Executives know that BUSY is a polite word for “low priority”.
You weren’t too busy to go to the hospital if you were ill, too busy bingeing on Netflix, or too busy with other items on your list.
Don’t be ashamed of your choices, since you don’t have to say yes to everyone and everything. Tell them it’s just not a priority.
Or say that it is a priority but you lost track of their messages and lost track of your time. If you’re under 30, most people are quite lenient about that.
I say no to stuff not because I’m too BUSY, but because I don’t want to trade that for another hour of sleep, another hour of working out, an hour with people important to me, or a business project that is important to me.
Not everything can be important. You’re never too busy for the things that matter to you.