I love this post from Decker Marketing called, Strategic Plan for 2006 — 12 Places to Say No. Sam points out the importance od saying "no" to stay focused and effective and offers several great examples. Here’s a couple of my favorites:
8. What meetings will you decline?
I once had to take an emergency business trip and my admin cancelled all my meetings for two days. As you might imagine, the meetings went fine without me…but they seem so important when they are set up, don’t they?!
Someone once told me that choosing meetings is a conscious decision every executive needs to make. The meetings should be used to make strategic decisions, where multiple functions are involved. Decline or delegate informational meetings. Cut back recurring meetings. When my team went through the important/urgent exercise, meetings were a major part of our ability to gain back some work/life balance.
1. What strategies, initiatives and activities will you say "no" to?
I once went through an "important / urgent´ exercise with my team where we outlined over 50 initiatives and activities in the coming quarter. At the end of the exercise we cut off 30% of our list. Ideas are abundant. Time and resources are not. There is great feeling focus, empowerment, and impact when everyone agrees on paper the activities that will not be done.
Make this the year you get better as saying "no" so you can say "YES" when it will count most.