How to say no to your boss’s schedule

Have you ever had your boss ask you to meet when you were planning to get your own work done, like a presentation or project work?

When you say yes to the meeting with your boss, you push off your own work and you end up doing it in your time off.

This moment of saying yes to your boss, is saying no to your time off. You are prioritizing your boss’s schedule over your schedule.

As academic achievers, it can be a habit to fall into the hierarchy and say yes to authority without even pausing to think about it.

I used to do this all the time, until I started believing that my time was equally valuable to those around me and that when I use my time wisely, everyone wins.

When you believe your time is valuable you might feel more confident and

➡️ say you are not available

➡️ choose not to explain or apologize

➡️ not provide an explanation or apology

➡️ suggest a few other times that you are available

➡️ be flexible where you want to be and find a time that works well for BOTH of you.

➡️ use the time you had scheduled to complete your work without using time off

➡️ meet with your boss

And, how does this feel? LIBERATING. 

I remember the day I realized I was not valuing my own time when scheduling meetings.

I just tried saying no.

As an experiment, without apology or explanation, I emailed back – “I have a commitment at that time, how about this time or that time”

I mean, I had been saying yes regardless of my own schedule for years, I told myself how bad could one no to a meeting be?

A curious thing happened:

My schedule needs were incorporated into the decision-making of the meeting time.

It was me that was discounting my time, no one else.

Everyone wins when you believe your time is valuable.

You work more effectively and productively when you value your time and you are confident when you want to work on what.

You say no more just because you have commitments to yourself in your calendar.

Your self-trust goes up. You are more productive because you are using the time when you know you are most focused to complete your work.

When you keep these commitments to yourself, you win and so does your boss.

If you want help with valuing your time and saying no, email me at and let’s get started.