The team has grown! Very excited to welcome Joy to our group and the tremendous value she will be able to add to our existing clients. Everyone is extremely busy right now. It is impossible to say yes to everything. It is important, not only for your own mental health, but for your clients, employees and employers that you say no sometimes. You can’t say yes to every single project, meeting, invitation, etc. It will impact your ability to be effective. While “No” can be a complete sentence, there are some ways to say no without worrying about being rude or feeling guilty.

Here are some great examples:

“I’m sorry I just can’t prioritize that right now but best of luck.”

“I know you’re not asking for a lot of my time, but I need to concentrate on getting some projects done and can’t let myself be distracted right now. Best of luck.”

“I would love to help you out, but given my schedule, I wouldn’t be able to get this back to you for a couple of weeks. If you would like to have this turned around sooner, I recommend that you reach out to X. Does that sound good?”

“I would love to help you out, but I already made commitments to other [coworkers, clients, etc.] to complete their projects today. It wouldn’t be fair to them to not follow through on what I said I would do. Thanks for your understanding.”

“That’s not my area of expertise, but I would be happy to connect you with someone who could best help you solve this problem.”

“I’m flattered that you are interested in my input. I don’t believe I’m the best qualified on this topic. I did a little digging and it looks like X would have the necessary context. Would you be comfortable inviting X rather than me?”

When someone asks to ‘pick your brain’:

“Can you provide a little more detail over email so I can make sure I’m a good use of your time?”

Invitations to events:

“Thanks so much for the invite! I really appreciate you thinking of me. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to [event] on [date]. But thanks again for sending an invitation my way. Hopefully we can get together another time.”

Send in a voice message: