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Friday, January 7, 2011

Update on crazy
Monday, January 3, 2011
2010 (45)
December (9)

In need of a break...
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Finding the "Merry" in Christmas
Thursday, December 23, 2010

Down time
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The pump and science juggling act
Monday, December 20, 2010

But I don't wanna go to work
Saturday, December 18, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In reverse
Monday, December 13, 2010

Back in the lab, sort of...
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12 months of blogging...easy enough
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
November (7)

Open letter to committee head
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

By popular demand - The Arrival
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to do it all
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cabin Fever
Friday, November 19, 2010

Donation reward - new pics!
Friday, November 12, 2010

Totally non-science news
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why am I doing this?
Saturday, November 6, 2010
October (12)

Bribe time
Thursday, October 28, 2010

On the market - what to do with a priority score
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DonorsChoose - more projects to support
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh, the guilt...
Monday, October 25, 2010

Priority Score Confusion
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Working from home sucks; aka "Preeclampsia for Dummies"
Monday, October 18, 2010

Editor's choice
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let the obsessing begin
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DonorChoose - start giving!
Monday, October 11, 2010

Careful what I say...
Friday, October 8, 2010

To dance or teach...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010
September (6)

Challenges at the bench
Monday, September 27, 2010

What am I really?
Monday, September 20, 2010

A double standard
Friday, September 17, 2010

The Little Lab Bench That Could
Saturday, September 11, 2010

What I'm glad I didn't know before...
Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Round Up: 8/29 - 9/4
Sunday, September 5, 2010
August (11)

Procrastinators beware...
Friday, August 27, 2010

You don't need no stinkin' permission
Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm still alive, just buried
Saturday, August 21, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dr. O's advice to new grad students
Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Open Letter
Monday, August 9, 2010

What you should know as a new TT faculty
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

A little professionalism, please
Thursday, August 5, 2010

How picky is too picky?
Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hello LabSpaces!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
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Dr. O

After a frustrating year on the tenure-track job hunt, my eyes are still on the prize, and I've learned that sheer will might be the most important quality required for this career track.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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I'll miss you!  But I will definitely catch your other blog! . . .Read More
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Awesome Stuff

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wow, where exactly did my time, energy, and sanity go? With everything going on in the lab and at home, I'm having a terribly difficult time keeping this blog going; I can only imagine how crazy things will get in the coming months. I'm a big fan of work-life balance, but I can't seem to focus on either one these days. When I'm working on job applications, I find myself thinking about the journal club I have to put together. So I switch to working on the journal club, then the upcoming interviews for the little Monkey's pediatrician take over. And this doesn't even begin to cover the time I spent analyzing data earlier in the week, or the follow-up studies I need to begin working on Monday morning. I start working on anything, and everything ends up spinning in my head until I feel like my brain has been thrown in a blender:

blender brain

Figure 1. Seriously, this came right up when I Googled "blender brain"...gotta love the internets

In the midst of this vortex, I've found myself more dependent than ever on my organizational skillz; Hubby even joked this morning that I'm starting to make lists of my to-do lists. It's true - my organizational tendencies are in hyperdrive right now, and I don't know what I'd do without them. Which is why I find it curious that many scientists find my level of organization to be inhibitory to their creative scientific juices. I mean, how many PI's desks have I seen looking like more like this:

cluttered desk

Figure 2. Seriously????

Maybe it's the sign of an inferior mind, but I find a de-cluttered space is absolutely necessary for my brain to function. I strive to keep my bench and desk neat, and I gave in this past Thursday to organizing the piles of paper that had accumulated on my desks (notice the plural) and overflowed onto my bench. Then I packed up my bag with everything I needed for my job search, journal club presentation, and pediatrician interviews, and headed home to work for the rest of the week. Without the added distractions of the lab, I've been quite productive the last couple of days. Although I'm now feeling the urge to clean up the piles of paper accumulating around the couch (the belly won't let me scoot anywhere near our antique desk).

So what about others? Do you have a breaking point? How many piles of papers do you tolerate on your desk, and is your bench covered with full test tube racks, month-old petri plates, and used protein purification columns? Or do you clean everything off at the end of the day, leaving a blank slate to begin with the next morning?

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Professor in Training
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My desk gets progressively messier as time goes on. I am not a neat person so I don't care. I cleaned it just before classes started and don't anticipate cleaning it again until August 2011. My house is the same way ... I cleaned it yesterday. That will hopefully last for the entire winter.

Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Even though I like it when things are neat, I usually only clean as a way to procrastinate. My PIs desk looks like the one above, minus the pills that Vaseline?? So every time I go in to meet with him I feel a little better about my own situation. If he can be so disorganized and still be so successful, so can I, dammit!!

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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I saw the title Talespin and got all excited.  I thought I'd see a picture of Baloo.

But I guess a picture of a vintage Packard Bell computer will do :P  Did you get that out of an episode of Hoarders?

Dr. O
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Dr Becca, Ph.D. said:

...minus the pills that Vaseline??

Not sure what all is on that desk.  That level of clutter gives me the creepy-crawlies, so I tried to analyze it as little as possible.

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I always clean my desk at the end of the day so everything is organized when I get in the next morning. At home i let things slide a bit - perhaps tidying up every 2-3 days instead. I absolutely cannot work amoung clutter. It drives me nuts!

Dr. O
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Brian Krueger, PhD said:

But I guess a picture of a vintage Packard Bell computer will do :P  Did you get that out of an episode of Hoarders?

Hah, I was just thinking of Hoarders. Not sure where this pic came from, but I'm thankful my fear of clutter will prevent my OCD from ever landing me on that show.

Jason Goldman
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I let my desk get progressively more and more cluttered throughout the week and then on Friday afternoon before I go home, I spend an hour or two organizing and cleaning. Usually on Friday afternoon after around 2 or 3pm I become useless anyway, so it's a good way to at least get something accomplished during that time.

Dub C Med School
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I share a desk with 3 others, so I don't leave anything to clutter.  I usually end up squatting in one of the break rooms with my laptop anyway if I do need a desk.

Prabodh Kandala
Texas Tech University Health Science Center
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I understand Dr. O. Although we have separate offices outside our lab, I placed my table in the lab so that it will get easier for me. Since this is a smaller table than what our school provides us, everything accumulates. Considering that I take care of ordering and MTA's etc in my lab, my table looks more or less the same as figure 2. I organize it on Saturday and it is cluttered by Tuesday. I started attributing this to my Sunsign. Scorpions are more dis-organised.

Jason Goldman
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I should add that I also kind of hoped that Baloo would get a shout-out.

Dr. O
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@Brian and Jason - sorry to let y'all down with the title. I never watched Talespin...a little after my time I guess. But here's some good stuff from Jungle Book, its inspiration, to make up for the let-down. ;-)

microbiologist xx
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My desk and bench are messy, messy, messy. I am very good about cleaning up after myself when I use area or equipment that everyone has to use, but when it comes to my own personal space, everything is a mess. I do keep my house clean, but that's just b/c I don't want mini-mxx growing up in piles or papers, cat hair and dust. Eventually I get to a point where I can't take it anymore and I spend a day cleaning and getting organized, which typically includes throwing away at least one bag of month-old plates.

biochem belle
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Compared to many (if not most) of my colleagues, I keep a clean desk and bench. Same goes for my computer's desktop. Sometimes it starts to get a little cluttered. But I find that I'm getting more OCD as I get older/progress in science. It's especially bad when I'm stressed out and have lots to do. I have been known to go on cleaning sprees when I have 10 other things lined up behind. I'm also getting into the habit of keeping my apartment clean and fairly tidy on a regular basis. I spend much of my weekends at home, and hubby spends much time studying at home; when our apartment is cluttered/dirty, neither of us can stand being in it.

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