These days we all seem to be doing more at work with fewer people and resources. When will it stop? Can you ever say “no” when your boss or a co-worker asks you to do something new? This is tricky. You want to be seen as a team player, but you also are extremely busy. What do you do?

I think sometimes it is ok to say no with a good reason. Sometimes. Obviously, if it is a project that is critical to your business or is the top priority of the company; you probably need to do it. But, if it’s one of those odd projects that always seem to pop up or you’ve been asked to be on a large team you might not have time for, consider holding your ground and saying no; with reason, of course. Here are three reasons why you might need to say no:

  1. You need to keep your focus. If you are working on a big project or have a pressing deadline, you might not be able to help. You need to keep focused on your work.
  2. You are always the one who is asked. If you constantly are the one asked to join a team, take on a new project or help out on a program, maybe ask if someone else is available – kind of a “spread the wealth” for new work.
  3. Your time is valuable too. If this is just someone’s pet project or something that is non-essential, tell the requester that you need justification to give up your time. Your time means something. It’s the only thing we can’t get more of.

Again, if it’s a critical or very important project it can be tough to say no. However, don’t always feel like you can’t state your case. It’s nice to be a team player or the “go to” person, but there are only so many hours in the day!