How to say “No!” when volunteering to prevent burnout

Many volunteers passionately give their time and quickly put their hand up to say “Yes!”   The word “No” however, isn’t heard enough!  The more Yes’s there are, the smaller that Yes becomes until it is stretched so wide, that it lacks any depth of commitment.  A Yes that is meaningful is followed by a lot of No’s.  For example, the Yes made between two people at marriage is a powerful commitment of love that is kept by a No to all others.    

Unfortunately, “Yes” is too often the answer from generous volunteers when it should have been “No”. It’s all too easy to overestimate your capacity, keep others happy or just be caught up in the busyness of achievement.     

When volunteering your time and skills, learning the art of saying “No!” will enrich your “Yes!” and help prevent the chances of burnout.

To say No say – “That is a great idea. Unfortunately, I am already fully committed.”

To say No because you are busy at the moment – “I can do that IF it can be done later?”

To say No to something that is important – We need to do that. Who else has the availability and ability to do it?”

It can be hard to say “No!” but when you say No to all the distractions and extra’s, you are saying “Yes!” to things that you have committed to already.