Just Say No

Establishing boundaries, learning to say no, and staying interested to be interesting.

Victor Saad


Welcome to issue No. 16 of Work Different — a weekly summary of the top articles focused on workplace culture and career development.

On Establishing Boundaries 

Amy Kan offers a few tips on how to set boundaries for yourself in order to maintain your productivity and overall sanity: 1. Respect others’ boundaries: if you need them, your colleagues need them as well. 2. Know your limits: curb your desire to please everyone by learning to say no to requests that make you uncomfortable. 3. Take time off: there is no shame in taking care of your body and your mental health. There is no need for you to be constantly online and available 24/7, and you should not feel guilty for not responding to work requests right away if they come in during non-work hours. Create boundaries for yourself and stick to them. Fast Company.

On Learning to Say No

Too many meetings on your GCal? Are you feeling overstretched by endless appointments and requests? Andrew Wilkinson, co-founder of a company that buys and invests in internet businesses called Tiny, oversees over 30 companies and about 600 employees — he’s a busy man. Wilkinson shares a few pieces of useful advice, from his favorite email management app (Superhuman), to how to gracefully decline meetings and requests, and how to delegate and hire the most talented people on his team. Over the years, he has learned to prioritize his own happiness. In turn, he is able to improve his family’s, employees’ and community’s happiness. Give this one a read. Superorganizers.

On Staying Interested and Interesting 

Part of setting boundaries is also creating space to do more than just focus on your work. Interesting things happen when a curious person connects with a new person. A few tips on how to stay curious and how to meet other interesting people, even during these busy days: 1. The more interesting your circle, the more interesting you will be. Expose yourself to people outside of your community. 2. Listen. Really listen when someone is speaking to you, rather than think about what you’re going to say or how you can make the conversation about you. Good listeners make good learners. 3. Everything can be interesting. It all comes down to your attitude and your willingness to welcome new people and ideas into your life and your thinking. The Do Lectures.

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Victor Saad


I’m an author, educator, and community builder living in Chicago. I started Experience Institute, an organization helping college students and career professionals learn and grow through short-term, real-world experiences.

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