Occasionally, we’d need some time for ourselves. Whether it’s to work or to just have some quiet, having some time to oneself is very important.
However, saying “do not disturb” may not convey the message well, as it may sound rude. So, what other ways can you say, “do not disturb?”
While wanting to be by yourself is important, it’s also important to know how to pass the message to your family, friends, or colleagues appropriately.
There are different words that you can use to replace, “do not disturb.” Whether you want to be funny, or straightforward, this article is for you.
In this post, I’ll review 12 other words for, “do not disturb.”
12 Other Words for “Do Not Disturb”
Whether you’re at work or in the house, you might need to close your door to people.
But you don’t want to use, “do not disturb,” so, here are a few words you can try: ‘could you give some time alone?’ ‘Can I have some minutes to myself?’ ‘May I not be interrupted now?’ ‘I would like to be alone for now.’
Below, I’ll explain these expressions and more. You’d know how to use them appropriately.
- Could you give me some time alone?
- Can I have some minutes to myself?
- May I not be interrupted now?
- I would like to be alone for now
- I’m afraid I can’t see you now
- I can’t chat now
- I would prefer you come back later
- I’m not available now
- I can’t attend to anyone one
- I need some space to figure this out
- Can we see another time?
- I wouldn’t mind doing this alone, please
Could You Give Me Some Time Alone?
Sometimes, we just need that time to ourselves. In the home, it could be that you need to do some thinking, make a call, or you need to rest, or you just need some time away from everyone.
This is an appropriate way you can relate to your family and you don’t want to be disturbed.
Also, in the workplace, you may need some peace, or you need to make some private conversation over the phone, you can relate with your colleagues with this request.
This is a simple and polite way of requesting some time to yourself alone. When you use “some time,” you haven’t specified the exact time you’d need.
Therefore, they should understand that they need to give you a good amount of time before checking up on you again.
However, you could make it easier by telling them when to check for you, or telling them you’d check up on them.
You can try any of these:
- Could you give me some time alone? I’ll call on you soon
- Could you give me some time alone? You can check in an hour
- Could you give me some time alone? Come back in the next 30 minutes
Furthermore, if you’re not the boss in the house or at work, it’d be better if you give a reason why they should give you some time.
- Could you give me some time alone? I need to make a quick call
- Could you give me some time alone? I have to draft this proposal
Can I Have Some Minutes to Myself?
This is another appropriate way you can request to be alone. When you don’t want to be distracted from your thoughts, your work, or an engagement, you can use this simple request.
Here, “can I have some minutes? indicates that what you intend to do won’t take a long time. It’s a simple question to use instead of saying, “do not disturb.”
Using this request, whoever intended to see you would understand that you just need to be alone for some minutes. You should use this question when you don’t have much on your table.
In addition, you can always explain why you need the time with the following examples:
- Can I have some minutes to myself? I need to take care of these letters real quick
- Can I have some minutes to myself? I have to clear my table
Furthermore, this is both a casual and formal way of saying “do not disturb.”
May I Not Be Interrupted Now?
“May I not be interrupted now?” sounds like a command. It’s a very strict way of saying you don’t want to be distracted from whatever you’re doing.
It’s a good expression to use outside your workplace for your children. Telling them you don’t want to be interrupted would let them know that you’ve some very serious business to take care of.
Also, you can use this expression in the office when you’re the boss. It’ll tell your workers that you’ve very serious matters on your desk.
Here are good ways to use this expression:
- May I not be interrupted now? Can you relate that to others?
- May I not be interrupted now? I’ll be available at 3:00 pm
However, you can use this expression if you aren’t the boss, but more politely by adding please and a reason for needing no interruption.
- May I not be interrupted now, please? I can’t seem to figure this out
- May I not be interrupted now? I’ll call you soon.
I Would Like to Be Alone for Now
This is another compelling way you can phrase your request to not be disturbed. Whether you have some work to do, or you just want to be away from people, you can use this statement.
Also, you can use this expression in a formal and informal setting to keep people from disturbing whatever it’s you’re doing or intend to do.
This is an effective expression in that it states clearly and firmly that you want to be by yourself.
Stating you want to be left alone, for now, tells the person that they can always come back to see you.
You can use this expression in the following ways:
- I would like to be left alone now, I have some work to do
- I would like to be left alone now, I need to nap
- I would like to be left alone now, I have a headache
I’m Afraid I Can’t See You Now
“I’m afraid I can’t see you now” is another way you can tell people that you don’t want to be disturbed.
This one works just like the above expression to state clearly that you can’t attend to anyone, either in the office or at home.
It’s a polite way of telling someone to turn back if they come to see you. You can use this expression in both a formal and outside a formal environment.
In addition, it’s a specific statement that you say to someone who has come to see you at the moment and not as an instruction to be passed to others.
It’s a very effective expression that tells the person that you’re busy at the moment.
You can use the expression alone or in the following contexts:
- I’m afraid I can’t see you now. I’ll be on the phone for sometime
- I have a lot on my table. I’m afraid I can’t see you now
I Can’t Chat Now!
This is another effective variation of “do not disturb.” This is a very strict way of saying you don’t want to communicate with anyone.
This is the kind of expression you use for your friend or colleague at work whom you don’t want to speak to at the moment.
It tells them clearly that you want to be left alone. In addition, you can convey your message differently, depending on the tone you use.
Using this expression, someone might think you’re angry at them or transferring some aggression, although it’ll be very effective.
However, you can also use this expression with a calm tone and also give some reasons why you can’t chat at the moment. For example:
- I can’t chat now, please
- I can’t chat now, dear. Come back later
I Would Prefer You Come Back Later
You can also be very effective to get people to let you be with this phrase. It’s a polite request that tells someone you can’t see them at the moment, but they can always come back later.
Also, this is a suitable expression you can use in the workplace when you don’t want to be disturbed or distracted from a task.
Once someone knocks, you only have to say, “I’d prefer you come back later” to get them off the door.
You can also use this statement this way:
- I would prefer you come back later, I’ve got some tasks to handle
- I would prefer you come back later, I have a call to make
I’m Not Available Now
This is another expression that tells someone directly that you don’t want to see them. It’s one great way of saying, “do not disturb.”
When you tell someone you’re not available at the moment, they’d take it that you’re busy with something. So, you can use this expression in a work environment.
Also, it’d be very effective to keep people away from you at the moment. Also, when you say you aren’t available now, it entails that you’d be available sometime later.
So, when using this expression, you can indicate the time when they should meet you. Something like this would work:
- I’m not available now, see me in an hour
- I’m not available now, let’s meet at 3:00 pm
I Can’t attend to Anyone at the Moment
Another compelling phrase you can use instead of “do not disturb” is “I can’t attend to anyone at the moment.”
It works in getting people to give you some time to yourself. In addition, it’s a polite statement that tells the people that you can always attend to them some other time, but not now.
Also, this is an expression you can use as the boss. You only have to pass the instructions to your secretary or PA, and people would know not to disturb the boss.
I Need Some Space to Figure This Out
This is another adequate way you can phrase your request when you don’t want people to disturb you.
It’s an expression that can work in a formal and informal setting. You can always tell your friends that you need space to work on a project or an assignment.
When you say you need space to figure out something, your friends would understand that it is something that needs your complete attention so you can be effective. So, they should give you space.
In addition, you can always tell your colleagues at work that you need space to handle some tasks with this statement.
Can We See Another Time?
Here, you’re proposing another time to meet. When you ask the person this question, they’d understand that you can’t see them at the moment because of some engagement.
It’s a question you can always use at work or outside work. You make it easier for them by asking if they can come back to see you.
I Wouldn’t Mind Doing This Alone, Please
Here, you’re stating clearly that you want to be left alone. It’s a direct way of saying you don’t want to be distracted by anyone, and with the please at the end, it makes it more respectful.
You can use this phrase on your friends or colleagues at work when you don’t want them interrupting your work, or offering to help.
There are many ways you can say “do not disturb” without actually using the words.
When you don’t want anyone disturbing your work or your quiet time, you can use any of the above expressions to relay your message.
In addition, they’d work in both a formal and informal environment. Therefore, you can choose any that suits you.