The One Word That Will Help You Accomplish More Than Ever

Bryan Collins
3 min readFeb 26, 2018

Do you sometimes struggle to finish your work?

Like most people, you probably have more personal and professional commitments than you can manage.

Use the word “No” to leave time-consuming side attractions on the shore, wade into your creative work and meet your deadlines.

This isn’t rude or impolite; creative masters say no all the time.

Charles Dickens declined to be interviewed for this article

Charles Dickens wrote more than a dozen novels and numerous short stories and essays.

Productivity and Dickens went hand-in-hand.

He accomplished this much by saying no and focusing on his work instead.

Dickens said,

“‘It is only half an hour’ — ‘It is only an afternoon’ — ‘It is only an evening,’ people say to me over and over again; but they don’t know that it is impossible to command one’s self sometimes to any stipulated and set disposal of five minutes — or that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometime worry a whole day.”

Dickens is in fine company.

Canadian-American writer and Pulitzer Prize winner Saul Bellow cultivated smart habits like saying no.

His secretary explained,

Saul Bellow: not a ‘yes’ man

“Mr Bellow informed me that he remains creative in the second half of life, at least in part, because he does not allow himself to be a part of other people’s ‘studies.’”

Be firm but polite when you refuse someone.

How to Say No

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Bryan Collins

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