I’m suffering from a short spate of archaeodeath blues, so an ‘archaeorant’ is in order.

Academics have lots of research, teaching and administrative duties and often whine about how busy they are. Another disturbed night of worrying about all of these has made me decide to conduct a cull. A sad moment: I have become something I hate, a personal that lets others down and shies away from exciting projects and commitments. So this morning from 4am, I have:

  • withdrawn two book chapters from publication that now urgently require minor but significant revisions before publication.
  • withdrawn my plans for an exciting monograph idea with a publisher
  • cancelled negotiating an exciting multi-authored book project with another publisher
  • ended negotiations about a new multi-disciplinary project on death and memory involving literary scholars and archaeologists
  • declined/postponed being representative for my department on a national committee
  • withdrawn from multiple conference sessions I have agreed to participate in next year
  • asked to postpone the special issue of a journal I have proposed to edit.
  • indicated with regret that I am withdrawing from my role as external examiner
  • declined multiple invitations to give research seminars and public talks, having given dozens in recent months
  • sent apologies for not attending an AGM of a archaeological charitable trust for which I serve as a Member
  • withdrawn a commitment to write a book review

Will this clear the decks? You must be joking! It just might give me an outside chance of keeping my head above water…

You may suggest that ‘taking on too much’ is a bad thing and this list is indicative of my failings to manage my time. Conversely, I have been told, busy people are the people to ask to do things and the fact I am a busy and effective person is why I was appointed to a senior professorial position before the age of 40. Take your own view dear reader.

The point is that I will be getting even busier given this only frees me up to focus on other duties I have been neglecting, or were being threatened with neglect.

My list of existing commitments is, however, even longer than those I have declined and these are very exciting but intimidating. I have blogged about many and love doing them. My extant and ongoing projects involving monographs, edited books, journal articles, conference presentations, public talks and other commitments. I fear a further cull might need to take place very soon… so I shall stop blogging about them and try to crack on with them.

Archaeodeath blues will not prevail!