Wrapping up in the lab before Christmas

Just like Santa and his Elves are rushing around to get all the presents ready, it’s the final week of lab work before Christmas and grad students round the world are also rushing around trying to finish off experiments and writing goals before the festive break!

The organised amongst you are probably already winding down, but if you’re a final year student like me you’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it before the lights are switched off and lab doors locked for Christmas.

So rather than getting stressed about everything I ‘need’ to do but am just not going to have the time to do, I am asking myself one question:

Can it be left until after Christmas?

A lot of these things on my ‘To Do’ list are just things I WANT to finish before Christmas so I can start a fresh in 2018 rather than finishing up loose ends, not things I NEED to do. There’s a few of those but not many so I’m prioritising those few experiments and leaving the rest until next year and avoiding that pre-Christmas panic! Plus – my supervisor isn’t here this week so I don’t need to be doing full days anyway! After all its Christmas – and I’ve got Christmas shopping to finish!

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But it is surprising how much you will forget between this Friday, or whenever your last day is, and the day when you head back to the lab in January, so another key thing I’ve been doing in this final week before Christmas is tying up loose ends and planning ahead.

Be prepared for 2018 and your return to the lab.

I’ve been making a list of all the experiments I am not going to do this week and more ready for January so I’m not totally flustered when I return. In fact, I’ve even planned what experiments I can do each day for the first week, so I can work out where I am and pick up where I left off. It also means making sure my lab book is completely up to date before I leave otherwise there will be key info that I will probably forget if I try and do it next year. And any thoughts of hypotheses and future research experiments I am writing down now so I don’t forget what my big ground-breaking idea was!

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So, my advice to you for this last week wrapping up in the lab before Christmas is:

โ™ฅ focus on what you have to do & what can be left

โ™ฅ focus on setting small goals this week so you can get excited for Christmas

โ™ฅ focus on setting yourself up for the start of 2018

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So, this is my penultimate blog post of the year before I take a little time off to spend with family and friends around Christmas and New Year. Then I will be back with a Big Bang and more exciting projects in the new year.

 

 

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Soph talks science has been nominated in the UK Blog Awards 2018. If you loved this fun post and the rest of my content I would really appreciate it if you voted my clicking on the image below! If you love my blog that much, please get your friends and family all to vote too! It would be the greatest birthday and Christmas gift if I managed to get through to the next round! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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Science love.

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