Do ALL the Science!!!

Sep 27 2010 Published by under Academia

So every Monday morning, Sci sits her little butt down in her shiny new office, and starts making lists. I'm a list making kind of person, mostly because I'm crazy organized, but also because my brain is so over-stuffed with stupid stuff like Lady Gaga lyrics ("Eh, eh, there's nothing else I can say...") and trying to remember each aspect of the protocol I'm about to dive into that I just CAN'T remember anything unless I write it down (the worst part is when the Lady Gaga lyrics keep drowning out the protocol. DANGIT YOU LADY WITH YOUR DRESS MADE OF MEAT). Like now. If I wait five minutes I'll forget.

The net result of this is that all the stuff I have to do in a week at work (just work) is written down in a list (home can still organize in my head, but I bet that has a near expiration date written all over it). This list, for the past several months, has nearly always been composed of more than 50 items per week, each requiring, on average, between 20 minutes and 4 hours, depending. You might imagine that means that there's more on this list than can possibly get done in a week. You would be right.

I'll admit that I often just get about 20-30 of the things in my list done per week (usually closer to 20 than 30). Those are usually the ones with the nearest deadlines and/or the ones that are easiest/most fun (like data analysis or running an experiment). I remember a REALLY good week when I got 33 things on my list done, and I was SO proud of myself.

Anyway, this means that making my lists almost always results in a sense of tiredness, lack of motivation, and impending doom. I need the list. I'll forget everything otherwise. But seeing all the stuff on there every week is really intimidating. Where do I even START! Times like that I start to feel like this. I feel like I'll never be a successful post-doc, never get all my stuff done, and be kicked out of science for being forever behind.

So I emailed Mr. S citing my lack of motivation and impending descent into piles of Indian take-out and despair. In response, he sent me this:

If you don't recognize that, it's a take off on this:

Which is from one of my favorite comics in the world, written by a girl who is really awesome and who I'm pretty sure would be HILARIOUS FUN to do just about anything with. You should read her. Especially the one about the fish.

Mr. S is indeed awesome, isn't he?! I am so motivated! DO ALL THE SCIENCE!!!

9 responses so far

  • Tracey S. says:

    Hahaha...that's awesome. I am tempted to print it out and put it on my office door but I don't think people would get it here... so sad!

    I'm a list-maker too and I always have more on my list than gets done - except for one glorious Saturday a few weeks back (yeah, I need lists for home and work). What I started to do, after getting really frustrated by not getting things done, is pick 3 big things each day out of the whole list and say "Today will be a success if I... do those three things". I try make them important but doable. Then I feel better about myself even if I don't get everything done.

  • Beth says:

    This is refreshing. I guess I am not alone- how many list makers will come out of the woodwork now? This is a great blog overall, many thanks for all the good postings.

  • becca says:

    1) SQUEE!
    2) That Mr. S sounds pretty incredible.

    3) Someone needs to use that as a starting off point to create a new video to go with the aperture science song.
    Why am I still commenting when there's science to do...

  • Gerty-Z says:

    Love it! I am also a list-maker. I really WANT to be organized. But alas, I am not. So I make lists. And lists of all my lists. Sometimes my list-making becomes pathological almost. I make lists to procrastinate actually doing the shit on my lists. It is sad, really.

  • Kim says:

    love. Love. LOVE. Hyperbole and a Half.

    So much that one day I will email her and let her know how much I love it.
    It's one of the few things that form a crescendo of laughing in me. It starts with suppressed sniggering until holding it in is completely feeble and I give in to all-out laughing until I cry.
    (Similar to a "giggle loop" as seen in Coupling: only without the solemn occasion requirement.)

    Ugh. Now I'm procrastinating. Well, kinda. I'm more waiting on the autoclave. Story of my life.

  • I NEED to print that out and hang it over my lab bench! (I think I will...)

  • I just made the "do ALL the Science!!!" panel my desktop background. Because I am just like you and Allie in that I feel like I might get kicked out of Science for not being all adult and responsible and crossing off everything on my list.

  • Courteney says:

    I'm also a non-closeted liar maker. It took me a few years to break the habit of writing stuff I had already done on my to-do list just to have the satisfaction of checking it off!

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