Use this tech trick to help you say no to that

It's tempting to say yes to every job request that comes your way — and that instinct makes sense. You might feel sympathy for a coworker who needs your help. You might want to please people who pay your salary. Or you might just come across a project that sounds a lot more fun than what you're working on right now.

But by defaulting to yes, you will end up deprioritizing important work and focusing on low-impact tasks instead. Or if you end up doing your priority work and the new tasks, you 're just going to burn out. So before you agree to do something, you need to consider your own priorities and the opportunity cost of saying yes.

Say no to snippets

  1. Pick a text expander app. (At Zapier, we use Alfred—we even have shared team snippets.)
  2. Decide what text shortcut you'll type when you want to say no (e.g., nopenope).
  3. Write a snippet: a sentence or two telling someone no.
  4. That's it.

Every time you type the trigger word, your computer will magically turn it into the snippet, no matter what kind of app you're currently using—email, team chat, text message, you name it. And if you write a bunch of snippets, you'll have a few varieties of no up your sleeve depending on the context.

Here are some example snippets we use at Zapier. Each one is suited for a different situation, so we've grouped them by context.

Say no to coworkers who need help

Say no to your manager

Say no to a last-minute request

Say no to a meeting

You should absolutely personalize these snippets to fit your needs. And even when you use pre-written responses, it doesn't mean you can't adjust them on a case-by-case basis. These just give you a solid place to start, which means less resistance on the path to saying no.

Published on: 6/1/20, 12:37 AM