No one has all the time in the world to accept every request that comes their way.
So it is likely that you’ll have to decline requests often if you want to get anything of substance done.
The easiest way is to say – no thanks – but it may hurt people’s feelings.
You can decline such requests by saying something like:
“My plate is full right now, and I can’t take any more projects.”
“Thanks for thinking of me. I have other commitments that take all of my time, so I won’t be able to do it.”
“I don’t have extra bandwidth so will have to say no. Wish you success with it.”
“I’m grateful you asked. My other commitments won’t let me say yes to this interesting project. Thanks for thinking of me.”
“I will have to decline at this time.”
“I no longer do this.” (when requested for investment, speaking, etc)
“I wish I could but I don’t have the bandwidth right now, thanks for reaching out!
“Thank you for sharing about this amazing opportunity. Unfortunately, the timing is not right. Please let me know when you do it in the future. Best of luck.”
“As a personal rule against – type of request – so won’t be able to do it.”
Hope this helps.