There are polite tricks to answer to requests that want us to do something non-essential

The most dangerous word in one's productivity vocabulary is 'yes'The most dangerous word in one's productivity vocabulary is 'yes'
I will need to expand on this idea once I have digested essentialism

Cal Newport also raises this point, in [[Book - Deep Work.. 3 Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World]] as saying yes t...
and if we follow EssentialismEssentialism
The main philosophy explored in [[Book - Essentialism.. the disciplined pursuit of less]]

It is closely related to [[Deep Work]] and shares a lot of the same approaches (differentiating important ...
, we should be cautious from the opportunities that we bring into or lives. There are, however, some situations where outright requesting an request is impolite or impossible. In these situations, we can use some clever phrasing to prevent negative reactions to our rejection:

  • In a work context, where we have to follow request orders from our superiors:
    • Ask: Yes, what project should I deprioritize instead (this forces the superior to weight the importance of all of the tasks against each other)
  • In a personal setting, where you do not want to seem inconsiderate:
    • You are welcome to X, I am willing to do Y
      • (Can you drive me? You are welcome to use my car, I am willing to lend you my keys for tomorrow)