When to say “No Thanks”

When to say “No Thanks”

When to say “No Thanks”

In my recent article, “Flexing Your ‘No Thanks’ Muscle,” I talk about the downsides of saying “Yes” too often.

Over dinner with friends one night, we developed a  “No Thanks List”,  consisting of 27 examples when, in our opinion “no thanks” was the best response to eliminate distraction and help us maintain our focus.

Add your favorite “No Thanks” moments in the comments section below and let’s get a good list going!

Examples

When to say
“No thanks”
Here’s why
Drug store chain card for savings and special offers and points It takes time to fill out the form, it takes thought to choose the items which may offer you savings, and it brings an onslaught of offers and emails that take time to sort through and may impact your buying patterns negatively.
Online bank customer service survey for $10 gift card Time filling out survey; loss of focus on the project I’m working on; probably will spend more than $10 at online store; will go shopping because of gift card rather than need
Extended warranties They cost more and, according to consumer agencies, are usually a bad deal
Finding cheapest gas The time and mindspace tax is high and the savings is usually low. Also, the drive to get cheaper gas not only takes more time, it may use up your gas savings in gas burned driving around searching.
Supersize me offers (fast food, popcorn in movie theaters) Can you really eat that much? Would you want to? It doesn’t cost much more money but it takes longer to eat and you’ll need to exercise more to work it off. Also, if you don’t exercise more to work it off, you’ll waste time and money in medical appointments. Buy the smallest amount you can, enjoy it, and move on.
Store specific credit cards Waste time and mindspace planning to buy things at that particular store. Pay with your one credit card and call it a day.
Retail accessory-sells (or “would you like panties with that bra?”) You don’t need them and you’re better off not spending the time looking, trying on, and making more decisions. Buy what you came into buy and leave as fast as you can.
Retail up-sells (Or, if you like that TV, you should look at this 3-D one) You don’t need it, otherwise you would have gone in looking for it. The up-sell takes time and attention and encourages you to buy something you don’t need. Buy what you came in for and move on.
Buy one get the second one half off offers Do you really need a second one? Buy what you need and move on.
Increasing your order size and amount to get free shipping You waste time looking for other things to buy just to get to the minimum “no shipping cost amount”. And then you end up buying more and cluttering your space Pay the shipping and move on.
10% off if you spend a certain amount at a store A friend of mine just bought 120 pills of an allergy medication along with a bunch of other stuff so he could get a 10% savings on the order. He ended up spending an extra 30 minutes and $100 shopping.  Buy what you need, bypass the savings, and move on – you’ll end up with more money in your pocket and time on your hands.
Store memberships that, for a price, give you free shipping and some discounts Forces you to buy at a specific place which costs time, focus, planning, and freedom. Instead, buy what you want at the most convenient place and move on.
Most infomercials The amount of time you spend just watching the infomercial before deciding to buy is a good reason not to start. And then, once you buy, chances are the item will remain in a closet unused. As soon as the infomercial comes on, change the channel or turn off the television and move on.
Time share tours (or, take a free vacation on us and all you have to do is sit through our two hour presentation) I’ve never done one, but friends say that the free vacation isn’t worth it, especially if they end up buying the time share. Save the time and the money. Move on.
Buying a lottery ticket It would be nice to win, wouldn’t it. Except research shows it won’t make you any happier. Plus statistically your chance of winning is, get this, zero (so small it rounds to impossible). Pass the store and save your dollar and your time scratching the card.
Street clipboard activists (or, “do you have a minute to save some whales”) I’m all for saving whales but stopping to speak to a clipboard activist is a distraction to wherever you were going. And we’re all going somewhere. Smile and keep walking.
Shirts you have to iron There is a new crop of very comfortable non-iron shirts which, for my time and money, are the only ones worth buying. Throw them in the washing machine and move on.
Free trials that renew automatically (or anything that renews automatically) You’ll forget to stop the renewal, or, worse, you’ll remember – which means you’re thinking too much about it. Choose the non-automatic renewal option and move on.
Clubs that send you something each month Do you really need a book a month? Or will it just pile up and leave you feeling guilty. Choose the book or fruit or whatever that you actually want and buy it when you want to.
People you don’t know on Facebook How many friends do you need? Especially the ones you don’t even know. Do you really want to spend your time reading their updates? You don’t even know them. And they’re not your friends. In fact, consider saying no thank you to facebook entirely, especially if you use it.
Additional cable channels Do you really need more channels of TV to watch? Is there not enough for you to see already? In fact, with computers streaming almost anything anyway, consider canceling cable altogether. It will save you time and money.
Retention offers when you are about to cancel a card or service They want to keep you. You want to leave. Don’t be seduced by the $25 savings they’re offering you. Your time is worth more than than. Cancel and get off the call as soon as possible.
Answering emails as they come in This ones a big mistake and absorbs a tremendous amount of time and mindspace. Let the emails accumulate – at least over several hours – and then answer them in a single sitting. Otherwise the constant interruptions will distract you forever. Choose three times a day when you answer your emails and turn off the incoming email sound so you aren’t tempted.
Over researching a product you want to purchase I can spend hours looking at research before choosing a product or service. It’s a game of diminishing returns. Go to a single site that aggregates the research – like Consumersearch.com – and follow their advice. They review all the reviews and tell you the bottom line. A huge time saver. Buy what they tell you to and move on.
Seasons passes or memberships to places you visited once (or “it only costs a few dollars more to become a member for the year”) It’s your initial visit to the zoo and the price of admission for the year is only slightly higher than the price of admission for the day. You’d only have to go three more times for it to be worth it. Don’t waste time doing the math; you probably won’t be coming back. You can always do it next year if you make a habit of going. Pay the admission for the day and move on.
Whenever you hear yourself think “It’s a great deal and it’s only x more” You didn’t want it to begin with and you don’t need it. Move on.
All you can eat buffets Do you really need all that food? Chances are you won’t be able to control yourself. Pay for a la carte and eat the right amount.

 The No Thanks Project


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  • Howie July 15, 2011 Reply

    Great list, Peter.

    I’d add buying anything that overfills your pantry so you can’t find the stuff you’ve already bought. How many times have I bought peanut butter because the three jars of peanut butter were hiding behind the six cans of garbanzo beans that I bought when they were on sale…

  • Eric July 18, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for the helpful thoughts!

    I object to only one–your urge to ignore “clipboard activists.” Engaging as a citizen is in a different realm from all the other time-wasters. At least learn what they’re working on–it might be something important to you.

    • AZAN July 19, 2011 Reply

      Even though this list is very true, I totally agree with you.

    • Peter Bregman July 21, 2011 Reply

      I agree with you, Eric, that the clipboard activists is a hard one. It is, I believe, important to be an active citizen. But it’s also easy to be distracted by other people’s causes – even though that may sound harsh. It’s hard – and sometimes harsh – to make the tradeoffs that keep us from getting distracted.

      That said, there’s probably a good middle ground: Be clear about what’s most important to you and stop for those things, while passing by the others.

  • Jeff Brumley July 18, 2011 Reply

    This example is a little different, but a few years ago my pastor was preaching through the Ten Commandments. One of the hardest for people to accept was the 4th- “Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy…on it you shall not do any work.” (from Exodus 20:8-11). The idea wasn’t to be legalistic about it, but for the actual purpose of resting from work. And his words were, “Say no to the wrong things, so that you can say yes to the right things.” – rest now so that we have energy for what we are really called to do. Anyway, it was really interesting to see you use a lot of the same language- say “no thanks” so that later you can say “yes please”.

  • Gail Hernandez July 18, 2011 Reply

    How about saying, ‘No thanks.”, to the stores that sell primarily in bulk WHEN there are only two of you and you have limited funds and storage space. How many rolls of toilet paper DO you need to keep in your house? With a limited budget, I say “Yes” to items that may cost a little more, and don’t take up more space, both physically and mentally. (P.S. If you have a big family or use tons of toilet paper, go for it!)

    • Peter Bregman July 21, 2011 Reply

      Right on, Gail. It’s hard, because we hate to pay more for less, but usually we’re better off buying the bite sized candy bar (even though the cost per bite is higher) than the family size one (which is cheaper per bite but which we’ll probably finish ourselves without sharing with the “family”).

  • Nikki Appleby July 18, 2011 Reply

    I’m now resistant to the line from any salesman about ‘sale ends soon’ when they are trying to get you to buy something that you were dithering over. If you’re dithering chances are it’s not perfect, so don’t buy it. And if you change your mind (or compromise) later, there will always be another sale.

    I even let a house purchase go because we were being pressured into it: ‘won’t last at this price’. When we bought a much more suitable house the first one was still on the market.

  • Marie July 18, 2011 Reply

    I agree in principle with the list but I think you paint with too broad a brush on Facebook (and by FB, I mean social media in general). I have made good friends and learned a lot from people I didn’t know. Of course, because I invested a lot of time in social time learning the ropes, I know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em, so to speak. But social media has made a huge difference in my personal as well as business life. All things must be judiciously used.

    • Harshavardhan July 19, 2011 Reply

      The last line that you wrote makes all the difference. As long as FB hasn’t been a time-waster for you, it is good to be on it. However, when it starts taking more and more time trying to keep yourself up-to-date with other people’s updates, it is no longer being productive.

      • NB July 19, 2011 Reply

        I’m all for efficiency — in fact, it’s one of my favourite words — but for me, FB doesn’t have to be productive, some of us actually use it as a social tool — just to keep in touch and up to date with friends and family all over the world. If there’s someone’s updates you’re not interested in seeing, just hide them permanently. Problem solved (for me anyway).

  • Ellis Atwood July 19, 2011 Reply

    Say no to end-of-aisle sales at grocery stores. If it’s something you really need, you’ll get it when you’re going down that aisle (and it will still be on sale).

  • Andreas July 19, 2011 Reply

    Non-iron shirts. Call me a pinko hippie, or a well dressed gentlemen, but I would not be seen dead in a non-iron shirt. The pinko hippy in me is worried about untested nanotechnology being used in the latest generation of these shirts – in a nutshell, the stuff that keeps them wrinkle free is so small it gets assimilated into your body- the well dressed gentleman just thinks they looks about as classy as a 70’s nylon shirt.

    Buy decent handmade shirts, find yourself a good laundry, pay the two bucks it costs to get your shirt professionally laundered and ironed and move on.

    • Peter July 19, 2011 Reply

      Andreas, I have to admit, you have me worried now. I’m not so worried about being a well-dressed gentleman (nobody would accuse me of that), but I do like organic food which means I’m also worried about my shirts leeching into my body. On the other hand, I don’t want to spend any time researching it. I appreciate your insight but I just bought 10 new non-iron shirts and I’ve decided to say “no thanks” to returning things. A conflict of priorities for sure. I’m going to say “no, thanks” but completely respect your “no, thanks” to my “no, thanks.”

  • Pam July 19, 2011 Reply

    LOVE THIS LIST AND CONCEPT PETER – THANK YOU!
    And Andreas is right – the chemicals in that no-iron shirt are not cool – so don’t buy any more! 🙂
    Peter and others, check out the book “The Healthy Home” by Dr. Myron and Dave Wentz for more healthy living ideas……..

  • Dan Markovitz July 19, 2011 Reply

    “Extended warantees” on electronics. Consumer reports (and other organizations) have pointed out that this is a major loser for consumers.

    • Howie July 19, 2011 Reply

      Dan, I totally agree, except for anything I bought for my kids. That $50 3-year warranty on the $79 boombox was one of the best business decisions I ever made!

      Also, you can bet that your Apple product will die a natural death before the 3-year AppleCare warrantee runs out.

  • Kage Smith July 19, 2011 Reply

    Say an electronic ‘no thanks’ by unsubscribing to unnecessary online updates, newsletters and catalog offers.

  • AMIE July 19, 2011 Reply

    Thank you so much for this great article. I am an international masters student in Industrial Eng. at POSTECH, Korea. To be honest, when I was in my country, I had very difficult times to say “NO” to my friends, colleagues and etc. But, now I am strugglying to flex my “No Thanks” muscle, for instance in light of my focus on my researches and papers, sometimes I reject my Korean friends’ invitation to eat dinner together or even sometimes to go to gym. I am not perfect right now to say No, but I am so happy to keep my efforts. Your thoughts and ideas were valuable and I am sure they will help me to keep saying “No, Thanks”. Many thanks again.

  • Matt Solum July 19, 2011 Reply

    I have to disagree with your first item, the Drug store chain card for savings and special offers and points. I am a huge couponer and signing up for one of those cards takes just a few minutes and the savings can be huge. I often walk out with lots of free items including toothpaste, deoderant, toothbrushes, mouthwash, contact solution, and on and on. I usually find the best deals at places like CVS and Walgreens and frequent them quite a bit. I also stockpile too and have saved thousands of dollars because of it. It does take a little time to match sales with coupons, but the savings severely outweighs the time it takes.

    • Sharon July 19, 2011 Reply

      I will agree with Matt on this one – the points card at Shoppers Drug Mart (in Canada) translates into free dollars that I can spend while buying items that I need to buy anyways. I can even use it for my prescriptions. Now, where this points card can get you is, if you sign up for the points credit card, you earn so many more points! I say ‘no, thanks’ to that one.

  • Ingrid July 19, 2011 Reply

    Hello All

    My favorite “no thanks” that has worked for me, (but not 100% of the time because some calls still come in) is donotcall.gov which is a registry that allows us to prevent many unwanted telemarket calls come in to our homes. I react to phone calls, I have noticed, in a way that I would not react to emails, and am working on being more in control when deciding to pick up the phone. Registering here helps, cuts down on calls.

    Ingrid
    NY State

    • Susannah October 15, 2012 Reply

      It is hard to say if DoNotCall registration has helped. One never knows how many would come in without it. I still get plenty of calls, and not just from charities and politics. The best defense is Caller ID. I don’t answer if I don’t know who is calling. If it is important they will leave a message. I broke my rule — once. It was the Children with Hair Loss, a pseudo-charity. Because I answered my fun and got suckered in by them one time, long ago, they have never stopped calling. I have gotten as many as 14 calls in 3 days. Never again will I break my rule. If the identity is “unavailable” then so am I!

  • Barb Chamberlain July 19, 2011 Reply

    Answering the phone automatically. As with email, if you let calls go to voice mail and then deal with them in a batch you can stay focused. My problem with that is that my job includes media relations and I have to be available to reporters, so I can’t leave them in the queue for too long, but putting the phone on “do not disturb” and turning off the ringer on my cell phone gives me a block of quiet time.

    Checking for text messages. I’m incredibly guilty of this; I call it “parenting by text” because I check my phone regularly if my teenage daughter is out. But the rest of the time I don’t need to check as often as I do.

    Overthinking your comments on a blog post so you can impress others with your wit and insight. ;D

    @BarbChamberlain

    • Peter Bregman July 21, 2011 Reply

      I love the idea of saying no thanks to an incoming phone call. I’m always more productive and focused when I schedule specific time to do the things that normally would interrupt me – like calls, emails, etc.

  • Jacqueline July 19, 2011 Reply

    Great list, Peter. I only object to one: clipboard activists. As a conscious citizen myself, I think it is important that we take the time to focus on what really matters. And being informed and active members of our country means taking a few minutes to sign that petition so that they won’t pass a bill to destroy a local community park. Sure, you will run into some crazy petitions out there that are not worth your time. But no one is paying clipboard activists. They obviously think it is imporant enough to waste their Sunday pitching this. So maybe we should th

    • Barb Chamberlain July 19, 2011 Reply

      As a long-time civic volunteer and occasional clipboard carrier, I agree with Jacqueline. We DO have “paid clipboard activists” in Washington state, so I ask if they are paid signature gatherers because the true volunteers merit more of my attention. I’m also familiar with at least some issues so when they tell me the title I can say “no thanks” because I already know my position.

      We have a lot of initiatives and referenda here and it does require time to cast votes that really reflect my priorities and values. If you’re looking at a ballot and find you don’t know anything about the issues, perhaps that’s because you were so focused on something else you didn’t do your homework as a citizen. You get what you (don’t) vote for.

  • Claude C July 19, 2011 Reply

    A good way to waste no time and know when to say no thanks is to keep two lists with you at all time (I keep mine in my blackberry so I can edit them anytime I want):

    the fist list is what you need to buy; you write it as you go whenever a consumable is running short (the peannut butter jar is almost empty, you have only a few of your son’s favorite cookie left, you only have 2 garbage bags left, etc). This way you buy only what you need.

    The second is made of treats that are generally overpriced but become affortable when they go on sale once in a while (Ritz cookies, that special brand of canned clam showder) or products that you want to stock when you have access to wholesale stores (Cliff energy bars can be less than half the price compared to a sport equipement store, dried fruits are 1/3 the price of grocery stores, etc).

    You stick to that list (especially in the wholesale store), and when you want to add to the list the rule is: you cannot buy this item on the day it was added. A lot of items get deleted from the list the day after, when you give it a second thought. It works great for me and made me save lots of money. Real savings, not unneeded expenses.

  • Cynthia Moeng July 20, 2011 Reply

    Hi Peter, this is insightful, thanks!!! Particularly the lesson I m picking up is that one should focus on the most important things in one’s life and all others…delete…

  • Mauricio July 20, 2011 Reply

    Say “no thanks” when you are encouraged by your friends to have one more drink at a bar, if you’ve already thought that it’s enough the it is.

  • Azmat Nawaz July 21, 2011 Reply

    When it comes to shopping, we really need to ask ourselves “do I really NEED this?” The answer to this is usually a NO.

  • Ann July 23, 2011 Reply

    2 comments:
    re: answering phones automatically: It’s much more efficient (and professional) to answer a phone call and handle an issue than to collect voicemail messages, write down the number and return the call (often getting into a game of ‘phone tag’).

    re: warantees: When a salesperson asks of I want a warantee, I answer ‘no thank you, I self-insure’. a warantee is insurance. The clerk has absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, and does not try to persuate me. If I pass up the $50 warantee on my computer, and the $100 warantee on the refrigerator and the $300 warantee on my Air Conditioner, and the $2,000 ‘extended’ warantee on my car, then I’ve saved $2,450. Then, when my AC goes, I pay the repair bill out of pocket and I’m still ahead…I’m ‘self’ insured

  • Darcy Eikenberg July 25, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for this list, Peter. Here are two of mine–
    * Upgrading to a new phone just because your contract has expired (it’s your phone company’s best opportunity to upsell you, but isn’t your current phone working just fine??)
    * Taking the late flight out just to squeeze more time into a trip (it’s inevitably delayed, and I get home exhausted instead of exhilarated from the travel. Leave early or else plan to spend the night.)
    Thanks!

  • Haley B July 25, 2011 Reply

    I’ll add a few: anything sold door to door. Unless you want a few hours of practice saying ‘no thank you.’

    I also say no thanks to anyone that comes to my door to offer me helpful information printed by their religious group.

    And no thanks is a good policy for social invites from gossips.

    And I’m a phone call screener. If the call deserves my attention it deserves my full attention, which is only possible if the time is convenient for me (and of course the other party). I think this may be a work from home vs office policy. Or else it is a ‘I come from a huge family’ self protection habit.

  • Eric July 25, 2011 Reply

    Shirts you DON’T need to iron – say no thanks to the shirts that purportedly don’t need ironing, but in reality, after a few wearings, do (and don’t convince yourself otherwise).

    Say, “Yes, thanks.” to a laundering service which will save oodles of ironing time and will make your shirts last a longer and always look their best.

  • Jojo July 26, 2011 Reply

    I think there are two quite high in the list for me:
    -SAY NO to non-professional forwarded mails (recognizable by their “FW”, for instance), and
    -SAY NO to unclassified mails. Just like checking your mail every other second when it comes in is very unproductive, you’re also much better off by actually ruling-in all your mails so that they get immediately assigned to their most appropriate folders. E.g. all mails with the tag “marketing” or from immediately get placed in the folder “Marketing”. This will make sure that not only your mails are properly classified for your prioritization reading, it will also assure you a better retrieval when searching for that important mail…

  • Jojo July 27, 2011 Reply

    One I particularly find useful is SAY NO to unclassified mails. You can always tag people (e.g. Mike, the Marketing Manager) to a particular folder, just like the newsletters can go to a GENERAL mailbox folder that you only browse through at end-of-weeks.

  • Alex Gitlin July 27, 2011 Reply

    Thank you, Peter, I love this idea, and your list covers distractions that come from devices ( TV, Computer) businesses ( stores, clubs) , and strangers ( Facebook ‘friends, clipboard activists).
    I would expand the list to include the (sometimes) lovely distractions that come from our closest friends, family and co-workers.

    No thanks, I won’t watch the new summer blockbuster with you – even if that’s what fathers do with their kids. But please tell me later how was it different from the last years summer blockbuster.

    No thanks, I won’t work on a weekend – even it costs me a promotion.

    No thanks, I won’t stay up discussing true love, world peace and ultimate truth – even if that’s what friends do. I’ll go to sleep.

    … and the ultimate ‘No thanks’ : No thanks, I won’t post a comment on a blog post, I’ll go back to work 😉

  • Allison Berryhill July 31, 2011 Reply

    Great list. Add “No thanks” to Tupperware/jewelry/lingerie parties where a product will be shown/sold. If you are indeed friends with the host, invite him/her over for a genuine hour of coffee and conversation–sans the sales pitch.

  • […] no downside to saying, “why not?” Because there’s almost always a downside. See Rick’s NO THANK YOU list  to get a few nuggets of […]

  • Anita Jefferson September 7, 2011 Reply

    Say “No Thank You” to guilt trips. Guilt is a wasted emotion. Once you have made a decision, based on your passion, then remain focused on what you must do to achieve your goals. Delay the distraction. Never feel guilty for living true to what is important in your life.

  • Rashmi September 14, 2011 Reply

    Peter, Did you just say “No Thanks” to facebook? I have always wanted to do that but I never get to know what others are upto otherwise, What do you think is the best way to stay in touch if we do a No Thanks to FB?

    • Peter bregman September 14, 2011 Reply

      Hi Rashmi – I do say no thanks to most Facebook – I still use it to announce articles and may use it more to communicate with readers – but if it’s more of an energy drain then energy source, say no thanks. For most communication, I use email and phone.

    • Susannah October 15, 2012 Reply

      I have thankfully said mostly no to FB since it began. But I do have 2 friends – just so I can see pictures of my grandkids. When I see how much time I waste with following just those 2, I can imagine what happens to people who have many contacts.
      Even worse than the time it wastes, I find the entire concept of FB repugnant. It is being used as a way to mass communicate with people rather than calling or writing personal letters or emails. If you care about me as an individual, don’t send me the same thing as you did to 25 other people who have different interests and needs. I think FB is like the ultimate xeroxed Christmas Letter. I understand why it is efficient to recap the (important only) news once a year in a mass mailing (hopefully, with personalized notes appended). But on a daily basis? Really – you have time for that? Unfortunately, I don’t have time to read it.
      As an illustration, I offer this (unfortunately true) anecdote. My co-grandmother (an in-law) told me how shocked she had been to suddenly discover a nephew had died a few months earlier. She called his sister to find out why she hadn’t been told of the news. The answer? “But I put it on Facebook!”

  • jane October 11, 2011 Reply

    Great list – I say “no thanks” to:
    – interrupting a meal at home or a work discussion by jumping up to answer the telephone.
    – indulging colleagues who come to ask a question or have a work conversation as I am leaving the office at the end of the day. At rush hour, a five minute delay leaving the office can mean an additional 30 minutes commuting time.

  • Monwar Hussain October 27, 2011 Reply

    I am a huge fan of Peter. I do, however, take his feedback as – surprise – *his* feedback. Relevant to the person Peter his, to his ‘calling in life’. I am infinitely grateful to him for sharing these ideas with us, though!

    In that vein, reading this, I found some of his concepts – ‘unacceptable’. Such as considering detaching myself from Facebook. I know, that is an initial impulse, and we need to look deeper into Peter’s point: “he wants us to follow our priorities.”

    But then, *I* set my priorities. No, I do not do it consciously all the time. But I know certain things result in ‘greater happiness’ for me. These are tied to my ‘life values’, I assume. I attach a very high value to ‘serendipity’; and I have a certain skepticism for ‘efficiency’.

    The summary of my comment is that I am conflicted about what Peter says. Because he leads a certain life, and whereas that might be fulfilling to _him_, _I_ might not want such a… sometimes ‘carefully rationed’ life. My apprehension in following some of Peter’s advice lies in that: I am not Peter, and I need to bring in my perspective and apply accordingly. 🙂

    ‘No, thanks’ is terribly important, by the way, and Peter’s reminders, and more so – my life experiences, have made me realize that.

  • Steve October 27, 2011 Reply

    I just spent 15 minutes perusing this NO THANKS list and some of the comments. Thanks a lot !!! No really, it was interesting, so time well spent. Although typing up this comment is probably a waste of time.

  • I work with people to ensure the “No thanks” list become no-brainers. There is definitely life and a juicy bunch more beyond the first 27. Those clipboard activists are often friends of mine. I still don’t stop for them unless legislation is at stake. Many street activists want us to make a snap decision about giving money to X nonprofit. I recommend a different snap decision: check out how X uses its money on Charity Navigator (put it on your focus list). Make a small initial gift if you like what you see. Giving away money repays focus in many ways.

  • […] practice that draws upon both approaches to increase self-control is creating a “No Thanks List”. I learned this from Peter Bregman’s book 18 minutes. His list outlines a set of scenarios […]

  • Leiah July 17, 2012 Reply

    At clothing store checkouts when they ask, “Can I get your email?” I ALWAYS respond with “I’d rather not.” And that’s usually it. A few times they have been pushy, and then I’ll tell them I only have a work email and it’s not appropriate.

  • Agnieszka October 17, 2012 Reply

    How about: “No thanks, I will not read yet another blog entry by Peter Bregman when it’s 11 p.m., I have to wake up early and go to work, and my 15-month-old wakes me up three to nine times each night?” Go to sleep and read the next blog entry next evening. 🙂

  • […] No thanks – when to say no!  (thanks to Chris Brogan for sharing this post from Peter Bregman on Google+) […]

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