Tim Harford

Whenever we commit to something, we have simultaneously made a choice of how that future time will be spent. This means that we actually save ourselves future time when we say no. Saying yes is more like debt, we have to pay back what we committed to do at some point. We often say yes too quickly and we are rather too slow to say no. One way to help us exercise the power of no is to question ourselves whether whatever comes up, excites us enough, and is important and it is worthy to drop whatever we’re doing at that moment, then it’s a yes. If not, rather say no. We waste too much effort in doing things that are unnecessary. “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker

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