Tuesday, April 22, 2008

So much to do, too little time...

Where do the hours in the day go?? I began my experiments upon arrival into the lab this morning and before I knew it, it was 2 o’clock and I was not anywhere near finished with the first task on my list of experiments to perform today. Time in the lab just seems to vanish even faster when reading current research articles, having impromptu meetings with colleagues, and attending seminars and vendor fairs are added to the never-ending list of things to do. Each day, I juggle these activities within only eight hours. My time is quite stunted in the lab because I have to pick up my daughter from her after school program by 6pm everyday. And while I am in the lab, I can only focus on
executing experiments. However, science does not move forward on experiments alone- data analysis and interpretation is a must.

I always intend to go home and think about the data I generated in the lab or contemplate what experiments to perform next. However, once I pick up my daughter, she demands all of my attention. Unfortunately, sometimes I pick up my daughter, look at her tired little face, and tell her, “Sweet Pea, we have to go back to the lab today.” She usually responds by notifying me that she is tired and hungry, which makes me feel horrible about returning to the lab. I feel even worse because I know that fast food will be her dinner, which is conveniently in route from her after school program and the lab. Fortunately, my lab has an adjacent break room in which my daughter can sit and color or watch dvds while I work. I periodically check on her and we are within earshot of each other if she needs my attention.

I do not like to bring my daughter to the lab; it cuts into “mommy-daughter” time. In an effort to minimize or eliminate bringing my daughter to the lab with me, I evaluated how I spent my time in the lab. Such an evaluation revealed that I do not squander time, but that I am sometimes overly ambitious by trying to accomplish as much as possible in a short time. Ambition is not a bad attribute, but I usually underestimated the time I really needed to finish tasks. I currently work to resolve this issue by spending a little time each day to plan daily tasks so that I am as efficient, productive, and punctual as possible.


RevMerc said...

but with your family blessing you and caring for you, it'll all be worth it. It already is. Cause only a moving soul can grow and transform into the beauty of tomorrow dreams.

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