An association employee with a punctuality problem was almost on time to a meeting. But a Board member called and asked her to stop at another office on her way to pick up a handout he wanted (but wasn't really necessary) for the meeting.

She should have said "No," but that word was not in her vocabulary. Picking up up the handout made her late and the Board member complained about her tardiness.

Another association employee wanted to launch a program before it was ready. She felt it was important to provide this new service immediately. When it was suggested that only five people might participate, she replied, "then five people will get a really good program."

The word "No" was not in her vocabulary, either.

People don't like to say "No." They fear it will make them look like can't-do workers instead of can-do. And, some really want to do everything. But they shouldn't.

Saying "No" is not just a way to manage your time. It's also a way to ensure that your time - and your association's time - is spent wisely.

So remember. It's OK to say "No."