Micro Life Zone
Asked by halle to Dirk, Elise, Janette, Renee, Yusuf on 15 May 2012.
Keywords: day2day, daytoday, work
I am usually at work from 7:30 until about 3:30 or 4:00. But, one of the weird things about being in research (and I’m sure the others will agree with me) is that you never stop thinking about your science – so in a way I’m kind of working all the time… I often think of new ideas or things to try in the shower, or while in bed when I should be sleeping. Luckily I really enjoy my job and I don’t mind thinking about it a lot, but I still make sure I have time to relax and chill out, especially on weekends.
My hours are usually ~9am (I do school drop offs several days a week) to 5pm (2:30 on thursdays as I do school pickups then). But like Renee says, you don’t really “shut off” fully. The brain is always thinking … “Did I do that right?” … “How can I do that better?” … “Surely those two are not correlated and if so how or why?”
I’m also like Renee – my research never seems to far from my thoughts. Some of my best thoughts have been when I’m walking home from work – it is a nice walk, so maybe that is why.
My hours are pretty intense at the moment as I’m getting near the end of my PhD so there are lots of bits and pieces to finish off and lots of writing to do. I’m usually at work from 9-6pm during the week then working a couple of hours a night – the night work is usually just things like entering data, drafting, planning and trying to keep up with my work-related reading. And I have to work a bit on weekends, but like Renee, I still manage to find time to relax and do other things!
Because my bugs do not like to go hungry, when I am growing them, I have to work every day including weekends. for me, the hours depend on the experiment, some take 8 hours to set up and then the imaging needs to be done on top of that – if it is live cell imaging it has to be done the same day. I’ve also had some timed experiemnts whihc were 72 hours straight. those were loooong! I generally spend about 7-8 hours in the lab a day and then a couple more at night on paper work, writing and reading.
It depends on what you count as work. Does being on “I’m a Scientist, Get me out of Here!” count as work when I am doing it at 8pm at night?
That is one of the funny things about really really liking your work. You continue to work even when you are not “working”. When I am on vacation, I like to read science fiction books. But, I will also read some academic *work* books even on vacation. Some of my work magazines come to my home address rather than work. When I get them, I read them before reading the newspaper because I find it so much more interesting. I subscribe to lots of mailing lists. It is never clear whether reading these mailing lists are work, fun or somewhere in between. Even on Facebook, I subscribe to lots of work related groups. It is not strictly work, but then again it is a very social, networking-like activity with some work connections. Here is a mailing list from the National Science Foundation in USA that has lots of cool computer science facts that you might like: http://www.nsf.gov/cise/csbytes/
I try to go to work from 9am to 5pm, but that is very much the ideal schedule and not the real one. This semester, I am teaching a class from 6pm to 9pm. I get home late on Monday nights, so I go to work a bit later on Tuesdays. When I have lots of reading to do, I may take all my reading and go to a coffee shop to do it. If I am writing a research paper, I might decide to stay at home and write it instead of going to work.
Nobody comes around to check if I am in my office. As long as I answer my emails, as long as the work gets done, everybody is happy.
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2021