In this Article you will know How Saying No is the Ultimate Productivity Hack.
Saying “no” is the ultimate productivity tip.
Always, not doing something is faster than doing it. The ancient adage in computer programming that goes, “Remember that there is no code quicker than no code,” comes to me when I read this phrase.
Other facets of life can be governed by the same principle. No meeting, for instance, moves along more quickly than not holding one at all.
While we often say yes to things we don’t really want to do, this is not to mean you should never go to another meeting. Numerous meetings are held that are unnecessary. Many pieces of written code could be removed.
How frequently do you simply say, “Sure thing,” when someone asks you to do something? You’re overwhelmed by the amount of work on your to-do list three days later. Even though we agreed to our commitments in the first place, we eventually get dissatisfied by them.
If something is required, it is worthwhile to inquire. A simple “no” will be more effective than any work the most productive individual can manage because many of them are not.
But why do we say yes so frequently if the advantages of saying no are so clear?
Why We Agree
Many times, we comply with demands not because we want to but rather because we don’t want to come across as unkind, haughty, or useless. You frequently need to think about saying no to people you’ll interact with again in the future, including your spouse, your family, and your friends.
It can be particularly tough to say no to these folks since we care about them and want to help them. (Not to mention, we frequently require their assistance.) Working together with others is an essential part of life. The prospect of putting the relationship through stress surpasses the time and effort investment.
It may be advantageous to respond graciously because of this. Do whatever favours you can, and when you have to say no, be kind and direct.
But even after taking these social factors into account, many of us still appear to struggle to manage the trade-off between yes and no. We often overcommit to causes that do not significantly better or support those around us and, most definitely, do not enhance our own lives.
Maybe one of the problems is the way we interpret what yes and no imply.
The Meaning of “Yes” and “No”
Because they are contrasted with one another so frequently, “yes” and “no” seem to have equal importance in speech. In truth, they have very distinct commitment levels and don’t only have opposing meanings.
When you reject an option, you are simply rejecting that one. Saying “yes” means rejecting all other possibilities.
Every time we say yes to a request, we are also saying no to everything else we might be able to accomplish with the time, as the economist Tim Harford put it. When you commit to something, you have already made your plans for how you will use that period of time in the future.
Saying no, in other words, allows you to save time in the future. You will lose time in the future by saying yes. The word “no” is a time credit. You can continue to use the rest of your time however you like. A sort of time debt is “yes.” You will eventually have to fulfil your obligation.
No is a choice. Yes, that is a duty.
The Function of No
Sometimes people think that saying no is a luxury that only powerful people can afford. And it’s true: declining possibilities is simpler when you have access to the security that comes with having power, wealth, and authority. But it’s also true that refusing is not just a right reserved for those of us who are successful. It is a tactic that can also aid in your success.
At any point of your work, learning to say no is crucial because it preserves your time, which is your most valuable resource. “If you don’t guard your time, they will steal it from you,” said investor Pedro Sorrentino.
Saying no to anything that isn’t helping you reach your objectives is necessary. You must refuse distractions. According to a reader, “If you extend the notion of how you use no, it actually is the sole productivity hack (since you must finally say no to any distraction in order to be productive).”
Steve Jobs, who once observed, “People think focus implies saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on, best exemplified this philosophy. But that’s not at all what it means. It entails rejecting the numerous other worthwhile suggestions that exist. You must choose wisely.
Here, it’s crucial to create a balance. Saying no does not guarantee that you won’t ever engage in novel, creative, or impulsive behaviour. It simply implies that you focus on your “yes” response. Saying yes to any chance that can help you advance in the right path can make sense if you have eliminated the distractions. To figure out what works and what you like, you might need to test a variety of things. This period of research can be especially crucial when a project, job, or career is just being started.
Enhancing Your No
Your plan needs to be revised as you advance and succeed over time.
As you advance in achievement, your time has a higher opportunity cost. Simply get rid of the obvious distractions to start, then investigate the others. You must continuously raise your threshold for accepting yes as your abilities advance and you learn to distinguish what works from what doesn’t.
You still need to refuse distractions, but you also need to develop the ability to decline chances that would have been excellent uses of time in order to make room for excellent uses of time. Although it’s a fantastic problem to have, mastering it might be challenging.
In other words, you must gradually improve your “no’s.”
Changing your no doesn’t preclude you from ever saying yes. Simply said, it implies you always say no and only ever say yes when it makes sense. “Saying no is so powerful because it preserves the option to say yes,” said investor Brent Beshore.
The common consensus appears to be that if you can learn to refuse poor diversions, you will eventually earn the right to refuse good opportunities.
How to Refuse
Most of us probably say yes too quickly and no too slowly. You should consider where you fall on that spectrum.
The following tactic, suggested by the British economist I mentioned earlier, Tim Harford, may be useful if you have problems saying no. “One trick,” he says, “is to ask yourself, ‘Would I agree to this if I had to do it today?'” It’s a good general rule of thumb because any commitment in the future will ultimately become an urgent issue, regardless of how far away it may be.
The answer is yes if the opportunity excites you enough to stop what you’re doing right now. If it’s not, you might want to give it some second thought.
This is comparable to Derek Sivers’ well-known “Hell Yeah or No” strategy. If your initial response is “Hell Yeah!” when someone asks you to do something, then go ahead and do it. Say no if it doesn’t excite you.
Even though it’s impossible to remember to ask yourself these questions every time you have to make a choice, it’s a helpful exercise to come back to occasionally. Although it can be challenging, refusing is frequently preferable to the alternative. It’s simpler to avoid obligations than to break them, as author Mike Dariano has noted. Saying no keeps you on this spectrum’s simpler side.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which is true for productivity as well as health.
The Strength of No
More time and energy is lost doing things that are pointless than is lost doing things ineffectively. If so, then the ability to eliminate is more beneficial than the ability to optimise.
The well-known Peter Drucker adage, “There is nothing so pointless as doing efficiently what should not be done at all,” comes to mind.