One of the best things about summer is the ability to take vacation, one of the hardest is coming back to work after that vacation. About a month ago I told you I was off on an adventure. Now I’m back to work and off to a bit of a slow start. This is my thing with vacations, I’m always so stressed right before I leave trying to get those last experiments done, my lab bench organized and long term experiments covered. I always get a lot accomplished. But when I get back, especially if I’ve been gone for a few weeks, it’s like pulling teeth trying to get back into the swing of things.
This trip has been particularly hard for a number of reasons. This is the longest vacation I’ve ever taken (3 weeks) so I stopped all my experiments which means it’ll take some time before things are up and running again and I’m battling brutal jet lag (12-hour time difference). But I guess these are problems I’m grateful to have.
So what are some ways I can trick myself into getting back to work while my experiments are warming up?
- Use jet lag to my advantage! If I’m up at 5 anyways, why not be at work by 7? I am by no means a morning person, but over the last few days I’ve come to appreciate the quiet of the early morning lab. There are no distractions and I have control of the lab radio. I know I won’t be able to keep this up, but it’s been nice.
- Tackle those lab chores. My particular lab chore is cleaning the incubators on a monthly basis. With these free hours I can make the effort to get it done for the month and not have to worry about it later! Plus I now have time to go through, clean out and organize all my various storage spaces.
- Reading and writing. I always complain I never have enough time to read articles. Well here is my chance to get through all those articles I downloaded and never read. Plus I can start working on writing my upcoming manuscript.
- Make schematics. I am artistically challenged so the summary schematics in my presentations are always lack luster. But with all this “free” time I can fiddle with them to my heart’s content. Or at least until I get so frustrated I turn off the computer.
And how many of those things have I actually done this first week back? Well let’s just say I haven’t been as productive as that list suggests I should have been. But with the first week slump behind me, it should be full steam ahead going forward (I hope)!
Feature Image by GradLife McGill Instagrammer @falisha.k // @gradlifemcgill