Getting things done!

Grad school can be frustrating and recently I’ve been feeling like I’m stuck in a rut. My experiments haven’t been working, I’ve spent months optimizing procedures and I’m feeling bogged down. So with Good Friday being a holiday, and not having to travel home for Easter, I decided leave my work alone for the day and check some things of my “life” to do list.

I’m a big fan of to do lists; I use them constantly at work to try and stay organized. But I also have my “life” to do list. The things that I really should do at some point but I keep putting off because they’re not urgent or work related. Certain things like laundry and groceries get done regularly, because, well, I need to be fed and clothed. Other things sit on that list for months at a time. But no longer! I have had such a productive day, and not one minute of it was spent in the lab.

So what did my day consist of? Here’s a sample:

  • Shop for bridemaid’s shoes – Bought
  • Upgrade phone plan and switch over contacts to my new phone – Check!
  • Learn how to store contacts on gmail so I won’t have to switch them over again – Double Check!
  • Order a gift for my friend’s bridal shower (classy wine glasses) – Done
  • Sew a button back on my winter coat (and then store it away! It’s spring at last!) – Complete
  • Write this blog – Accomplished
  • Cash that cheque that’s been in my wallet for 2 months – Cashed
  • File my taxes (the deadline is coming up) – Success!

As you can see, most of my day’s achievements are pretty banal but I’m riding a pretty big high at the moment. After weeks of nothing progressing at work here are at least 8 things that I’ve succeeded in doing. And honestly, some days I just need those wins!

So if you’re like me, exhausted, overwhelmed and frustrated with your work, maybe it’s time for you to take a break as well. Check off some of those little tasks, those things that you never seem to get around to. I’m hoping this feeling of productivity will carry over and I’ll feel more energized to get back to work. Hopefully it’ll work that way for you too!

Also, last week our Instagram (@gradlifemcgill) theme was “Getting it done!” so check it out if you want to see photographic evidence of grad students accomplishing stuff!

Banner Image by McGill GradLife Instagrammer @aliisonw // @gradlifemcgill

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