Sunday, February 22, 2015

the art of saying NO

By Jonathan Yabut, the winner of The Apprentice Asia and is currently based in Kuala Lumpur with a leading airline.

Saying no is a conscious, rational strategy in life. There is no right or wrong prioritization, but your decision will determine your success. You have the right to say no, when you think you can’t or should not do it. But don’t just say no; be gracious to give your reason as well. Most of the time, people will understand it.

Do what doctors do: TRIAGE.

You may have seen triage showcased in movies about wars, accidents and calamities. It is when doctors and medical equipment cannot manage too many patients. Those severely wounded, but can survive if treated are given first priority, while those who have no chance of surviving at all will unfortunately be attended later. I apply triage in my life because life is a battlefield. Every day, we are bombarded with hundreds of stimuli that fight for our attention: a favor asked by a friend, a funny video on FaceBook, a new deadline set by your boss, or that new cute officemate of yours. They individually take a few minutes of our day, but can total to hours of consumed time.

While my initial reaction was to respond to everything, I now only choose the ones that will significantly impact my life: what will develop me as a person, what will make me sleep better at night and what will make more people happy.

Similarly, leaders don’t do all the tasks; they delegate these to their team. The rest will be thrown in the bin with no regrets. Just like triage, letting go is painful but necessary so you can move on.

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