Saying No is the Perfect Creativity Hack.
Always choose not to do something rather than do it. When I hear this, the slogan “Remember, no code is faster than no code” comes to mind.
Other facets of life can be governed by the same idea. No meeting, for instance, advances more quickly than none at all.
This is not to imply that you should never go to another meeting again, but the truth is that we often say yes to things we don’t want to do. Numerous meetings are held that are unnecessary. There is a lot of code that might be removed.
How often do you get asked to do something and respond, “Sure thing.”Three days later, you’re exhausted by the length of your to-do list. Even though we accepted them in the first place, we are frustrated by our engagements.
It’s worth considering whether certain items are necessary. Many of them aren’t, and a simple “no” will be more productive than the most efficient person’s job.
But why do we say yes so frequently if the benefits of choosing no are so clear?
Why Do We Say Yes?
We frequently agree with requests not out of a desire to, but rather out of a desire to avoid appearing impolite, arrogant, or meaningless. You frequently have to give someone, like a coworker, spouse, member of your family, or friend, a second thought before saying no.
Saying no to these folks can be especially tough because we like and support them. (Not to mention that we frequently need their help.)Collaborating with others is an essential part of life. The risk of straining the connection outweighs our time and effort investment.
Being kind in your response can therefore be advantageous. Do whatever favours you can, and when you have to say no, be warm-hearted and direct.
But even after taking these social factors into account, many of us still appear to struggle to manage the trade-off between yes and no. We often over-commit to causes that do not significantly better or support those around us or, most definitely, do not enhance our own lives.
Maybe one of the problems is the way we interpret what “yes” and “no” imply.
The Meaning of “Yes” and “No”
Because they are contrasted with one another so frequently, “yes” and “no” seem to have equal importance in speech. In truth, they have very distinct commitment levels and don’t just have opposing meanings.
When you reject an option, you are simply rejecting that one. Saying “yes” means rejecting all other possibilities.
Every time we say yes to a request, we are also saying no to everything else we might be able to accomplish with the time, as the economist Tim Harford put it. When you commit to something, you have already made your plans for how you will use that period in the future.
Saying no, in other words, allows you to save time in the future. You will lose time in the future by saying yes. The word “no” is a time credit. You can continue to use the rest of your time however you like. A sort of time debt is “yes.” You must return your loan dedication at some time.
“No” is a choice. Yes, that is a duty.
The Function of No
Sometimes people think that saying no is a luxury that only powerful people can afford. And it’s true: declining possibilities are simpler when you have access to the security that comes with having power, wealth, and authority. But it’s also true that refusing is not just a right reserved for those of us who are successful. It is a tactic that can also aid in your success.
At any point in your career, learning to say no is crucial because it preserves your time, which is your most valuable resource. If you don’t guard your time, people will take advantage of you, said investor Pedro Sorrentino. It was taken from you.
Saying no to anything that isn’t helping you achieve your objectives is necessary. You must refuse distractions. According to a reader, “If you extend the notion of how you use no, it is the sole productivity hack (since you must finally say no to any distraction to be productive.”
Steve Jobs, who once observed, “People think focus implies saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on.” best exemplified this philosophy. But that is not what it meant. It entails rejecting the numerous other worthwhile suggestions that exist. You must choose wisely.
Here, it’s crucial to create a balance. Saying no does not guarantee that you won’t ever engage in novel, creative, or impulsive behaviour. It simply implies that you focus on your “yes” response. Saying yes to any chance that can help you advance on the right path can make sense if you have eliminated the distractions. To figure out what works and what you like, you might need to test a variety of things. This period of research can be especially crucial when a project, job, or career is just getting started.
Improving Your No
Your plan needs to be revised as you advance and succeed over time.
As you advance in achievement, your time has a higher opportunity cost. Start by getting rid of the obvious distractions to start, then investigate the others. You must continuously raise your threshold for accepting yes as your abilities advance and you learn to distinguish what works from what doesn’t.
You still need to refuse distractions, but you also need to develop the ability to decline chances that would have been excellent uses of time to make room for excellent uses of time. Although it’s a fantastic problem to have, mastering it might be challenging.
In other words, you must steadily enhance your “no’s.”
Changing your no doesn’t preclude you from ever saying yes. Simply said, it implies you always say no and only ever say yes when it makes sense. “Saying no is so powerful because it retains the possibility to say yes,” said investor Brent Beshore.
The common consensus appears to be that if you can learn to refuse poor diversions, you will eventually earn the right to refuse good opportunities.
Refusing to Accept
Most of us probably say yes too quickly and no too slowly. You should consider where you fall on that spectrum. The following tactic, suggested by the British economist I mentioned earlier, Tim Harford, may be useful if you have problems saying no.” One way is to ask yourselves, ‘Would I accept this if I had to do it today?'” he adds. It’s a good general rule of thumb because any commitment in the future will ultimately become an urgent issue, regardless of how far away it may be.
The answer is yes if the opportunity excites you enough to stop what you’re doing right now. If it’s not, you might want to give it some second thought.
This is comparable to Derek Sivers’ well-known “Hell Yeah or No” strategy. If you immediately respond, “Hell Yeah!”You should do whatever is asked of you. Say no if it doesn’t excite you.
Even though it’s impossible to remember to ask yourself these questions every time you have to make a choice, it’s a helpful exercise to come back to occasionally. Although it can be challenging, refusing is frequently preferable to the alternative. It’s simpler to avoid obligations than to break them, as author Mike Dariano has noted. Saying no keeps you on this spectrum’s simpler side.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, which is true for productivity as well as health.
The Power of No More states that it is better to avoid wasting time and energy on useless activities than on ineffective ones. If that’s the case, elimination is a viable option if it’s greater usefulness than optimization.
The well-known Peter Drucker adage, “There is nothing so pointless as doing efficiently what should not be done at all,” comes to mind.