I have friends and acquaintance approaching me everyday asking for input on various projects and advice on various dilemmas and my biggest challenge is turning them down. So I rarely do and I end up with a lot on my fragile plate and with just a tiny spoon (a metaphor for time) to scoop the tasty tasks with.
As a solution, I have developed a simple and honest way to take a pass at some of the requests. Below is a typical scenario.
I have just met my friend Taylor for coffee and he/she has just told me about this brilliant business idea he/she has. Then he/she drops the dreaded request!
Taylor: Please help me draft the business plan! You are so good at these things!
Me: Your idea is brilliant Taylor. Thank you for the compliment. All I do is my best. I would love to get involved as you would wish but unfortunately, I have committed myself to a host of other projects and I cannot apply myself as effectively as I would at this time. I am confident that you will maneuver without me and create an outstanding business plan for this one-of-a-kind venture!
Taylor: Ok. I wish you could write it up for me but since you are committed elsewhere, I understand. Can I then send the finished draft and get your feedback?
Me: Of course you can.
Note that I have not not cut off my dear fictitious friend completely. I have just excused myself from the heavier task using honesty, respect and grace.
What do you think of my technique? Do you have one to that works? Do share them with me.