It’s eleven days into the new year, and there are probably a lot of things that you have on your to-do list. Your business, finances, career, relationships and other areas of your life will need certain amounts of commitment, depending on which is more important. You are going to be pulled in different directions: coworkers are going to need your help when all you want to do is leave the office on time, friends will want you to come to the movies when all you want to do is stay in. In these situations, you will have to learn how to say one word very often: ‘no’.
Why is it so hard to say ‘no’? Science shows that saying ‘yes’ gives you a feeling of belonging and connectedness with other people. You don’t want to hurt another person’s feelings, and change the way they see you. As human beings, we don’t handle rejection well – negative memories are stronger than positive ones. Hurtful memories help us to be cautious in the future.
Saying ‘no’ voices where you stand and what you consider to be important. When you can’t take on a new commitment, using phrases like “I’m not sure if I can” or “I don’t know if I can” shows uncertainty and gives people an opportunity to give you more than you can handle. Roman philosopher Seneca says, “All those who call you to themselves draw you away from yourself.” ‘No’ means “I need to focus on myself and the things I have to do.”
There’s nothing wrong with being generous and giving some of your time to other people, but once in a while you have to be selfish and look after yourself.
Source: 6 Simple Tricks That Will Make You Way More Productive