Saying no is one of the most impactful ways of increasing productivity. It empowers you to focus on what matters most and helps you avoid the non-essentials that will certainly derail progress. Simply saying no to distractions around the office gives you the freedom to focus on fewer things and ultimately get more done.
5 People to Say NO to at Work
- The Negative Nancy: Negativity is an instant morale crusher. Maximizing productivity requires a positive mindse,t so protect yours by keeping Negative Nancies at a safe distance.
- The stressed out, burned out coworkers: People in the office that are overworked and habitually stressed are often surrounded by disorder and disarray. When you’re focused on your ONE Thing you’ll have enough chaos of your own to deal.
- The over-demanding supervisors: These are the bosses that are poor at prioritizing and want every assignment yesterday. They often fail to recognize an employee’s current workload and assume that new tasks can be easily worked in.
- The social butterflies: Socializing is fine when you’re on your lunch break or networking after close of business. However, social butterflies are always up for conversation even when others are trying to focus.
- The time management repeat offenders: Coworkers that routinely miss deadlines are the ones that tend to ask others for help the most. While helping others is a great thing, you don’t want to help others so much that you end up hurting yourself!
5 Behaviors to Say NO to at Work
- Feeding the rumor mill: Gossip is never productive and is often downright destructive.
- Hanging out at the water cooler: This is a common behavior of social butterflies that rope you into long conversations that have nothing to do with your ONE Thing.
- Repeatedly checking emails throughout the day: Email accounts are a modern day productivity vortex. In theory they should make things more productive, but in actuality emails often do the exact opposite. Experts agree that checking emails affects productivity, particularly in the morning. And if an issue will require more than a couple emails, a call will actually get things clarified quicker.
- Letting problems in your personal life creep into work: It can be difficult to put personal problems aside, but when you’re at work there’s not much you can do about them. In the end it will negatively impact your work, which adds to the stress.
- Letting others invade your space: A recent study by design firm Gensler found that even 38 percent of individuals with their own office said that other people break their concentration. It’s important to protect your personal space when you’re trying to focus. Make sure others know when you are unavailable, whether that’s with a company-wide email or a sign hanging up outside your workspace.
5 Situations to Say NO to at Work
- Heated discussions that don’t involve your input: Office drama does absolutely nothing for productivity. The further you can separate yourself from disputes and politics the more focused you’ll remain.
- Projects that don’t require your expertise: When you’re approached to take part in a project or task that’s unrelated to your job position it’s going to be nothing but a time-suck. The learning curve alone can be a productivity killer.
- Meetings that don’t move your projects forward: We’ve all sat through meetings that don’t seem to have a real purpose and are simply held for the sake of having a meeting. People also get pulled into meetings where they aren’t an active participant. Then there are the meetings that include everyone and only a fraction of time is spent on matters that involve your work. If your company is plagued by unproductive meetings speak up with suggestions on how to improve them.
- Debates that aren’t work related: Religion, politics, personal finances- these are all hot button topics that can go from bad to worse quickly and have long-term effects. If the situation arises it’s best to politely excuse yourself from the conversation.
- Any situation that creates stress: It doesn’t take long to learn which situations around the office tend to create stress. It can completely throw off our ability to focus, lowers engagement and decreases productivity. Whether it be interacting with a particular person or being the facilitator of a meeting it’s always best to avoid stressful situations whenever possible.
Do these productivity pitfalls sound familiar? Tell us about the “say no” tactics you’ve used to avoid unproductive people, behaviors and situations around your office in the comments below!