Blog: Simplify Your Life
Reclaiming Your Time At Work
You may feel as though you have no control over the outside forces causing you stress at work -- but you have more power than you imagine. Controlling stress is all about drawing boundaries, and teaching other people (even your boss!) how to respect your time.
Learn How To Say "No"
Have you ever been asked to do something you really didn't want to do for your job -- work late, take on a new project when your plate was already full, or attend a completely pointless meeting? You probably felt it would be disrespectful to say no -- so you agreed, even though doing so caused you tremendous stress. Why are we so afraid of the word "no"?
"No" actually means that you understand and accept your own limits, and don't want to do a shoddy job by taking on too much. It's an indication that you recognize where your talents lie and want to put them to the best possible use. "No" is actually a good word in the work world!
The trick is to say "no" without feeling guilty or making the other person think that you are unwilling to help out. Sound impossible? It's not. You can easily turn a "no" into a win-win situation by adopting a slightly different perspective. Instead of seeing a situation in which you are being forced to disappoint another person, turn this into an opportunity to be of service. Let me show you how it works...
Offer An Alternative
The best way to tactfully dodge a request while still making a contribution is to offer an alternative solution:
- offer to help later -- "I'm sorry, I don't have time right now. But I'll be free Friday afternoon, if you still need me."
- offer another resource -- "I'm busy, but I have a colleague who has been wanting to get involved. Let me call her for you."
- offer to take on a different task -- "That's not my strong suit. But I would be happy to help out with (drawing posters, setting up the meeting room, working out a budget, etc.)"
Keep in mind that there are different degree degrees of "no," and you should be able to find one that lets you maintain control over your time while still assisting the other person.
Stop Carrying The World On Your Shoulders
So much work-related stress is caused by the thought, "If I don't do it, it won't get done." Yes it will, if it's really important. Somehow, somewhere, the company will find someone to take care of it. I promise that, no matter how fabulous you are at your job, you're not completely indispensable!
Ask yourself, "If I got hit in the head with a tree tomorrow, how would this job get done?" When the answer is, "So-and-so would help out," you can feel more comfortable asking "so-and-so" to help out now (before you end up in the hospital!) If the answer is, "It wouldn't get done -- it's not that important," then ask yourself if that task is worth your time in the first place. A life and death situation (imagined or real) sure gives you a sense of perspective!
It's going to be hard for you to set these kinds of boundaries in your work life -- especially if you've been accustomed to letting other people dictate how you use your time. As you reclaim your schedule, you will hear comments like, "You never had a problem working weekends before." Your answer is simply, "My situation has changed. Sorry, but I can't do it this time."
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posted on: 12/8/2009 11:30:00 AM by Ramona Creel
category: General Organizing Tips
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Simplify Your Life
by Ramona Creel
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I have been a Professional Organizer for more than 10 years, I am a NAPO Golden Circle member, and I was the original founder of OnlineOrganizing. I have worked one-on-one with scores of clients and have trained dozens of newbie organizers as they got started in the industry. I provide both hands-on and virtual coaching to help clients improve their organizing skills and simplify their lives. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.RamonaCreel.com, and I challenge you to find one new idea that you can put into practice in your life, to help you become better organized, starting TODAY! I am passionate about coaching folks toward a more balanced, productive, and enjoyable life -- and I firmly believe that if I can do it, so can you!
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