First. Day. Back. I really thought it would be a struggle, but it turned out to be easier than I’d anticipated. I decided to start the day with a swim so I left the house at 7:30am and arrived at the office at 9:30am. I already knew today wouldn’t be much of a lab day, the first day back after a break never is. I’d say I spent the majority of the morning dealing with my ridiculously full inbox. A lot of it could be deleted, some acknowledged and the rest added to a to do list. The majority of this new to do list was less PhD related and more other admin commitments related.
At about 1:15pm I went for lunch with a friend, we caught up about our holidays, and I was back to my computer by about 2pm. I spent the afternoon tackling that admin to do list. Going through survey results to feed back to an action group I’m part of and also reading through some fairly long documents. I also got a catch up from one of the post-doc’s in the lab about a project I started before I went away. I have to admit I was really excited about this project and a bit gutted that other people would be doing the work while I was gone (science waits for no one…). As a PhD student it can be difficult to start something and then leave it to someone else, I think a lot of people can relate to this, and luckily I got a full briefing today and am back up to speed. Tomorrow I can get back into the lab and carry on with at least part of the work. Because of the nature of a thesis, with it having to be your own unique contribution, it can be difficult to share without feeling like you’ve lost something that could otherwise be thesis material. In reality this is a terrible way to work, we collaborate in research, and should be encouraged to do so.
All that admin took me until about 5:30pm when I left to get the train home, overall a successful day even if the only thing I really have to show for it is a clean and tidy inbox.
And to give you a little idea of what I did on my holidays: