If you're anything like me, you probably have a hard time turning down any opportunities that come your way. Whether it's taking on a new project, heading up a committee, or tackling freelance work, I can always hear a tiny voice inside my head scream, "You idiot, you don't have time for this!" But then I do it anyway, and my work suffers as a result.
Luckily, the Freelance Switch blog has compiled eight essential strategies to saying "no". My favorite strategy deals with a problem that I have quite often: How not to be a pushover.
5. Be polite, but firm. One mistake a lot of people make is being too nice, and too wishy-washy. They might say no but make it sound like they are wavering. If you respond like that, a strong person will continue to press that request until you say yes, because they think there's a chance you are going to change your mind. You have to make it clear, if you say no, that you're not going to change your mind. But don't be rude about it. A simple, "No, I just can't right now" will suffice.