written by
Michael Levitt

Why You Have To Say NO More Often Than Not, To Avoid Burnout

leadership self care management 2 min read
Photo by Alex Rodríguez Santibáñez on Unsplash

As a leader, you are confronted with all types of choices. Never a day goes by without you having to make a decision, or 10, on what you need to do or what choices the organization needs to make on a particular endeavor. One of the challenges that many leaders face is the challenge of saying "Yes" too much. And what happens is, when you say "Yes" to everything, then as you can imagine, you have this long list of things that now you are on the hook to complete, which can lead to burnout. There's only so many hours in the day, and if you do not properly have boundaries in your work-life, you will stress out and then eventually burn out. That's not fun. You know my story. If not, listen to some earlier episodes. You will figure out who I am and what I'm all about. 

But suffice to say, burnout is not fun. It can cost you everything, and you don't want to do that. It's not good for you. It's not good for your family. It's not good for your employer. It's not good for anybody. So, what you want to do is you want to learn how to say "No," and you need to say "No" more often than not, because saying "No" will make the "Yeses" stronger.

Let me repeat that.


Because when you say "Yes" to something, you are committing yourself, your team, and the organization to complete what you just said "Yes" to. 

So, when other things come up, if they're not in complete alignment with the other things that you've said "Yes" to, then you should say "No" to them. Now, I'm not saying you're going to say "No" to them forever, I mean, "No, not at this time," or "It's not in our wheelhouse at this particular moment." Who knows? Depends on what's being presented. But at the end of the day, you want your "Yeses" to be strong, and you want to do those things really well because it will set you apart from other organizations in the work that you do. 

Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership. Also, on Instagram @bfastleadership

And until next time, be well.

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.

boundaries burnout saying no