First really busy week and thoughts on working multiple projects vs more single-minded thesis focus

This turned out to be my first really busy week at work. The previous week had been reasonably packed with IRB paperwork (new and renewal submissions, fun times), but that was mostly hurry-up-and-wait with frantic emailing and then waiting for paperwork and signatures from other people. On that Friday I had enjoyed a great research meeting with my two long-distance coworkers and came up with a plan for getting more involved in several ongoing and upcoming projects. 

This week started off with numerous IRB document edits from our compliance officer (new templates for the renewals, yay), and then progressed into a barrage of very exciting, but overwhelming, project summaries for the 2 projects that I’ll be resurrecting and the 4 that I need to check data, etc. for and potentially push forward with. Those emails prompted more emails to coordinate specimens, inquire about clinical data, collaborate on data processing with my long-distance coworkers, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever sent/received more emails than I did this week, and I did a good bit of hard reading and thinking on top of all the back-and-forth. I was alarmingly fried by Thursday afternoon. 

Luckily, we had some data to process on Friday so I got to spend the day listening to podcasts, tracing hip bones in Mimics, and avoiding all human interaction. A lovely stress-free day for this introvert 😉 

I realized this week that I will need to work on efficiently balancing the multiple projects that I’ll be working on. In grad school, I balanced courses, TAing, and research, but rarely had multiple research questions to work on concurrently. Now I have half a dozen projects with which I’m not very familiar and really need to play catch-up on. I have a feeling I’m going to have lots of weeks that end in total brain fry on Fridays. At least I can now spend my weekends recovering outdoors with minimal guilt!*


*Except for occasional weekend data collection sessions, but that’s at least more stimulating than sitting at my desk 😉

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