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My word for 2019: NO

I have the hardest time saying NO. While I am an incredibly busy person, I am also someone who works super fast. As a result, I tend to overestimate how many things I can do, and end up saying YES to things I should have said NO. No longer. This year, for the very first time in a very long time, I was able to say “NO” to peer reviews. Remember, I’m a journal editor. Saying “NO” to peer reviews makes me feel really bad because I depend on others’ willingness to say YES.


Creative Commons: Duncan C on Flickr.


I’ve said YES enough. I’ve supported dozens of journals (both those on whose editorial board I am and those who are random). Sometimes I feel that I am asked to do more service because I don’t say NO. But this year, I’ve said NO to meetings, NO to peer reviews, NO to additional writing commitments, NO to conferences (yes, when did you hear me say NO to giving talks or presenting papers at conferences?), NO to anything that could potentially derail me from my objective (which is to finish 3 papers that I have on R&R).


So if you are receiving a NO from me right now, remember – I still love you, but I have other commitments and it’s time for me to say YES to myself.

Ironically, in 2018 (my worst year to date) I did not do a Word of The Year exercise. In 2016 it was FOCUS and in 2017, CONQUER.

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