Are you always trying to be nice to others at the expense of yourself?
Not knowing when to say “no” creates a dilemma that’s hard to get out of. Your time is already limited and you are spending more and more on other people’s priorities and less and less on your own. You are working harder and faster and yet, you are not able to catch up. The first step out of this vicious cycle is to become clear as to what is important to you, and what is not. You need to figure out how you wish to spend your time, so you can say “no” with confidence. If someone asks for your involvement, you have the right to say “yes”; and you also have the right to say “no”. Reject the request and not the person, and once you decline, honestly explain why you are unable to assist.
Calmly communicate your needs (“I’d love to do this, but …”), even when the other person gets pushy and remain polite but resolute. This gets easier with practice and you might be surprised to see that your courage to say no will gain you a newfound respect for your boundaries. At times, you might also receive negative reactions, so be prepared, but it might be well worth learning how to say no, when the reward is time for your priorities and more balance in your life.