Learning to say ‘no’ at work can help improve your health

If you’re in a job you are invested in or starting at a new place of work, saying “no” seems like an impossible feat. It often feels like admitting defeat but by learning how and when to turn down offers can improve both your working life and general health.

Writing for Forbes, Raquel Baldelomar covers why, especially women, need to learn to balance their work lives. For example, did you know that nearly twice as many women than men describe their working week to be associated with overwhelming tiredness, one study suggests.

Baldelomar believes that this exhaustion, also experienced by men to a lesser degree, stems from an inability to say “no”. Staying late to cover the weekend? Going to after-work drinks? “Sure, why not?”, would to be the correct answer if we lived in a world where anything outside of your contracted hours was compulsory.

This exhaustion can be associated with increased risks of heart disease, insomnia, depression and even diabetes, for what? A few extra hours of work in the day. It turns out, to slackers’ delight, working extra hours does not yield more productivity, it just hurts your health.

And if you’re thinking that you physically can’t say “no”, there are a few things you can remember to help you. Remember to follow your instincts, if you feel too tired to hang-out after hours, then you probably are too tired to hang-out. Your body is far more intuitive and knows what’s good for your health more than Greg from HR.

Secondly, know your job description. It goes without saying that you should help everyone in your company as best you can however by passing on certain tasks to the people who should be responsible for them you can clear you schedule and avoid stepping on toes.

And finally, be realistic with yourself. Your company doesn’t own your time and it’s up to, outside of your contracted hours, to decide how you spend it. Even if that means saying “no” to helping with a last-minute project.

What now?