10 Time Management Tips from 3 Tired Grad Students

Grad school is hard. There are classes to teach, endless experiments to troubleshoot, apartments to clean, grants to write, groceries to buy, friends to see, reading to stay up to date on. Luckily, through trial and error, we’ve come up with some great time-saving tips for new scientists out there! Enjoy.

1. Start an extracurricular blog. This will likely take up more time than you could have ever expected, but it will be fun. The fun will make it hard to stop spending time on the blog, but the time will make it hard to have fun in general.  

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Pictured: Maya Emmons-Bell blogging when she should be working.

 

2. Think about reading a book. Remember when you used to read books? Spend some happy moments reminiscing about your book-reading days. Then move on to your real obligations.

3. Multitask! While you’re holding office hours, use the time your students spend talking at you to read up on new experimental techniques. This will ensure that you complete both of these tasks poorly.

4. There is no time to be hungover or sick. Invest in an industrial-grade stockpile of gatorade and cough medicine.

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Back on your feet, kitty! Your thesis experiments won’t do themselves!

5. Try your best to incorporate your own research into your class lecture, so that you don’t have to be secretive about where your real priorities are.

6. Do not — repeat, do NOT — read self-help articles that promote “exercise” or “healthy eating.” You’ll just give yourself ideas.

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Give up, kitty. Go split your cells.

7. Every milligram of caffeine you drink directly adds ~1 hour to a standard 24 hour day. This has been scientifically proven. Drink up.

8. It is of the utmost importance never to leave your house or laboratory without your new security blanket: the comfy company of a lukewarm, caffeinated beverage. Forget your thermos at home and suffer the consequences.

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Coffee cures all ailments, including bad time management.

9. You will probably start to have trouble sleeping, because you’ll be so excited about the endless workload waiting for you in the morning. Harness that extra time! Insomnia can be very productive.

10. Once in awhile, pause for a moment, and take some time to realize that you’re making new discoveries about the nature of reality that no human being has ever known before. Remember how lucky you are to be probing the limits of human knowledge, and that being a scientist is a cool job, however occasionally stressful! Take your stress out by writing a whiny, satirical listicle. Rinse, repeat.

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Yay science!

 

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