We're a little crazy, about science!

End of the month crunch

It’s the end of the month and that means there are a lot of loose ends I need to tie up before the new month begins. Deadlines I need to hit, plots to make, projects due, heck I even have a book chapter due. There’s just a lot going on and not a lot of time to finish it all. It seems to be a common theme that things are “due” at the end of the month for me. This month is no different, but with school having started, it gets a little more hectic than normal.

Where the heck did this month go? I feel like we just celebrated new years and now Monday is the new month. It’s not a fun feeling knowing I have a whole lot of things going on and not even 48 hours to accomplish it all. Do I sound stressed? I probably sound just a touch stressed. Mostly because I am.

You would think that I would be used to this by now and if I’m being perfectly honest, not all of the things I have planned to accomplish this weekend needs to get done. Most of the deadlines I have are self imposed and not exactly real, but I did give my word that they would get done so I want to attempt to get them done between today and tomorrow.

The biggest thing going on right now is my grant. I’ve finished writing the third draft of it, I think we’re in a good spot, my Co-PI seems pretty happy with it, but I need to get several plots made. That can take days alone to make a good plot, but I also need to reprocess the data to give me some of the information that would go into those plots, that takes time, that takes effort, that takes writing even more new code. Which of course, means that I could end up with errors in that new code that I may or may not catch right away.

I also gave my word that I would get my book chapter edits back by the end of the month. In hindsight, I think I was being a little over optimistic, okay a lot optimistic. This grant has just consumed everything I’m doing and I haven’t had a chance to do anything else. Literally morning to night its grant writing, data processing, eat if I’m lucky, sleep, repeat. We sort of rushed into this and it wasn’t the best of ideas, but hey sometimes you have to do it. I need funding for my PhD and this was the best shot at it.

One of the other things on my to-do list is this new outreach project my main-PI tasked me with. The one I made as super complicated as humanly possible. I’ve filmed most of it, but I need to finish the filming, edit everything, dub over it, blah, blah, blah. That’s due pretty much the same day as our grant is due so I’ve got competing deadlines. Both are firm and important to make. Add to this, the video should be seen by my main PI prior to sending it in (if he doesn’t send it in himself), and I’m in a bit of a bind.

So that’s the post, the next few days are going to be as packed as possible. Yes, I’ve posted things like this in the past, but it’s important to give regular reminders that things can be a little crazy when you’re doing your PhD. Everyone wants something from you and it’s not easy to prioritize those things when they are all due at the same time. For now, I’m going to push through and get a lot of this grant stuff done. To me that’s the most important thing I’ve got going now and I can edit my book chapter in my downtime (that’s a joke, no such thing).

To anyone else finding themselves in a similar situation, good luck, we can do it… at least that’s what I keep telling myself.


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