The Power of “No.”

Why do we have such a hard time uttering this word?

It’s only TWO letters  – an N and an O – as in nuh-uh, nope, not gonna happen.

Learning to say this one short word will help put you back in the driver’s seat of your own life.

Unless it’s something really important to you or an emergency/major milestone event for someone else, lose the guilt when you decline to do something someone else asks you to do.

Can you bake cupcakes?  Sew costumes for the school play? Buy Girl Scout cookies? Stay late at work for the third time this week because your boss caught a 2nd wind at 4:59 p.m.?  (Yes, there is a difference when you have a big project /major deadline at work. I am referring to those jackass bosses who repeatedly drop “top priority – do it before you leave today” projects (which turn out not to be) in your lap at quitting time and then they scurry out the door.)

Teacher-librarians are considered exempt employees (meaning anything past 3:00 p.m. is on my time or unpaid). I still stay late 1-2 days per week just for my benefit, or to help out a coworker, but if I need to leave promptly at 3:00 p.m., I do so without feeling guilty.

Same for the sewing biz – if the minimum class size doesn’t materialize by close of business two days before, we cancel the class.  It’s simply not worth it to teach the class for less than a minimum number of students. (And it took me a long time to feel comfortable doing this!)  Occasionally, I have had only 1 student in my kid’s club sessions, but that’s because a confirmed attendee/sibling pair got sick overnight.  When we first started the kid’s club, we let students pay and select fabrics the day of the class. After being burned 2x with no-shows who had verbally committed to the class, students must pay in advance and select a precut kit or bring their own fabrics cut and ready to sew.

Your takeaway from this missive: It’s your time and your life. Claim it back. Learn to say, “No.”