Why do we say “yes” sometimes when we mean “no”? One way to find more fulfillment in the workplace is by setting boundaries and saying “no” when you need to. Here are 4 things that you should start saying “no” to at work.

Unproductive/Unprecedented Tasks

When you’re asked to do something at work that you know is going to be unproductive for you or for the company, it’s ok to decline. Address the task with your manager if you feel uncomfortable saying no to your colleague, and let them know why. Maybe you feel there is a better way of performing that task, or there is no need for that task any longer. The same goes for a task you believe would be better suited for someone else in the office. Not only will it help save your time, but the companies time as well.

Pointless Meetings

Meetings are inevitable. They are a great tool for collaboration, providing updates, and setting goals. However, if you’re attending meetings that are not necessary or relevant to your position, request to skip it. Whether some meetings are held too often or are not evaluated by necessity, meetings can be a large waste of time. An estimated “$37 billion is lost every year to unproductive meetings.” So, the next time you are asked to attend a meeting that does not pertain to you – politely ask to decline.

Unrealistic Timelines

The next time you are asked to complete projects or tasks with unrealistic timelines set – combat the request with a new proposal. For example, you can say something such as “This task will take longer than one day, but I can have it completed by _______” and provide a more realistic date. Keeping communication open can prevent stress and impractical expectations.

Constant Availability 

Whether it’s being expected to immediately respond to an email after receiving it or being available outside of work hours, allowing yourself to be constantly available is unproductive. Express that you are trying to set boundaries/create a better balance for yourself, or are trying to be more organized and intentional with your time. Coworkers will respect your time if you respect your time.