It's the start of a new academic year and that means the time to get our your planners and start setting goals! But, it's also a good time to remind yourself that you can say no.
I'm talking to you PhD candidates and early career academics!
This year, I'm saying no to things because I want to maximise my time, and put myself in the best possible position to get a permanent job.
That is to say: a permanent academic job is my ultimate goal, and everything that I do this year will need to fall into one of three categories:
1. Things that will directly help me achieve my ultimate goal.
2. Things that might indirectly help me achieve my ultimate goal, but that I will enjoy, or think are important.
3. Things that probably won't help me achieve my ultimate goal, but which I really want to do and am happy to take the time hit over.
And, in addition to that, I have set myself the requirement of articulating exactly why each Thing will help me (either in terms of the ultimate goal or in another way), and also and very importantly of thinking about how things will positively impact my life more generally. Does Thing fall into category 1, but will probably make me miserable? Then sorry - I'm going to say no.
So there you have it. I'm going to be saying no a lot more this year. And I'm hoping that it will lead to some good results both in terms of achieving goals, but also in terms of being happier, healthier, and a better colleague, friend, family member, mother, wife, and person. (But, like, no pressure!)
Are you saying NO this year? What are you categories, rules, or checklist items? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!