These polite phrases can help you avoid unnecessary work

04/30/2013 | Brazen Careerist

The next time you're caught off guard by an unreasonable request for help, try asking the person how you should prioritize the new project, or say you're busy until a certain date, Kelly Gurnett writes. You can also say you need to check your calendar, and then follow up later with an e-mail declining the request. "Don't offer any elaboration or excuses; all they need to know is that you can't do it," Gurnett writes.

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