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