Beating overcommitment, but not really

I have a tendency to do overcommit myself. I like going to conferences, collaborating and starting new projects so usually there is a lot going on all at once. But right now I have to cut back on these things otherwise I'll never graduate. Must focus! All attention on graduation!* It is really difficult to say no to people, particularly when I really want to do other things. So what have I been turning down?
1) My 10 year high school reunion
2) A conference in a beautiful place in Mexico the weekend my draft is due to the dean (there was even travel money available!)
3) An invited seminar tacked onto the end of that conference
4) Another conference that my collaborator (who is organizing a symposium) is trying to talk me into going/contributing to. This is the week I am hoping to defend.
5) My departments' informal student seminar series (not so much a turning down as a refusal)

There are some things that I just can't say no to/give up so the Grackle and I will be heading to our Mighty Midwest Hometowns for a wedding later this month. We are also hosting some friends visiting in October. 

On the work end of things, I heard back about my final paper that was submitted this summer. This was the second journal I've sent this paper too (first submission was in Jan 2007). The reviews from that first journal were so bad that I was told there may not be anything to salvage from the work. Salvage, I did! And this time the results were a bit better- two out of three negative reviews, yet we are still got that lovely gem of 'reject but resubmit'. 
I really don't have time for this right now but can't really say no to it. Hopefully the reviews will seem easier to handle after I ignore them for 2 days but they still are going to say, 'test more dots' and 'test a different type of dot'. I no longer have access to those dots so if the editor really, really expects more dots, we are in for a flat out rejection. It just seems weird that we were asked to resubmit with these major additional experiments. The editor does similar tests and knows that redoing them in the time frame for resubmission is impossible. The worst part of this is the time frame- we have 6 short weeks to resubmit. 6 weeks! They have had the paper since June (12 weeks to be exact) but we don't even get that long to rewrite it? 

So, what to do besides bitch about it? I sent it to my coauthor, who is also getting to the end of her PhD and has a habit of not getting back to me for months at a time (between her fieldwork, her husband's fieldwork, and sometimes just being a flake). Surprisingly, she is in the country and sees this as a worthwhile endeavor. I'll have a true re-vision of the paper in 3 days (because she is an amazing superstar when she actually calls me back). We will have to write some strong rebuttals and hope for the best.  

*And, uh, blogging. With a side of football. But I can totally work and watch football at the same time. 


ScienceGirl said...

I too think it is time I learn how to say no; glad you are doing it and focusing on graduation!

EcoGeoFemme said...

It sounds like you have a lot on your plate in the coming months. Good luck!

And too bad you had to turn down that conference in Mexico, with an invited talk to boot!

botanybabe said...
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Albatross said...

SG- You also have a lot going on! I like to think it will set me up for the future with multiple projects/grants/students =)
EGF- I know! It is a really beautiful natural area too with all sorts of endemic endangered species that I wanted to see...