You well know from my posts how stressed and over-loaded with work I have been in the last few years. You also know that I am getting better at saying NO to things that do not serve me well.
Today I have got two invitations. I checked their requirements and decided to accept both of them. Is it extra load of work? Yes. So why did I accept them?
Well, one is from an organization that I volunteer. It is important to keep contributing to this organization, which has been fantastic for my professional development. My own organization is very supportive of volunteering in that one as well, which is a plus (my efforts are appreciated and approved by my own employer). Also the work they want me to do is minor when compared to what I usually do. As a matter of fact in a couple of hours, I had read the document and extracted the main points to write in my report. I must also say that this is probably the only organization/committee I have worked with that has an appreciation for your time and contributions. This always softens my heart and makes me more motivated to contribute to them. Never underestimate the power of “Thank you” and spontaneous appreciation, which are expressed when you do not expect it. Awesome.
I feel good about this.
The second invitations is more important, however. It is from an international organization! Yet another recognition for my contributions to the field, my friends 🙂 It always feels terrific to get these emails asking for my help and vesting trust in my capabilities. Their work is a little bit more extensive, yet the time period they give me (almost a month) is much longer than many, so I gladly accepted their invitation.
One more case to show my organizations what a well-recognized expert they have 🙂
I feel great about this!
I am, however, very much interested in saying no to anything else in the next while. I have already refused one problematic committee’s request to return back and I do not mind saying no to others, which are not likely give me as much pleasure as the ones I described above do.
With all of these being said, one of the things about doing tens of reviews of reports for other organizations is that it becomes easier over time. I have another task at my hand, for a national organization. It is extensive but I was able to gather my strength as this is the second year I am involved in this process. Last year was hard, but this year I am wiser. I partition the work I must do and move it whenever I find small time, often at home. I do not stress or sweat about it, knowing the experience and expertise I have from last time. Nevertheless, I really hope that I will not do that anytime soon again.
The lack of time compared to the workload makes me stressed, but then there are positive developments as well. I focus on simplicity now in my work. I also dislike my several looks at the same document and rather focus on having one (for a general scan) or two (for polishing and catching the details) looks, and then move on. I know that my work is still of high-quality but taxing me less, so it is another win-win situation. I as usual try to get ready for an important work by starting and improving it over time – this greatly helps with the quality, especially if it involved learning new methods or context, which I find is best described when there is time to digest the information.
Nevertheless, I cannot wait till the summer vacation so that I can get away from all of these 🙂