I haven’t blog for quite a while, it’s been almost two months that the blog became a “dead” space. And why is that you say? Aren’t you a strong, positive researcher who can effectively manage his/her time? A multitasking, multipractising science learning machine?
Oh yes I may be am, but I am not Superhuman, although I wish I could be! There is heavy pressure to junior and senior researchers from a Masters to a Post-Doc levels , to work hard and produce large amount of work , to a level acceptable for an academic publication.
Apart from the heavy workload as defined per research projects themselves, the researchers are faced with numerous administrative skills , from organised day-to-day lab supplies and maintanance to guide and support students and fellow researchers, young professionals have also to keep themselves informed on the current knowledge and trending subjects of their scientific fields.
To achieve all hese of course demands Heculian strenght and abilities. Commonly researchers are insisting on detail , resulting in an even higher workload to achieve the highly demanding level for publications. However at this stage most if not all , have their own personal lives and needs. Combining everything and maintaining a balance is difficult , if not impossible.Frustration and fatigue becomer daily companions with the researchers feeling drained. One way to go is just keep on going until burning to exhaustion or trying to balance things out by taking time off and relaxing without necessarilly neglecting work in other words prioritising.
Personallty , I am guilty as charged , I have taken for years the approach of burning out to the ground , all work no rest. This has resulted in agravated levels of lassitude , that a lot of sleep, good food and love from friends and familly cannot quickly cure.
This time though, I have taken the decision to approach things differently. A big thanks to a great friend of mine Dr.A otherwise known as Dr.Anna Charalambidou, Surrey Univerity who helped a lot to plan and organise my schedule in the week and realise that free time does mean free time and should be used for relaxation and personal reflection. Using time to relax is helping to recharge your emotional, mental and spiritual batteries that is necessary for an academic research.
I have also tried to achieve a balance in the effort I am putting in each task. A brief informal email should not taking the same amount of effort as a formal email, a report for internal use might not need that much written litterature review and discussion of other papers that are certainly demanding to the writting of a full academic paper.
Most importantly, the researchers should not fall in to the trap of guilt the typical “OMG I am doing nothing again!”. In order to function properly and be productive, we should rest so our mind becomes clear and sharp once again.
Of course all of the above can be far more easily implemented with the help and support of familly, partners and friends. A circle of niceness and love from your own people is always important and very helpful so to achieve success. For those, that for any reason are not surrounded by immediate familly and/or are single be positive and creative with your time and love your friends.
Remember to keep calm and engineering on!