Time Management Tip: The Word After "Yes" Makes The Difference

Your _________________ (insert boss, coworker, spouse, child or friend) has just asked you to do something. You know it will put even more pressure on how your manage your time, but you can't say "No" (we can talk about your reasoning at another time.) What do you do to keep your life from "growing" out of control? Leverage the power of the word that comes after "Yes." Some examples are:

  • "Yes if..." Ask for something in return from them to make the task less draining on you. Make the "Yes" conditional.
  • "Yes when..." Let them know you have other priorities in front of you at this moment. Who knows, if their request is important enough to them, they may be willing to help you out with your workload so you can take on their request sooner (Probably not, but one can always hope).
  • "Yes with..." Here's your chance to go after some help. You might say, "Yes with the help of..." or "Yes with a bigger budget" or even "Yes with your permission to..."

This new item will still test your time management skills, but at least by clarifying your available resources you have let the other person know that you want to be part of a solution-if not all of it.