Say no more often!

You may often feel like you have to say yes to everything, whether that’s working more, doing so for less money, taking on more responsibilities, attending social engagements, covering for other people or generally doing things you wouldn’t have otherwise done.

You might feel like you’d be letting people down or that people would think you were lazy or selfish if you said no.

But this isn’t true. In fact, saying yes too often has two negative consequences. First, you develop a reputation for being an easy ride when people want to pass on work they don’t want to do themselves. Second, you end up overwhelmed as you struggle to focus on the things that really matter.

Work out what’s truly important to you – the stuff that absolutely needs to get done – and then be more active in saying no to anything that stands in the way of you being able to focus on it. Of course there are practical concerns – sometimes we need money or owe someone a favour – but when you have a genuine choice and when saying yes would jeopardise your key responsibilities don’t be afraid to utter the magic words: ‘no’.

The world will keep on spinning, no one will hate you and you’ll be able to focus more effectively.

Good luck!

P.S. In a neat illustration of this fact, I’m going to start saying no to new proofreading work soon. That’s because our bookings for the whole of July are already at 90% capacity (even though it’s still June!)

Here’s what you need to know: if you need your thesis or chapter proofread in the next few weeks get in touch now while we still have availability. Our writing check up is the only proofreading service designed specifically for PhD students, so you wouldn’t want to miss out.

What do you need to do? Click here and fill in your details. I’ll then book you in to one of the last remaining slots (don’t worry: you can amend your booking later). It’ll be one less thing to worry about.


Hello, Doctor…

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