Finding focus @home during the corona pandemic

  • On Monday morning I wanted to start my week with making a plan to help me divide my time over my projects and students. After I made my morning coffee and started checking my email I was already interrupted. One of the persons I would have meeting with in half an hour asked which video call we would use (skype, google hangouts or discord), because she was concerned that she didn’t knew how to share her screen for all these applications. I think its really nice that she wanted to try before the meeting, because usually people find out within the meeting that microphones/webcams/presentations are not workin, so I helped her finding out.

    In the end it resulted in not enough time to finish reading my emails carefully. However, as soon as my PI joined the meeting I found out that the rebuttal of my review had started. I quickly started reading the reviewer comments during the meeting (one of the few thing I do like about video calls) and understood that from that day on the six days for our rebuttal would start. After the meeting that was about merging two consisting projects and how to proceed in analysing and writing the manuscript, I had a quick call with my PI about the rebuttal. By the way in the end the internet connection of this person was so bad that she could not share her screen...

    Although the journal agreed on the topic, they thought it was not detailed enough. The comments they gave would actually greatly improve the review, but it was clear that the editor was not sure if it was worth the time and effort from their site. It even included a statement that we would be heading for rejection, however we would still get six days to respond (?) Since I don’t have any option to perform lab work or very urgent other writing work, we decided that I could spent all week on improving it by addressing the specific comments and add more detailed descriptions. Of course this will always be beneficial for us, because the editor and reviewer are both experts in the field and this will for sure improve the quality. However I underestimated that its more difficult to motivate yourself with the idea of following rejection in mind.

    To help myself to find get in my flow we finished redecorating the study room in the back of the house as soon as possible. As you can see on the picture it room greatly improved with the new wall painting \ud83d\ude0a On Tuesday the paint was dry and my boyfriend and I made this nice study corner. In addition, I made a nice planning board and cleared up some space on a separate desk for all my notebooks and drawings. I can definitely recommend to make a planning board, it gives not only a nice overview but its also kind of fun to do. This doesn’t mean that it solves all my procrastination ideas, such as making food/coffee and read random stuff on the internet, but it does help to concentrate and not overthink endlessly what I should be doing (instead of doing the things I should do).

    So basically I spend my whole week re-writing the manuscript and finding a way to keep myself focussed. I think by now I found a way, but at the start of the week I really struggled to find my focus. Hopefully I can keep this up next week when the pressure of writing is gone…

    Stay healthy!

    Cheers, Dr. WOO

    P.S.: This is a re-post of my blog. More stories can be found on my webpage