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No Thank You


Though it may not feel like it outside, summer will soon be coming to an end. With this shift comes an uptick in our to-do lists. Inevitably community clubs, boards of directors, church groups, and school committees will start planning their fall schedules and reaching out to go-getters like you asking for help.

“Will you chair this event?”

“Will you serve on a fundraising committee?”

“Will you serve on our board?”

In reality, you may not want to do any of these things. But they asked so nicely, and they really seem to need your help. What are you supposed to say?

“No”. Better yet, “no thank you” since we’re polite Southern women.

Saying no is one of those skills they forgot to teach us in school, and now we all seem to need a crash course. Truth be told, that two-letter word is hard to say. We want to add to our resume, stand out in our community, and create opportunities for ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we ended up agreeing to every little thing requested of us, and we’re not necessarily enjoying everything we do.

Here are some things to consider before summer ends and you get bombarded with requests:

VALUE YOUR TIME

If you don’t value your time, no one else will. Those asking for your help are most likely trying to delegate something that has already been assigned to them. They’re looking out for themselves. While, of course, you should feel honored, don’t let flattery convince you to accept. Time is one thing we can’t get back or create more of. Be selfish with your 24 hours.

YOU DON’T NEED AN EXCUSE

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve agreed to do something only because “I don’t have a good excuse not to”. It doesn’t matter if your excuse is that you simply prefer to sit on your couch in your sweatpants while eating takeout every Tuesday night instead of attending a board meeting. If that’s your reasoning, then it’s good enough.

QUALITY NOT QUANITY

Before you interpret this post as a proposal against community involvement, think again. Involvement in different groups outside work builds relationships, is good for your community, and can be good for your personal growth. They key in taking on these extracurricular activities is quality not quantity. It’s better to invest in one organization, give it your all, and really enjoy it, than to be involved in five different things you can barely keep up with because you’re being pulled in so many directions.

Instead of dreading the end of summer and busier schedules, take control of your time and energy. Prioritize what really matters to you, and practice politely turning down a few committees, boards, and clubs.