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The Delicate Art of Uncommitting… Tips for Success

…an excerpt from Organize Your Life – a new book by bestselling author, Susan Sly.

Graciously uncommiting is simple.  I have done it time and again in my life and guess what?  The world didn’t end.  People who genuinely wanted to do business with me continued to do business with me and ultimately I ended up feeling better.

Here are five ways – tips for success – on how you can graciously uncommit:

Find a Replacement – ‘Bob, you know how I said I would help out on the fund raising committee. I am working on a new project that is taking much more time than I anticipated.  The amount of time I have to commit right now is negligible.  I do not want to leave you in a bind and have found a suitable candidate for my replacement.’

Improve the Atmosphere – ‘Sharon, I know your party is going to be a huge success. You are such a great hostess.  When I initially accepted, I had a lot of energy.  Right now, with so many things going on, my energy is not where it usually is.  I wouldn’t want to be the ‘wet blanket’ at your soiree so please excuse me this time.  Would you include me next time?  You can send flowers instead.

If I – Would You?‘Julie, women like us are always on the go. There is no end of things on our to-do list.  Listen, something landed in my lap and it is demanding my attention this week.  If I took the next two weeks of carpooling – would you take this week?’

Matching Mission ‘Eric, your charity sounds amazing. I think the work you are doing is going to wildly successful with the right group of like-minded people.  Unfortunately, after careful deliberation, this does not match my charitable mission.  Should you expand in this area, would you please re-visit me?’

Win-Win Solution‘James, you know how I promised to come in early and stay late for the next two weeks while we finish the project? I have thought of a win-win solution.  It takes me an hour and a half to commute each day which totals almost one full workday every week.  What if I log-on and work from home one day per week so I can add those extra unusable hours.  Perhaps we can nail this and make it even better than we had planned.’


Susan Sly is a Balanced Living Strategist.  She has appeared in Rise of the Entrepreneur, on ABC Family Television, Lifetime Television and more.  She is the author of The Have It All Woman and the upcoming book – Organize Your Life.  Susan, and her husband, Chris, are the parents of five children.  Susan is available for speaking and media appearances.  Visit



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