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Creating Successful Leaders

By Margaret Smith, UXL:

In life, there is one fact that is without a doubt true: your time is priceless. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that time is spent on the things most important to you and your long-term priorities. Are you using your time in a way that reflects your values and skills?

In order to help you make sure that you use your time meaningfully, I’ve compiled a list of creative ways to suavely decline the requests of others. Although it’s important to offer your time and support to those around you, whether at work or in your personal life, it’s also paramount that you say “no” for your own goals (and sanity!).

13 Ways to Artfully Decline

“I’m really not the best fit for __________.”
“This sounds like a great opportunity, but my schedule is packed.”
 “Thanks for thinking of me, but I’m sorry, I can’t.”
“I really can’t do that right now, but have you considered __________?”
 “I’m sorry, but I’m only taking on work related to _________ right now.”
 “I’d like to help you, but my schedule won’t allow any new projects.”
 “It’s against my personal policy to __________.”
 “Thanks for asking, but I really can’t.”
 “I can’t take this on for personal reasons.”
 “I have other commitments.”
 “I can’t take on another project at this time.”
 “I know you would like my help with __________, but I won’t be able to do so unless/until __________.”
 “I wish I could, but as a rule I don’t __________.”

I hope that these easy responses help you to take more control of your time and your schedule. Remember, you shouldn’t consider saying “yes” unless you’re enthusiastic about the project and the way that it aligns to your values and priorities.


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