Stop Saying Yes So Often

I recently sent out an email where I said, “The more you say yes at work, the more you’ll have to say no to something at home.”

In response, a listener asked if I could talk more about the right balance there. When should we say yes and when should we say no while still being a good employee?

Start by thinking about the most important, no-exception items in your life. Once you know these, you’ll know what the non-negotiables are that you cannot say no to. These are the things you must bring to your boss.

Straighten all of those things out. If you have to leave early on Wednesdays to volunteer for your son’s football team, tell your boss that. If your daughter has a recital in the middle of the day, give them notice of that. This is a hard conversation to have, but it will build trust with your employer.

Your boss will actually benefit more if you have a good situation at home. You won’t be losing sleep thinking about the stress of the job. You’ll bring your best to work every day.

In some jobs, the boss will be unreasonable. Don’t stay in a situation like this for long. A few days where you have to stay work extra late is fine. However, if that’s a consistent problem, you need to find a new job.

It all comes down to how you define success. Success isn’t getting a promotion or making more money. You’re successful if you are happy and healthy and if your family is happy and healthy, too. Money won’t mean anything if you lose your family or your health.

Things are not the way they are; they’re the way you want them to be. So, if your situation isn’t meeting your expectations, do something to change that.

If you have another topic or question you want us to talk about, send it to me at or to Jody at