1 Dilute the 99 arrived As-primers; 2 Use Primer-Blast to check the specificity of 99 As-primers; 3 Use AlleleID to check the parameters of 99 As-primers; 4 ARGs HT-qPCR of the CCA samples; 5 ARGs HT-qPCR of the Tellus archived soil samples; 6 Order the oligo of 99 targeted fragment; 7 Regular PCR with 99 As-primers; 8 Sequencing of PCR-product of 99 As-primers; 9 Pig manure manuscript.
That’s a recent to-do list. I like to start every day with writing and checking my list, because it’s one way for me to clear the fog so I don’t miss anything important and can quickly move into “working” status.
However, there was a lot on my plate: faced with this long list of tasks, even imagining how I should manage my time to shorten it to a more refined list made me feel tired. “One by one, one by one, just pick one and focus on it first”, I told myself, and dragged my body into the lab with my tired “soul”.
Days passed. One day I found, not for the first time, that I couldn’t fall asleep, and I was staring at my to-do list. I suddenly realized the to-do list is not only helping during work time but also “helping” me after work! I couldn’t help wonder if there is a so-called work and life balance, especially for a fallen leaf who is far away from its root.
By talking to friends and colleagues, I realised I am not the only one who has this problem, and I found a solution. “There are always more things waiting for you to do, you should think about what you have done instead of what you haven’t done.” That day, I made a done list after I finished work:
1 Ordered the primers; 2 Centrifuged and diluted the primers; 3 Parameter check; 4 ARG HT-qPCR of CCA samples (1/2); 5 Conference registration; 6 Targeted fragment collection.
After this, I had a very good sleep…
To-do lists and done lists are like yin and yang. A to-do list can direct you to focus on the tasks, and a done list can motivate you in a happier and more positive way, and can be used to review the day and give you a chance to celebrate accomplishments. PhD life can be fulfilling and challenging. Balanced self-management provides comfort for fallen leaves waving and dancing in the wind. From that day on, every time I feel overwhelmed, I ask myself before I finish work, “What is on your done list?”