If you want to be productive don’t start the day at your computer – Thursday 7th April

I arrived this morning at 9am and decided not to sit down at my computer. I had lab work planned and I always have a more productive morning if I just get straight in the lab. Does anyone find that? The computer just seems to suck up your time no matter how disciplined you try to be?

I was in the lab running gels, extracting DNA and setting up growth curves until 11:30am. It was a really solid morning and I felt I’d earned myself a little internet browsing time. I actually ended up using the time to download all my brilliant club assignments. With the delay that exists in the system we have a cut off of ~11am the day after their deadline before we begin marking things as late. Inevitably there are also always a few panicked “I couldn’t log in” and “I sent it but it didn’t send”… So I spent a little bit of time sending reassuring messages of “don’t worry I have your assignment” and “it’s OK you’re assignment’s not late”. After downloading the assignments I send off two that will go to a moderator as well as my notes for the moderator which list any reasons why I might deviate from my mark scheme e.g. we didn’t cover this topic in as much detail as I planned so I won’t mark students down for not doing xyz.

After that was all done we went for lunch at 12:15pm and when I came back at 1pm I threw together some slides for our weekly meeting. I haven’t been to a weekly meeting in about a month because of holidays, conferences and Brilliant Club tutorials. Putting slides together made me realise how much work I managed to get done last month before the conference. I also had the chance to show off the new analysis of my data that I’ve been working on this week.

We kicked off our meeting at 2pm (well more like 2:15pm by the time everyone was assembled with coffee) and didn’t wrap up until 5:45pm. A long meeting but we had a lot to cover. Finishing that late meant I wouldn’t get my overnight PCR on and make the next train, but I decided to stay anyway. I had my PCR on by 6:30pm and used that last half hour to get some admin done.

I left for the day at 7pm, feeling like I’d had a pretty solid day. Tomorrow, without a meeting, I already feel like I’ve gained some extra time, so hopefully it’ll be productive. Until then everyone, thanks for reading.


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