"What can a poet achieve if he is not in pain?" Pain is just as important as the typewriter."
The purpose of the following lines is to provoke you to say "no" to those things or people for whom you have long postponed saying that "no". So far, you may have been stopped by your good manners and the unwillingness to offend or hurt someone else. But in clearly saying "no" to something, there is a very deep positive force when you know why you say it. And this is good not only for you but also for the person on the other side. It is probably good for third parties as well.
Here is a specific example. Let us say your office is an open space with many people on one floor. Your workplace is near a central corridor or door, which is passed by dozens or hundreds of people a day. From time-to-time people stop by you in the friendliest mood, strike up a brief conversation about yesterday's match, or about Kubrat Pulev's kiss. For them, this is just part of their planned vacation with a walk and taking coffee from the kitchen in the office. For you - this is another unwanted distraction.
If you say a positive "no" to the dozens of unwanted daily distractions, what will be the biggest benefit for you?
First, your working hours will be enough. Late nights or early mornings will be the exception rather than the current practice and the only way to get the job done. Now, managing the current workload is only possible if you stay up late or you come very early.
The second benefit will be that mistakes in your work will be reduced. You will not have to write and read the same sentence five times because of a lack of good concentration.
The third benefit will be that you will probably have some free time left, which you will decide how to use. You, not the surrounding people. You will decide how to fill the free minutes instead of the casual office pedestrians.
Besides these undeniable benefits, there are some disadvantages to saying "NO" to distractions from colleagues. Some colleagues may be offended that you do not have a normal human attitude to exchange a couple of words with them. Some will think your ego is too big. Others will say you are pretending to be busy. Others will say that you have no friends in the office because you do not talk to anyone outside of meetings.
If you put the opinion and approval of others before the desire to do your job without distractions, you will never have enough time.
This is not because there are so many tasks. It is simply because you cannot organize yourself well and you cannot concentrate on your current tasks. You cannot say a positive "NO".
A positive "NO" is not an oxymoron. It simply suggests that saying "NO" also has many positive effects. Especially if you get the right dose at the right place, with the right time, and with the right people.
At the moment, you may think that you are not using the positive "NO" for the sake of others. So as not to hurt them, so as not to draw wrong conclusions, etc. But in fact, you are not saying a positive "NO" just because of you. Think about it. What if someone gets hurt because you do not have small talk? The problem is not in the unpreparedness, but because you do not want to be a person who affects others.
If you are not a person who does not want to offend and hurt others, you have nothing to worry about in every conversation about who will be affected and how much. Then saying a positive "NO" is much easier.
If your colleagues are offended because you did not take the ball of small conversations, what will happen to them when they have a reason to be offended? Then when they have outright personal attacks and take ultimate positions with someone else? They will probably go to the hospital every week after each such conversation.
Managers are more likely to avoid negative experiences than to pursue positive ones.
That is why so many team leaders prefer to avoid social rejection and negative perceptions than to focus on the positive experience of doing their work during working hours. Failure to use the positive "NO" is also the fast track to professional burnout.