As I’m sitting here, on a beautiful sunny Saturday (which is pretty rare here), I am running my experiment and wondering, why am I here? Not in a big picture, philosophical why am I doing research why am I here, but why am I in the lab on a Saturday when I can do this later?
Then I realize, I prefer to do things one at a time, and that I’m a suck it up and finish it kind of person.
Right now, I’m scheduled to finish my experiment at the end of July/beginning of August. This involves being in the lab almost every day*. I realize that I could probably run my experiment during the week or only 6 days a week, leaving a day a week for life (read: laundry and grocery shopping), but I’d much rather just get it finished. Note, that my experiment doesn’t actually require me to be in every day.
I realize that I totally could burn out at any moment… which is the major drawback to my method.
I see it as a tradeoff, I could hurry up and finish, which would lead me to finish collecting data sooner. This would then let me analyze it earlier and possibly write it up sooner. However, I might just go crazy doing it. If I set up a schedule with regular breaks, it may take me longer to collect data, and therefore take longer to do all of the other stuff, but I might keep my sanity. Either way it has to get done.
I also apply my hurry up and get it done with other things too, such as grading, doing laundry (because I also let it pile up), and reading. Maybe I just suck at balancing multiple things at once…
What do you prefer to do? Do you run full speed on one thing, like me? Or do you pace yourself?
*those days that I’m not in the lab, I’m going to a wedding and moving (note to self: start packing)