Ask Fred > Ethics > How do I decide the best use of my time?

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Dear Fred

Being human, we are blessed with finite amounts of time and resources which we apply towards those things and people we value most. What are some techniques of saying "no" to a valid request for time or resources when we are just not able to help? I have struggled with feelings of guilt when having to say no. Thanks!

Fred's Response

I find it very helpful to establish the areas in which I am better than average. Only in those areas will I attempt projects, whether of my own or for others. For example, I do not say "yes" to fundraising projects. Many people approach me for my influence and my contacts, but that isn't one of the areas where I say "yes." I have leanred to say "no" in areas where I am not expert and it is very important that I not say a tentative "no." Diplomacy is not helpful but courtesy always is.