Why You Really Should Say “No” More Often

Niklas Göke
4 min readFeb 2, 2019

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We all know we should say “no” more often. But we’re nice people and so it’s hard to turn down requests. Ultimately, that’s what most of our yeses go to.

Requests.

Life is full of them.

Your to-do list is a set of requests. So is your inbox. Your Facebook messages, Instagram DMs, Twitter notifications. Requests, requests, requests. And we haven’t even gotten to friends asking favors. Let alone business opportunities.

When you’re starting out in your career, contacts and customers expect your free assistance while every phone call is a welcome distraction from your underdog status. As soon as you’re seeing some level of productivity and success, you’ll be inundated with opportunities. Let’s partner up, be on my podcast, here’s a paid gig. I call it ‘opportunity suffocation.’

But, at the end of the day, they’re all just requests. No matter how well they’re disguised. And don’t we really know what we have to do? Write more. Pitch more. Practice more. Most of the time, it’s more of the same. Answering requests won’t help with that.

Of course, there are other good reasons to say “no” besides focus at work.

Like time. The big one. The first one they throw at our head. “If you agree to every little thing, you’ll have no time…

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Niklas Göke

I write for dreamers, doers, and unbroken optimists. Read my daily blog here: https://nik.art/