A few weeks ago I decided to get a handle on my summer by setting myself some goals (thanks to Flora Poste for giving me the idea!) . I’m a very target driven person and also prone to floundering without a schedule (someone remind me why on earth I wanted to do a PhD?) The aim of the game was to make SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound). In other words I set myself a whole bunch of tasks to be achieved; some big, some small; that would help my PhD in a noticeable way, and that were supposed to be complete by certain deadlines. The end of July was one of these deadlines.
My first recap of #summergoals was pretty successful. The end of July… less so.
* PAG 2013 website successfully stalked. Four relevant people duly found. At which point supervisor turned around and said that he thinks if I’m planning a talk for January my labwork will stall over Christmas. Annoyingly, he may be right. Le sigh. Poster for me.
* Have sequenced 30 plasmids. Not even close! Had a bit of a failblog.com on this one and need to go back to square one.
* Picked a topic and started writing something for the New Scientist competition. Haven’t even thought about it. Eek!
Close, but no cigar
* I wanted to finish round one of qPCR using the wild type tissue. Well… define round 1 😉 I have got the first plate done, and have the results I wanted (more or less) but need to do the repeats. Annoyingly, at 84 samples a time I am going to run out of Master Mix. I’ve ordered more, but I may have to wait.
* RNA extractions and clean up. This I haven’t got done, because I couldn’t do it until I’d finish the qPCR. But if I get my act together then this will be done by the end of this week, or maybe Monday since I won’t be in on Friday.
* Recorded a 2 minute summary of my research for the chance to have it animated by Jorge Chan of PhD comics. Have this written out, just need to record it. Fast, cos the deadline is today!
Well I didn’t do as well as I hoped. But that’s probably because my goals weren’t SMART. When I was goal setting I forgot that I would have two days off for a wedding, one day off for a funeral, be dog-sitting for two days in between (and therefore get in late, leave early, and have to dash home at lunchtime to check that chocolate dog was not actually withering from separation anxiety).
I essentially lost an entire week. I needed to plan more carefully based on the time I actually had. With the qPCR stuff I’m actually only a few days behind (because of these other things), so I am not worried.
With the plasmid stuff… I was counting on getting lucky and I didn’t. Never count on getting lucky with science! Still, I’m happy with where I’ve got to, and can hopefully now get my head down and finish the data collection for this chapter.
As for the non-science stuff… I’ve managed to mess up my back again, so running is still not happening, and nor is trampolining really. (Somersaults + Slipped Discs = Nono!!) But I have physio tomorrow, and hopefully she will fix me! In the mean time I have a fridge full of sausage meat ready to make some sausage rolls. Pics to come…
Quite intrigued to see how everyone else’s #summergoals are coming along?