Saying no to work is different from your friend’s “Abe chordh na, yaar!” and your parent’s “Please don’t work yourself up!” This is some solid advice from a fellow workaholic who never knows when to say no to work.
It may sound extremely contrary to how the popular advice goes. Ideally, you must take up as much work as you are given, fulfill the tasks, and keep adding to your achievements. However, the practical know-how of things has proven that it is not feasible or beneficial, in the first place.
These are some circumstances under which a no is better than a yes.
1. When it is not under your jurisdiction
Sometimes you are ready to take up tasks that you are not supposed to do, just because the ones responsible for it couldn’t do better. Rather than taking the task of completion upon yourself, it’s better to teach the people responsible how to do it for themselves. It will reduce your workload in the future and help increase the other person’s skill set. Humbly give away your magic tricks!
2. When your health begins to suffer
When your eyes hurt due to lack of sleep, your immunity goes down, or even if you are unable to wake up fresh in the morning, then you should realise you are exhausting yourself with all the work. You are not allowed to spoil your body for a job that will replace you within days if something happened to you. Prioritise your health over everything else and your body will thank you later.
3. When you do not receive corresponding growth or benefit
If you stay stagnant at a place for a long time despite giving your best, you need to say no
to working in that environment. This does not mean you should say no to the work altogether. However, this indicates that you need to explore more options. You deserve better and it’s crucial to move away from the table that no longer serves you.
4. When the deadline is your only motivation
When you are doing the work for the sake of it, or only because you have a deadline, you need to question the entire purpose behind doing that work. Are you even doing it well if you start it just one hour prior to the deadline? Is your work fueled more by panic and not by excitement? Try to learn what nature of work leaves you unmotivated enough to be done only because it needs to be done. Say a huge no to that work and rather go struggle with something you are passionate about.
5. When you are unable to break new ground
Loving your job and being good at your job is a great thing. But if you’ve been doing the same thing for a while now, without learning anything, then that’s a problem even if you’re brilliant at the job. Redundancy kills growth and if you do not have the time or energy to break new ground or open new horizons, then it’s about time you moved away from the stagnant situation. You need to put off some tasks at hand to be able to give enough time, thought, and energy to whatever little amount of work you can efficiently do. Even if the quantity of your work is less, you would benefit more if you are able to do it with a personal touch.
6. When you have no ‘me’ time
It is a huge red flag if all you do every day is jump from one job to another with little time for yourself. If you are unable to indulge in ample self-care, you urgently need me time. If not, you would neither be able to understand your emotions and thoughts well nor have time for them. Remember you work to fulfill and enrich yourself. You are your topmost priority and work needs to hear a no when it tries to hamper your mental health.
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