Ram was a star performer in a consulting firm, his clients loved him and he was a poster boy for his bosses. The CEO wished if there were more people like Ram in his organization. Ram, while giving his best in his work, he was expected by HR and the management to mentor more consultants and bring out the best in them. Eventually, he was part of multiple internal forums, committees and mentorship programs. These additional programs took away his crucial time, which was otherwise used in prospecting and client management. He started failing in his commitments and his success graph eventually started dropping.

You will find Ram in every organization who goes through this chakravyuh, some get sacrificed and some emerge victorious. Most organizations will have very few people like Ram and rest will be average, hence everyone would want to learn from the star performers. They get pulled into every new project, orientations, training programs, change management groups, support groups; sustainability or new opportunities groups etc., these activities demand time, which sucks productive hours of the performers.

Many of us find ourselves in such situations. Initially, these chores seem attractive and challenging, but sooner or later the attraction fades away and we tend to push ourselves to continue. You may be just dragging yourself to avoid any kind of friction or animosity with your colleagues or seniors. But this drag might be affecting your current performance or even mental wellbeing as it takes away from you, your productive time.

So the best thing to do is to politely say, ‘No’, you will not able to continue. However, for most of us, saying no doesn’t come that naturally. You would feel lousy about disappointing your seniors, your HR or even guilty about turning down your boss because you don’t want to be portrayed as selfish or as ‘no person’. But saying, ‘yes’ may leave you stretched and stressed. In such times, saying ‘no’ becomes critical to your success as well as your organizations’. Explain the logic, your current priorities and simply move on without thinking much. I know it is easier said than done but believe me it will do a lot to bring down the unnecessary stress.

Doing more than what is expected out of you is good but, if more does not add to your strength or productivity then it can prove counter-productive. Have you been through this? Did you take any actions? Please share your thoughts.