Stressing at Work: The Importance of Saying No

I had a crazy day at work today. It was not just a busy day, it was an exhausting, anxiety-inducing day that made me never want to come back. I felt so out of control and like things were going to fall apart at any moment. I kept trying to go faster and faster to attend to the needs of the six people that were pulling me in different directions. It was not working, I was running and making no progress as more work kept piling up.

At some point in the day, the phone was ringing off the hook and my boss was asking me for the project I was supposed to have finished before being given a bunch of other things to do by other people and I had to stop and excuse myself for a second. My breath was feeling very shallow, my hands were shaking and I was feeling like the room was spinning. Both restrooms were occupied to hide in so I locked myself in the storage room for a second until I was able to take a couple of deep breathes in peace.

After about five minutes I was able to return and continue with my frantic running, trying to get everything done. And so the rest of the work day continued. I was stressed and taking on more projects than I could handle. I was beginning to feel angry about people not being considerate with me. To make matters worse I was getting so busy and rushing through things that I made a mistake on one of my reports and I had to hear about it for a while. That was just what I needed.

When I got home I could not relax. I was still fuming about how terrible work was today and how little people take me into consideration when they plan things. Being perfectly honest here, now that I have had the time to rest for 2 hours after work, I can see that I was mostly frustrated with myself. I was feeling very frustrated for not sticking up for myself and turning down people when they wanted to dump their projects on me.

I have always had trouble with disappointing other people so I rarely ever say no. Today, I really needed to put my foot down, look at the situation I was in and admit to people that I was already far too busy to take on yet another project. I should never wait for others to be the ones looking out for me or be considerate of me, that is my responsibility only, not anyone else’s.

Now, the anger I was feeling is gone and the stress is slowly exiting my body. I am beginning to feel back in control again now that I have accepted that the problem that needed fixing today was in my hands to fix all along. I know feel like I can go back to work tomorrow and come clean to people about needing help to get all those projects done. I have found that there are usually always people willing to help; I’m just the one that’s too stubborn to ask for it sometimes.

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2 thoughts on “Stressing at Work: The Importance of Saying No

  1. I am exactly the same way. I hate to say no to people, but it’s better to be caring and authoritative at the same time. If you don’t put your foot down when you need to, people will think they can take advantage of your niceness. Great post 🙂

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