never say yes or no straight away

Home again from UmeÂ, and what interesting conversations we had, perhaps especially the informal ones, in between and round about. Today I have to try to rein in some projects and figure out what to do with some potential new ones. I find that so hard: I get all enthusiastic about new ideas or projects people approach me with but then in the cold light of day my enthusiasm may well still be there but it’s kept company by a realism reminding me of how many other commitments I already have.

You should never, ever say yes or no immediately, regardless of how you feel about a proposal or request, a friend once told me her father said. He was a professor and had had decades of experience with the university system. If you’re super-enthusiastic and feel sure this is a brilliant idea you should still say something like “That sounds really interesting, give me a few days to think it over.” If you hate the sound of something you should still do the delay-the-decision thing: “Hm, I doubt I’ll be able to do that, but give me a few days to think it over.”

Bizarrely enough I know this, I can sometimes do this, but then I’ll just completely forget. Either because I’m so flattered that someone thought of me to do something or just as often because I’m quite simply really interested in an idea. So I end up with even more things to do, just as I’m striving to limit the load to something manageable.

Hm. Is it really unstrategic to blog that? Oh well – I know I’m not alone in this, and maybe sharing it will help me do something about it. Or maybe you have other solutions to this problem?

23. August 2006 by Jill

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