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Yes means No

by Randall Craig on October 30, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Communication, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Time management

Tagged as: , ,

It is tough saying “No” when someone asks for your help or your commitment. We don’t want to let down our peers, managers, friends, or family. We don’t want them to think we lack the capability. And we want to develop the reputation as someone who always steps up to the plate.

Yet when we say “Yes” to these requests, we can get ourselves into trouble: over-committing, working late, delivering sloppy work, and sometimes not even delivering. When we say No, we are freeing up time for our existing priorities. And conversely, when we say Yes, we are effectively saying No to something else: someone else’s project, a professional objective, or family time. Yes means No.

This week’s Action Item: Before you say Yes to anything else this week, run an inventory of how much time you have available to deliver on your already-existing promises. If you need all of that time to deliver, then use the magic word to make sure that you have it: just say No.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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