Balancing between writing & labwork

  • As soon as the labwork started, all other tasks suffered. Of course if the situation changes, you will have to adjust your planning, but somehow my mind was not ready to compromise. As a result, I kept on trying to write in the same pace as before.

    Of course this was doomed to fail since I now only had three days for writing two manuscripts and checking up on my students. In addition, I needed to make a very detailed planning to be able to perform experiments in the lab on the other two days. Labwork of course also results in new data that needs to be processed and analyzed. So my writing time became very limited. On top of that I stopped working in the train, because I am ussually very tired and besides that its very uncomfortable due to the obligatory mouth masks...

    In the past I did manage to perform all these tasks in parallel. However, the lockdown period also changed the expectations of the people around you (including my supervisor). Besides that, people I collaborate with also had the time to sort out all their data and plans for experimental work, so its not only my own experiments that we are planning now. Of course its a very exciting time as well, because we are finally able to check our hypothesis! Together this gives me mixed feelings.

    So in conclusion, I am still in search for a way to balance my tasks. The main thing for me is to accept the change in productivity, which is slowly shifting back from writing to labwork, and more importantly to communicate that to the people I work with, starting with my supervisor.

    Hope you are able to find a new balance as well or manage to keep on writing (in case you're still working from home). Keep up the good work and don't forget to take time to relax!

    Cheers, Dr. WOO

    P.S.: This is a repost of the original blog on