A few weeks ago I exchanged e-mails with a scientist who’s been newly appointed as an assistant professor at a University in the USA. She shared with me the struggles she gets to deal with on an day-to-day basis. And there were plenty of them.
Many of those struggles were specific to her position. There was however the whole paragraph that listed struggles that are often experienced by scientists at all levels and stages of their career. This is what the woman wrote to me:
“The other things I struggle with are more universal. Balancing time at home with my baby along with the work load. Keeping my relationship with hubby healthy. Struggle focusing while at the office. Getting distracted by visitors to the office, and the lure of email! Not asking for help enough. Not having a good system of organization. Powerful internal negative voice. Very self-critical.”
Whether you are a masters or a PhD student, a postdoc or a young staff, you would surely be familiar with some of those. These challenges come into our work and life experience simply because of our human nature. And by increasing your awareness, introducing new healthier habits and rituals, and by being persistent with it, you can overcome those struggles.
Overcoming those challenges would do wonders to your productivity and work/life balance. It is worth making the effort!
Today I want to offer you a compilation of articles/videos I have already written and published on these topics. And I will make sure to follow-up with some more articles covering the aspects that are not yet represented in my blog.
Hope you find this collection useful and it will inspire you to take this first step and start changing how you approach your work and life reality.
Struggle focusing while at the office. Getting distracted by visitors to the office, and the lure of email!
Powerful internal negative voice. Very self-critical.
Not asking for help enough.
I hear this one so often from scientists!! A blog post is due on this.
Not having a good system of organization.
This can refer to organising your desk, papers, e-mails. I also hear from scientists that they don’t have a good system for organising themselves!
These are the most powerful techniques I teach, and are a good place for you to start organising yourself:
Morning ritual: Instead of checking Facebook
Evening ritual: Celebrating your accomplishments: a key to your success
Balancing time at home with the baby/family along with the work load.
Keeping the relationships in my life healthy.
A few more ideas on how to overcome most common struggles:
Being overwhelmed with too many projects and not able to decide which one to work on NOW even if you’ve got some time on your hands. Ending up wasting time
Seeming lack of inspiration
Not being able to say NO to others and finding yourself doing many things that you are not sure why you are doing
General feeling of overwhelm
Your Productivity for Scientists assignment for this week:
Do yourself a favour, pick one issue from the above list that you are having right now. Read the corresponding article/watch the video, and do the steps suggested!