“I’m fully committed.”

February 17, 2023

One of the best ways of how to say no as an independent professional is definitely the phrase “I’m fully committed.”

As Oliver Burkeman noted in a recent issue of The Imperfectionist, this phrase is as firm as it is polite:

“[It] may win the prize in the long-running quest to find the right form of words for saying no to a request for your time – without leaving any wiggle room, but also without being needlessly unpleasant to the asker. … It’s stronger than merely saying you have lots on your plate at the moment, which leaves open the possibility of adding something more. But it takes responsibility for the situation, too; it’s not that the other person’s request is low in value, just that my schedule happens to be full.”

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