Being a yes person comes at a premium when productivity is at stake. The truth is many of us struggle to give a firm no due to fear of unpopularity and the backlash from others. By always saying yes to our colleagues even when we really shouldn't we do ourselves and our work a huge disservice. Learning how and when to say no is vital to ultimate productivity.
1.) Your priority is your workload
There are only so many hours in a day, be mindful of how you use yours. There is a very thin line between supporting a colleague going through a rough patch and becoming the office flunky. Taking on too much work from others robs you of the time you have to dedicate to your tasks which should always remain your priority.
2.) You are not responsible for the emotions of others
Part of saying yes to every request is that we are often simply afraid to upset, disappoint or anger a colleague. It is vital to remember that you are not personally responsible for how someone reacts to your decision to do your job efficiently. As long as you remain in the parameters of being respectful, fair and polite you cannot take on the burden of other people's emotional responses.
3.) You make yourself a target
When you become a yes person, you make it apparent to others that you can be easily manipulated. With the right sob story or excuse someone can easily offload their responsibilities onto you and you will happily take it on. The more you say yes, the more people ask of you. Saying no will deter advantage takers and protect you from becoming a target.
4.) You will never please all of the people all of the time
The quickest way to burn out or to become massively unproductive is to try to please everyone. Assess your workplace hierarchy and chain of command and really think about who you need to please, your clients, your biggest account, your manager? Accept that no matter how hard you try you will never please everybody, so decide to please who really matters and focus in on your priorities.