Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Weekend Off

Eventually, I decided against D, but for A. (As an aside, it turned out that I hadn't really lost any sample. Apparently, I can shave about two hours off of my protocol. So, yay!) By working last weekend, I decided that I could take this weekend off. That should have been an easy decision to make, but it wasn't easy. I never figured myself for a workaholic, but I'm beginning to think I might be.

I have two main projects going on in the lab right now. One is making decent progress, it's just slow (this is mostly a function of the project, not troubleshooting). The other is just riddled with problems and it's been a pain. I've been working pretty much non-stop trying to overcome those problems and I'm stuck. I've been told by a variety of people that I should take some time off, but it's hard for me to do that. I want things to work and I'd like to (eventually) graduate. So my logic goes that if those things are priorities for me, then I should be working. If I'm not working, then I'm not making any progress and I'm just prolonging my stay here. Ergo, I should be working all the time. Burn out be damned.

Except that I am burned out and it's starting to show. Advisor all but kicked me out of the lab on Friday (not in a bad way). I asked him if it would be ok for me to leave early and that I was thinking of taking the weekend off. His response, "I'm not only not standing in your way, but I'm encouraging you. Have a good weekend. We'll get a fresh start on Monday." My response, "But..." His interruption, "Go."

8 comments:

Amelie said...

Enjoy the weekend off! Sounds like you deserve it.

Unbalanced Reaction said...

I totally understand what you mean about feeling compelled to work all the time. It's true that it will lead to burnout, but it sounds like you're like me and will work all the time anyways. What I did to combat my workaholic-ness in grad school was to plan a big, seven day trip once every summer. I always bought the tickets at least four months in advance, so I had a big goal to work for. Also, it really helped to go to a third world country, or at least go somewhere where internet was sparse so that I could truly unplug.

Enjoy your weekend; you deserve it!

Psycgirl said...

As someone who has successfully battled her urge to work 24/7, let me tell you it can be overcome!

Yay for well deserved weekends off!

Genomic Repairman said...

Sometimes, walking away from a project for even a day or so can yield big results. I had issues with some qPCR experiments for a while and I was spinning my wheels for a few weeks trying to work it out. I took a day or two off from the project, came back with a fresh mind, and got it back up to speed. Sometimes less is more.

EcoGeoFemme said...

I know what you mean. Sometimes I think, "someone who wants to graduate wouldn't be checking bloglines right now" or whatever. But it's true we need breaks, so I hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Nicky said...

Dude, if your advisor is insisting that you leave, you're definitely overdoing it. Hope you enjoyed the time off!

Jennie said...

Yeah for the week-end off!

PhizzleDizzle said...

weekends off are sooooo necessary....if you burn out, it takes weeks to recover fully to be full speed with work. that's why you have to let off steam little by little! kind of like earthquakes - the big one is avoided by having lots of little ones!

i hope you take multiple weekends off as the summer continues :).