How do you feel when saying “no” to someone? Do you feel anxious, uncomfortable, or confident? Many people avoid saying no and end up feeling used or stressed out with all of the things they have on their plate. I let my clients know that to create success in your life and career, you will have to turn down some opportunities that distract you from your goals. This topic comes up very often in career coaching. There are usually many things you could be doing to further your career such as, networking, interning, volunteering, getting another degree, or going through a certification program. The key is to focus your energy on what will help you get the results you want in the shortest period of time.

Being able to decline invitations, activities, and events will free up your time and energy for things that are most important. I’ve found that most people who say they don’t have time to advance their career, or work on creating the lifestyle they want, are drained and overcommitted with obligations they aren’t interested in or didn’t really want to do anyway! Being empowered to make decisions (even if it happens to be a no) is one of the most effective skills you can possess. Let’s discover how priorities, boundaries, and balance can determine success!

Priorities- What do you value? Is it getting a promotion, finding your ideal career, spending more time with family, or possibly making more money? Using your priorities to dictate the things you do, make time for, and buy can help you cut out all of the excess. Make a list of your top five values. Now, start another list of all of the commitments (activities) you have to do. Compare the two lists and match up the commitment with one of your top five values. If a commitment doesn’t match with any of your values, ask yourself ‘Is this really something that I want to do and is moving me closer to my goals?’

Boundaries- Do you set limits on things that you will and won’t do? Are there times where you make yourself unavailable by phone, email, or text? Limiting interruptions and establishing clear boundaries saves you a lot of time. The act of saying “no” lets other people know that you have a firm boundary in place. Take a moment and think about the last time you agreed to do something that you really didn’t want to. How did that feel? What was the result? The idea isn’t to have everyone like you all the time, but to be confident in your actions.

Balance- How successful do you think you are in different areas of your life, career, family, finances, and fun? What could you do to increase the level of satisfaction in each area? Nothing exists in a vacuum. Each aspect of your life has a positive or negative effect on other areas, so it’s vital to have a clear idea of what you want. What would balance look like in your life? Career coaching can be a good place to start when you are trying to find balance, since your career influences many things like your income, happiness, and amount of free time.

Exercising your power of choice by saying “no” to some requests is extremely important when managing your time and stress level. Prioritizing and setting boundaries help you achieve balance in your life. Moving forward with focused energy and a strong sense of purpose is instrumental in your success. What is one thing you can do right now to get the results you want?

Author's Bio: 

Porschia Parker is a Certified Professional Coach, Founder of Fly High Coaching: and the Millennial Performance Institute.

When she is not coaching, Porschia enjoys traveling, cooking, and working with animals.

Claim your FREE special report, 5 Common Mistakes Professionals Make That Keep Them Stressed & Overwhelmed.