Next I created a Prioritizing Tool consisting of 10 simple questions. I posted them at my home and university office. I quickly realized I needed to either carry them on an index card in my purse or commit them to memory.
The first thing to do when someone ask you to do something is to STOP and pause. Ask yourself if the task or request aligns with your priorities. Next, pay attention to see if it feels right. If not, simply decline.
Be prepared by practicing your no in advance. For example, “Thank you for asking me to (fill in the blank) but at this time I can’t give my full attention to your project and it deserves someone who can. I appreciate your asking, and I am honored, however I need to decline.”
The less words the better. Don’t overexplain. Don’t lie. Keep it simple.