I hear complaints about workload and being stretched all the time. Unfortunately, the people who are over-extending themselves are the same people who say “yes” to everything anyone throws at them.  This blog contains a video and free worksheet to help you figure out when and how to say “no.” Based on the response to my posts “Staying in Your Sweet Spot” and “Stop Making Excuses for Over-extending Yourself,” I think you’re going to find these valuable.

Here is the third Right Words to Say video.

If you don’t see the video embedded, click here to view the video on YouTube »

In this video I’ll help you think deliberately about the value of work and about whether or not you are the best person to do it.

You might help your teammates realize that the work is not a high priority and that it can be deleted.  More likely, you will find that some version of the work needs to be done, but perhaps in a scaled-back way.  If the work is necessary, you need to determine whether you’re the right person to do it.  If not, don’t leave your teammate hanging; help them find someone who is best-suited to the job.

Screenshot of Worksheet

As always with the Right Words to Say series, I have provided an accompanying worksheet to help you think things through. This worksheet will help you: 1) triage the work to determine whether it’s required; 2) assess your fit for the task; 3) figure out who is most appropriate to do the work if it’s not you; and 4) find ways to the support the person who takes on the job. You don’t need to go to these lengths all the time, but if you find yourself over-committing, try using the worksheet a few times until you get comfortable challenging work regularly.

Click here to download the accompanying worksheet »

A reminder: The Right Words to Say series is for you, so send in your questions and I’ll shoot a video and create a worksheet to help you tackle the challenges you are facing on your team.

Further Reading

When to Say Yes: Staying in Your Sweet Spot

Four Simple Steps when Saying “No” Doesn’t Work

Infographic – How to Say No to a Good Idea