We're a little crazy, about science!

Weekend work

Weekends are historically the time where I get the bulk of the work that seems to pile up during the week done. This weekend is no different and since there’s plenty to keep me busy, I am once again distracting myself by writing. Mostly because I feel like talking about what I need to do helps me figure out the best order of things to get done. Maybe it helps, maybe it doesn’t, but I like my little system.

Between the writing and the data processing there’s a lot to get done and nearly no motivation to do it. This week alone we’ve managed to collect two new datasets and I have two papers and the IRB application to finish. There’s good news though, one of the datasets is mostly finished, the second will go somewhat quickly since it’s OR experiment stuff, and the IRB rewriting is minimal effort at this point. Which is why I have little motivation to do stuff today.

Part of the reason I’m writing about this is because I’m trying to figure out if I can get all this work done tomorrow or if I should try to get some of it done today. So it’s inventory time around here. I like to think I’m good at predicting the amount of time it will take me to get something done (plus or minus). So for fun I’ll run through my process here (for posterity sake and so others can maybe find a system that works for them).

Since I have code written already to process the OR data that will be fairly fast, maybe an hours worth of work. Probably less, but sometimes data can have surprises and that can make things more complicated so an hour is a safe bet. The other dataset is about halfway done, but that’s a lot harder to work with, the data are somewhat unruly in this case (okay not really, but I can’t batch process the dataset like I can the other data).

The two papers are on hold at the moment, but that could be one email away from changing, so I count it in the work that needs to be done because I don’t want to have any surprises. The good news is if nothing comes of it then I get an extra time to rest. The papers are tricky to estimate the time for because there could be minimal changes that need to happen before we submit or there could be major overhauls that are needed. That could mean an hour or so worth of work or days worth of work (literal days).

Which leaves the IRB application. School-PI gave me a short list of semi-minor changes that need to happen before we can submit. To make life easier for me, I’m probably going to go ahead and get that done today. That will leave me all day tomorrow to get a few hours worth of work done. That will give me a nice little buffer for any unpleasant surprises that may happen if I get a surprise email this weekend regarding the papers.

And that is how I sort through the work I need to do. Now, time to get a bit of that done.


4 responses

  1. Some people (cough my mother cough) are very into the “don’t put anything off” maxim, but I think that interferes with pacing oneself. I seem to do better when I disperse my leisure time, the way you’re doing, or at least switch tasks.

    I’m glad you get a little break either today or tomorrow. Did you end up having the back-to-back OR experiments this week, like you predicted last Tuesday? Was it as exhausting as you thought?

    Liked by 1 person

    January 22, 2022 at 3:34 pm

    • I used to be that way, do the work now, but I find that I do better work (and faster work) when I feel motivated to do it. So far the switch has worked to my benefit.

      I completely forgot to update about the OR stuff! Yeah it was exhausting, probably why I forgot to update, I was blocking it out! It’s not so much a lot of work, it’s just short periods of intense stress to get something finished as fast as possible, so you feel exhausted after the fact.

      That’s actually some of the data I’m working on this weekend, I don’t like letting data sitting around because it has a tendency to build up and create a lot of work later.

      I haven’t mentioned it yet, but we have potentially three in one day (tomorrow), that will be interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      January 23, 2022 at 12:32 pm

      • Three experiments in a day now?? Phew. Good luck with that!

        Liked by 1 person

        January 23, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      • Haha thank you, we’ve done three before in a day, but never in the OR and even three non-OR experiment days are rough. I’m like 95% sure some of the people aren’t good candidates for what we’re doing, but maybe that’s just me being hopeful.

        Liked by 1 person

        January 23, 2022 at 2:35 pm

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