Ugh! I'd rather die than run! I'll take shopping any day of the week!
Step One: Leave the lab. If it wasn't working the other 395,000 times it won't work this time. Go home and take a nap, listen to music, go for a walk, just get the hell out of the lab. Next step, come back in with a clear mind and improved disposition and re-run the experiment. Maybe last time you didn't dilute something right and you just didn't catch it because you were mired in frustration from previous attempts. If that doesn't work, make modifications. But at some point you have to have an end point to your research where you finally throw you hands up in the air, say fuck it, and move onto the next idea that you have. You can always come back to this.
Oh and booze. Booze really helps. I keep a bottle or two of hard liquor in my desk for those days when I need top shelf therapy.
I would do what GRM mentioned. In addition, I would watch a movie that inspire me. I also jot down something for myself, something inspirational. Also write down step by step of that experiment and see what modifications can be done (I did this recently for my transfection experiments). Sometimes you just cannot run out of the lab, your work may mandate you to stay in the lab. Go to break room, make some coffee and talk to your friend who can listen and understand what you are saying. Otherwise just gossip. After that break, come start with positive attitude. Even if things don't work, you at least end the day with a thought that "You tried it again...".
I like the booze idea. Science is always better with liquor involved.
And Nikkilina, its fine that you posted here. This area was designed for discussion to be user and blogger generated in order to allow chatter in the lieu of the unidirectional tradition of the blog where I spout off random crap and you comment. This way, users can initiate posts here and post additional comments.
Thank you, good sir!
I just checked my lab notebook this morning and I have run these same NMR experiments 22 times (with tweaking each time, of course). Yesterday I set everything up and for once, every piece of equipment worked and was available. The planets were aligned and the chemistry gods were smiling down on me. Came in early this morning to look at the data and...no peaks but starting material and solvent. damn. damn. damn. I am so ready to pack it in on this one today.
EDIT: I just cleaned off my bench and found my enzyme sitting there still in the vial. Not added to the reaction mix. Even though I checked it off in my lab notebook as added.
@Zeek Been there! It's so darned frustrating when you've tweaked everything and it still doesn't work. Keep at it, and good luck!!
Yeah, Zeek, I'd probably go home and stop by the liquor store for a nice bottle of Glenlivet. Science can wait til Thursday.
@Brian The Glenlivet huh? That's pretty classy stuff! For this purpose I'd stick with something a little cheaper so you can drink more of it. I prefer Vodka!