How to get co-workers to respect your time

Say No.

Not all the time, but be clear – ask about how long tasks will take and if you don’t have the time to help – say no. You can do this in the positive context of problem solving with them. But you have to demand that your time is not wasted and sometimes – that means saying no.

It's ok to say "I’m sorry – I have other obligations – and don’t have the time. Perhaps- there is another way you can get it done."

It is super important to be realistic about how much time things take and be honest about time constraints.  You help no one by accepting work you can’t complete at a high quality in the time given.  Good problem solving is realistic problem solving and that means – being realistic about the time constraints you have.

So – say no. When it is appropriate.  Keep your focus on solving the problem realistically.  If you are genuinely realistically helpful – you will not be seen as obstructionist.

I also find that – guarding my personal time – no – I can’t do that – it’s on the weekend and I have plans with my family – also gains me respect. Because I prioritize work life balance – people respect that.

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