Boston Centerless - Precision Matters Magazine Boston Centerless Precision Matters Fall 2019 - Page 9
YOU CAN SAY
TO RIGHT NOW
BY MICHAEL BUNGAY STANIER
I’M GENERALLY an accommodating person, so
saying no hasn’t always been my strong suit. It’s all
too easy to shove another yes into the bag of our
overcommitted lives, trusting that in a Harry Potter
magical sort of way it will somehow all work itself out.
But the fact is we can’t say yes to everything. It’s
been a real objective of mine to find ways to say no,
in order to make room for another yes in my life. You
can’t always rely on willpower — sometimes you
need to build up your defenses. One of the best ways
is to change your environment to one that allows
you to do just that. For instance, if you don’t want to
eat ice cream anymore, don’t keep any in the house.
Essentially, you’re changing your behavior.
Sometimes it’s hard to say no, but other times it’s a
bit easier. Here are five things you can start saying no
to immediately that can help alter your environment,
change your behavior and have a positive impact on
the way you live.
1. Say NO to draining relationships
Recognize that not all people nourish you. Some will
drain your energy, and there is no room for those kind
of soul-sucking relationships. You know the support
system you have and who lights you up. Keep those
people close and let the others go.
2. Say NO to being perfect
Not everything needs to be done with excellence.
Oftentimes, being adequate is just fine, if not even
better than fine. It’s stressful always trying to be
perfect and, quite frankly, it’s just not worth it. Accept
that perfection is not always needed for success.
3. Say NO to too much email
Email itself is not work. It should be seen as a means
to an end, a way to communicate. Don’t get trampled
by the email beast! Use it to your advantage, and don’t let it get the better of
you. Tame the beast.
4. Say NO to feeling like you’re “good busy”
Do you catch yourself telling people you’re very busy, only to follow that up with
“But it’s a good busy”? Being busy does not equate to success. It likely means
that you’re overcommitted and overwhelmed, or worse yet, that you haven’t
figured out what really matters. Say no more often and yes more slowly.
5. Say NO to being so serious about it all
Remember to have fun. Say no to feeling like you need to be serious 100
percent of the time. There’s a time and a place for seriousness, of course, but
there should always be time for fun too. Don’t forget to have fun.
Stop the rush to action. Say no when it means you can better define a yes. Ask
yourself what matters and decide what doesn’t.
Michael Bungay Stanier
Michael Bungay Stanier is the founder of Box of Crayons, a company
that champions coaching as a force for leadership development
and culture change. They teach managers leaders practical tools
so they can coach in 10 minutes or less. On the way to founding Box
of Crayons in 2002, Michael lived in Australia, England, the United
States and Canada, his current home. He has written a number of
books. His latest, the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Coaching
Habit, has sold over half a million copies. It has been praised as one of
the few business books that actually makes people laugh out loud.