Do you find it hard to turn down a request? Here’s how to get more picky.

Most productivity and workplace experts talk about the power of no. The problem is, most people want to say yes – and find saying no incredibly hard.

In his book When To Say Yes: The 5 Steps to Protect Your Time, executive coach and speaker Don Khouri PhD asks you to forget everything you know about to-do lists, multitasking, and other common productivity hacks – these common “solutions” don’t help. They only add things to your plate.

“We need a system to determine what gets put on our plate in the first place,” Khouri writes.

Khouri’s 5 essential steps to protect your time include asking yourself:

• Does it align with my goals?
• Who is asking?
• Is it a quality request?
• Where does it fit on my priority list?
• Am I the only one who can do it?

Answering these questions provides a helpful framework for when to say yes to new requests for your most valuable asset – your time.

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