I recently heard a quote that I thought would be good to share with you. The quote was:
"By saying 'yes' to someone or something, you are saying 'no' to someone or something else."
There are several ways to analyze this concept, so I will give my own insight, but you are welcomed to formulate your own view of what it means and how to apply it in your life to be most beneficial.
First, let me be clear, this does not mean that saying yes is always a bad thing. It just helps to sometimes ask the question "what or who am I saying 'no' to by saying 'yes' in this situation?"
Here are some examples to illustrate:
By saying yes to helping a coworker out after hours, you may be saying no to spending time with family or friends.
By saying yes to sleeping late, you are saying no to all the things that could be accomplished during those hours.
On the other hand, by saying yes to waking up early to be productive, you may be saying no to some much-needed rest.
By saying yes to working on your day off, you are in essence, saying no to giving yourself (well-deserved) time off to simply relax or do things that you want or need to do.
By saying yes to eating out more often, you may be saying no to using that money for paying bills or even saving for that vacation you have been wanting to take.
As you can see, the person you are saying no to can be someone else OR YOURSELF!
Sacrificing for the good of others is a morally good thing. However, some of us have the tendency to become the Yes-man or Yes-woman. This can lead to us taking on more than we can handle, which will inevitably result in more stress. Though some stress is a natural part of life, being over-stressed can make us less effective in all aspects of our lives.
For example, saying yes to picking up a coworker's shift is usually a nice thing to do. However, if this shift happens to be on your only day off and taking it means you will have worked 7 days straight, it might not be the best idea. Working too much can lead to burnout, which ultimately makes you less effective at your job. Furthermore, extra stress makes you more likely to take this stress out on others around you, possibly even your loved ones.
As you can see, it all comes down to weighing the costs and benefits of saying 'yes', as well as the costs and benefits of saying 'no'; then making an educated decision.
Funny how the simple question of saying "yes" or "no" can have so many implications. Aim for the greater good and minimize stress as much as possible!