One of the first words children learn is the word "no". They use it to try and gain power over their parents.  Yet when they become adults it becomes one of the hardest words to say to anyone.  No is small yet powerful word with negative connotations however, it can allow individuals to express themselves in a positive way.

It is easy to say yes to everyone.  Saying yes makes life easy.  There is no conflict when you do, but the implications may not necessarily be easy.  Saying yes to everyone and everything leads to a stressful life.  Individuals who take on too many tasks and projects often ultimately find out they can’t cope; no one can do it all.  They may want to achieve great things, but ultimately they may then lose respect because they under deliver or can’t deliver at all.  Failure does not feel good to anyone.  Not being able to say no because you don’t know  how or you feel you will offend someone will do you no good at all.

Being assertive means you can refuse to take on extra tasks, but doing it so that it does not cause offence.  The message is conveyed to the other person in such a manner as you are not aggressive and you are not passive.  You need to appear confident yet not bullish and you should speak slowly and clearly.  Look the other person in the eye even if you feel nervous.  Assume good body language – sit up or stand tall.

It’s essential to understand what is important and to set priorities.   You need to prize your own values and be true to yourself.  Being organised means a person understands their goals and sticks to them.

Saying no allows a person to take control of their life and ensures good time management.    Saying no to your boss can often be difficult, however, they may not realise that you are under pressure.  In such circumstances if they bring along another task or project for you to undertake then sometimes something has to be said if it’s going to be too much.  If time is a priority then perhaps your boss should decide what you need to do next – so ask them to make the decision if that is the case. Saying no allows a person to negotiate and come to a win win situation.

By taking charge and undertaking good time management a person can take control back again and life becomes less stressful.

So the next time someone asks you to do something think before you say yes.  You may have to say no.

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