The challenge of saying ‘no’ to academic requests

Stuart and Rob and colleagues in the comments lift the lid on the difficulties of saying ‘no’. Declining opportunities, prioritising current activities. I’m finding this to be a real challenge, but I now ask myself the following question – if I say no now, what difference will this ‘no’ mean in 6-12 months time? Admittedly I’m not invited to give 25-45 talks per year, but there are pressures on my time that there weren’t 4 years ago. Another academic skill they don’t teach us but we learn by doing! This post is definitely worth reading.

Progressive Geographies

Last year Rob Kitchin had a short post on his blog ‘The View from the Blue House’:

Over the past couple of years I’ve been getting more and more invites to do work that extends beyond my usual day to day work.  This last week has bought it home to me that I really need to try and put a strategy in place to manage how I deal with these requests.  Excluding spam, I was asked to: edit a handbook; write an op ed; review two papers, one grant application, and a set of document for a municipality; present five invited talks; attend six other events; and give six media interviews.  That’s over twenty additional jobs, which collectively would take up more than a working week in time, only one of which provides any recompense.  My inclination is to try and be helpful and do as many as I…

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