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April 24, 2019

"Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent

and not enough time on what is important." 

- Stephen R. Covey, Author Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Mujeres y Allies,

There are many cultural values within the Latino community that make us hard working, loyal and dependable.  Our values around family and taking care of one another run deep and these are strengths that keep bringing us much satisfaction and now there’s increasing evidence that our connectedness and high levels of social support keeps us healthy. The downside is that our hardworking nature can lead us to say “yes” to many demands and create for us a list of things to do that’s endless.  Meeting the demands of family, work and community--while also facing economic pressures--is at the heart of the chronic stress that is contributing to the nation’s reduced life expectancy which was recently featured in the recent HBO Documentary One Nation Under Stress.  Meditation, healthy eating, exercise, and creating your social support (in person and not just on-line) are all part of the solution.  One other step for us is to learn how to say “no” to distractions, meaningless assignments, or worse, taking on other people’s work. Building your skill at saying no--with grace--is also part of demonstrating a sense of priority that is essential to effective leadership and your personal brand.

Uno, dos, y tres. Let’s do this con ganas.

Tip #1  Pause Before Saying Yes

When a colleague at work or a family member asks for a favor, give yourself some time to really assess what that will mean for your own schedule before saying yes. You may want to say “Can I get back to you on that?” or “Let me see--I need to check my schedule.” The idea is to simply have a moment to reflect on what’s truly involved in the request.  And, sometimes during that pause of an hour or even a day--the task might get resolved or another person emerges more suited to address the need. Even if you say yes, however, taking stock of what’s involved can help you place some boundaries on what exactly you will do.

Tip #2  Troubleshoot the Request

A recent Harvard Business Review article features key ways to help the person making a request to make better use of other resources, information or other staff.  For example, if you are being asked to do something that isn’t your area of expertise or it’s part of another person’s role--you can redirect the person to make their request to the right person. If they persist, you may be the one to delegate the task to the right person.  The person making the request, may simply have not thought through the best alternative and you can avoid more work by troubleshooting the best alternative or getting the right information.

Tip #3  No Means No--But Be Graceful

At some point your answer to a request is going to be a clear and unqualified “no”.  It’s helpful to appreciate the request being made as a compliment to your skills or the relationship--”I’m so flattered you thought of me, I hope you will appreciate I just can’t take this on right now.”  It’s also helpful to demonstrate you care about the outcome for that person by asking to be kept informed. “I do want to know what happens, please keep me in the loop on this.” And when there’s some emotional tug of war that emerges, place your own well-being front and center, “I am really aware how upset you are about my declining--it’s just as upsetting that I can’t budge on taking care of myself right now.”

That’s it. #3LVCareerHacks on saying no to tasks and managing your workload.

Got a comment for us? Give us a shout at @SavvyLatinaInfo @LatinaVIDA360 or on our Facebook Group. We’d love to hear from you!  If you’ve made one of the CareerHack tips work for you, we may feature you in the next LatinaVIDA360 Career Power Hacks Podcast!

Live Your VIDA with Intention! 


Your LV Familia!


P. S. Remember, here are the other LatinaVIDA resources for you:

  • Evernote Notebook of Curated Work-Life Resources, Readings and Tips

  • Join our Private Facebook Group

  • LatinaVIDA360 Podcast Latina Leaders in Conversation and NEW Career Power Hacks

  • Our #Slack Community to Share Experiences with LatinaVIDA Circle Guide

  • Past #3LVCareerHacks Newsletters (please share with friends and family)

  • Latina Cubicle Confidential: A Personal Blog from our Co-Founders


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