Well, this is just kind of a mini-rant, squeezed in between four hours of dealing with email and then a class I’m sitting in on.
Don’t agree to do something if you don’t have time or will to do it. This is where the 24 hour waiting period comes in handy. Often, you will be asked — and just as often asked in inappropriate settings — at a cocktail party, dinner, other places where business should be off-limits — if you will do X. Often, you will be asked to do X by people you like and respect, which makes it more difficult to say no (same goes for students, for me, at least). Think carefully about saying yes, because you will find yourself cursing yourself or the day you were born when you get a phone call in six weeks asking you to review 50 applications for an award. Or trying to find some way to weasel out of the work, which is not fair to anyone. Better to say no up front than to try to avoid the work later, a lesson I’m still learning.
Stay tuned for further ranting. I’m off to class bearing a hefty pecan plum cake which none of the health-conscious graduate students in this seminar will probably eat. Did I mention the dulce de leche frosting? I may eat the whole cake myself.