Learning to say no at work is something I still haven't mastered. When it comes to my managers, I always strive to impress. When it comes to my peers and coworkers, I just want to help. Of course, it's important that I be seen as a team player, as well. These are just a few reasons why saying NO at work is so hard for me. It is very important though, and it's something that I have to learn to be better at. It's slowly getting better, though. Here are some things that have helped me learn to say "No" at work a little more often.
People Say No to Me
Do people say YES to you every time you have a request, need help, need a question answered or need an opinion? Chances are that at least once, someone has denied your request or asked you to come back later. Don't take it personally. These people are making effective use of their time, something that you (or me, in this case) find it difficult master.
Have a Designated Time
Have a time that you set aside to be completely available to your coworkers and manager. Make this just before or after lunch, in the morning, or toward the end of the day. Communicate this opening of time to your coworkers so that they know when they can bother you and when you will not be bothered. It may seem harsh at first, but it will become second nature after a while and you and those you work with will learn to value this time and manage it more effectively.
Use Away Messages
Make use of away messages on your work voicemail, email and instant messenger. When these messages are up your coworkers will know better than to bother you and you won't have to borrow with saying, "No." A simple message will go a long way. People will respect these messages more than you may think they will.
Learn to say no. It will make your time more valuable to others, it will allow you to get more done and will cut down on yoru stress--something that everyone can use. Learning to say no is something I still have yet to master, but over time it will become easier.