The Power of “No”

Most people want to be nice and want to please other people. But those tendencies can cause you all kinds of trouble in this life if they are unchecked. For example, one day your employer comes to you and says he would like you to take on and begin doing a whole different set of tasks in addition to your current job duties you have been doing. These tasks that he wants to add to your plate were never discussed when you were hired nor have they ever been mentioned all the time that you have been with the company.

In fact what has happened is that the company recently lost another employee and now they want to give you all of their duties – with none of the pay or benefits…

So what do you do?

You have at least a couple of choices. One – you can do what many people do and just cave and say “OK” and then start doing all that extra work for no additional compensation, or you can demand additional pay and benefits in exchange for taking on those duties. This requires self confidence and a thick skin – and to be prepared to quit or force that employer to terminate your employment if it comes down to it. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

So you ask ” What additional pay and benefits will I receive if I take on these extra duties and responsibilities?” The employer say “None – we just need you to do these things, in addition to your job now, but we cant afford to pay you anymore…” then your response might be ” I hear what you are saying – but no, I am not willing to do that – I will not take on additional work and not be paid for it.” If you do that they have to make a decision – reevaluate their demand and pay you what you ask for – or fire you, or just let it be and go try to find some other employee who isn’t as strong as you who they can manipulate into just doing it.

I’ve been in this position numerous times over the years at various jobs I have had – and I doubled and even more than tripled my total compensation by doing exactly that. But make sure you understand I was confident enough that I would find other employment quickly and I was willing to do so if need be – and I had already made up my mind that I was not going to do the work without the pay. The company paid me what I wanted.

Over the years I have known many many people who were approached and given the same line – they chose a different path. They took on the work without the pay and with no additional benefits for themselves or their families. So they gave up more of their time and became more stressed out to benefit the company at great personal expense to themselves. They became bitter and hurt, and would complain and bitch about having to do all that extra work – but they did it anyway, and they kept on doing that work year after year.

Getting Your Finances in Order

Lets say you have decided to become debt free and live life following  debt free living philosophy from now on. But right now you are anything but debt free, you have a mortgage, car payments, credit card bills and on and on and are struggling to pay everything whiled trying to keep food on your table for your family and yourself. You are standing in line to pay for your groceries and the nice young cashier asks with a smile on her face ” would you like to make a donation to XYZ in addition to your purchase today?” and since you have people in line behind you and you don’t want to look like a tightwad ass you say sure… and she says “Great – would you like to make it $5.00 or just go ahead and make it $10.00?” So you go ahead and let her put $10.00 dollars on your debit card.

This happens in one version or another at several places you go to each month. Then you have your fellow employees collecting for school trips and selling cookies, cakes, oranges or all manner of other things for this group or that or to support one charity or another. Each time you say yes and get out your debit card or check book and give, or buy what ever they are selling.

The problem is that if you are already broke and you keep giving in to all these things – you will forever be broke. Say no thanks instead and send them on their way (gasp)… really I mean it. Just say NO. Here is the thing, you need to start making your own decisions and taking action as you see fit and as you can afford it without letting other people constantly manipulate you into doing things that are harmful to your life and thereby harmful to the lives of those you care most about.

Now charity is and can be good –  but you have no business giving money when you have no money to give. Get your finances in order first – then you will be able to actually afford to give meaningful amounts to anyone or any charity you decide to donate to – but until then say ” No Thanks” and don’t worry about what they think.

Controlling Your Time

This is a big one. It is also a major thing if you ever want to make meaningful progress at anything.  Lets say that you have a job as a department head at your company and many of the tasks you do are detailed analysis of accident/ incident reports and coordinating with several other departments and insurance companies to get claims resolved. If this doesn’t work in your imagination insert any job you like – then imagine that the receptionist is constantly bringing sales people to your office all throughout the day and banging on your door then interrupted you to let in these various sales people who are trying to sell your company all manner of crap that you do not need and have no intention of buying.

But you don’t want to be rude since they are already in your office now – so you close your files and listen to their presentation – an hour later they finally leave. Then you go back to work a couple of hours until the afternoon and just as you were finally about to go get lunch – in comes another sales guy. So you give up your lunch time and another hour on top of that into your afternoon workday listening to another spiel on something you and your company have no need of at this time. Sound familiar at all?

Try this instead. Ask your receptionist to come to your office – then tell them that you will not be seeing anymore unscheduled sales people beginning immediately, and that if you have anyone coming that does have an appointment with you that you will provide that information ahead of time. Also in the event someone shows up who says they do have an appointment to call back to you can confirm that is the case before they are brought back to your office.

Then hold your receptionist to that and do not see anyone who is not scheduled. In the event someone is brought back – tell them sorry that your schedule does not include time for them today – and advise they leave their name and number with the receptionist and that if you are interested in their product you will call the to set up a future appointment. All those BS appointments and time wasters will go away immediately and completely if you simply say no to unscheduled appointments and visitors and do not let such people waste one of your most valuable commodities – your time. Manage and control your time and you will be many times more productive than others in your company or field of work who do not manage their own time effectively.

Not to mention your stomach will stop growling because you will actually be able to eat your lunch and you will become less stressed out and generally happier with your work too.

Friends and Family and Other People

Being social is good – sometimes and to a point. But when you allow anyone and everyone to come and go from your home or office or shop whenever they feel like it with no notice and without an invitation or an appointment you may be popular but you sure as hell will not be very efficient or productive. This is a little more delicate than work relationships which are in my opinion very simple so long as you are confident and assertive, but personal relationships are another matter.

Yet still they too must be managed or you will never reach your goals and your life and the lives of those you care most about will suffer because of it. So what is more important to you? If you want to get things done – including being able to spend time with your immediate family and to relax – then manage you time. Just letting anyone drop by anytime unannounced and without an appointment or an invitation is not managing your time at all. When you do that others manage your time.

In the end its your life. So decide what you want and then act accordingly.

 

 

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