Have you ever found yourself with too many projects or “heavy” things on your plate? I think it’s natural to want to be all to all. But that’s definitely not realistic. So how do you find a good middle ground?
Doing so is much easier said than done. So many decisions go into evaluating a new opportunity. What are the benefits of this project? The drawbacks? Will this project provide the opportunity to advance me toward my goals? Will the networking that it provides be worth the extra work? What do I already on my plate? Do I have time for this project?
All great questions to ask yourself as you decide whether you want to proceed with an opportunity. If you are anything like me, opportunities ebb and flow. I either have an open schedule or an overbooked one. Learning how to choose projects more wisely is definitely a way to avoid finding yourself in a position that you don’t want to be in.
Learn How to Say No to Opportunities
As much analysis as we put into whether a project is right for us, sometimes we still struggle with saying no. Our instinct is to be there for a friend, colleague, or as I said earlier, to be all to all regardless.
This is where learning to say no to a project and being comfortable with it comes into play. I’ve come to think of it as a skill. Something that you have to practice a bit to get comfortable with. At least for those of us that it does not come naturally to. I am in the boat where I need to do a lot more practicing. For me, the hardest time to say no is when I want to do the project but the timing is wrong – I’m already booked up. The pay-off is great – much less stress and more self-care. Yet saying no is still hard – I don’t want to disappoint and I still want to be thought of for more projects.
I think that a lot of being able to say no with ease comes with confidence. Knowing that if you say no that people will understand. That more projects will still come your way. It’s definitely a work in progress for me but I’m a firm believer that the more you learn to say no comfortably, the easier it is to choose your projects wisely and confidently say no to projects that are not the right fit or at the right time.
How about You?
Does saying no when you don’t want to do a project come easily to you? Do you struggle with it? Do you proceed with the project anyway? Have you found that perfect balance?