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?”
Sabrina Cipullo (a REMEDIATE Early Stage Researcher) went to a conference in Galway, Ireland:
REMEDIATE students and supervisors from the REMEDIATE project went to the first joint international conference of ISEH 2016, ISEG 2016 and Geoinformatics 2016 at National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway, Ireland during August 14–20, 2016. This conference was a great experience for all of us, listening to great talks and world-class speakers. It was a good opportunity to showcase our research, and meet people working in related areas of environmental science, geochemistry, geoscience, and other disciplines.
Tatiana, Diogo, Neha, and myself, in addition to Dr Siobhan Cox presented our work at the parallel session on “Contaminated land with IBN” chaired by Dr Rory Doherty. Peter and Coren presented a poster, and Coren was awarded best student presentation cash prize! Well done!
This was a good moment to share within the ESR REMEDIATE group but also to add a few more friendly faces to our network and to share conference moments, the sunny day and few drinks with Maria Nevin, Aisling Cunningham, Alessandro Singlitico, Emanuela Pignotti, and Ellen R. McGrory.
We also had the chance to explore NUI Galway with beautiful historical buildings and enjoy traditional Irish music performances during the welcome reception, and a contemporary Irish show with traditional dance. The ESR and friends tried some Irish step dancing, showing notable rapid leg and foot movements.
Thanks a lot to Dr Chaosheng Zhang for your wonderful organization of this international conference. The meeting was truly exciting and inspiring for me, we are very glad and honoured we had the opportunity to participate and we are all looking forward to coming to the next one!