It is understandable that when a friend needs help that we want to try to be there for them. We say yes when we really don’t have the time. We commit months in advance. Then, we forget either because we didn’t write it down or it just completely slipped our mind (maybe because what they needed wasn’t our top priority). What do you do when you offered to help out with something but now find that you won’t be able keep your word and follow through? It is really simply. Just be up front about it.
There was a project I recently agreed to work on. After getting all the subsequent meeting dates, I realized my current schedule did not allow me to make the commitment needed to complete the project successfully. I wrecked my brain trying to see how I could make it all work. Although I was making real progress in keeping a balanced schedule, I had to come to terms that by agreeing to do this project I had overcommitted. In order to keep my balance I had to pull out of the project. Since I was looking ahead at my schedule I was able to let my friend know up front. If I had not done this early, I would have overexerted myself and disappointed my friend.
Keeping your word is important. It is a matter of showing someone respect for their time and it let’s them to know that they can count on you which in turns builds trust. If you can’t keep your word it is just best to be up front about it and just say it.