So today is the last day of term for the undergrads but University life goes on for the rest of us, admittedly much more quietly, but still we’re here working away. I’ll be here for another week and then I’ve booked off 2 weeks for Christmas. I’m only actually using 2 days of annual leave (of the 24/year full time PhD students are entitled to) as the University has a number of official closure days between Christmas and New Year, on top of the official Bank Holidays for Christmas etc. I’m really looking forward to my time off – I didn’t really take much time off in the summer, a few days here and there but definitely no two week break, and I really do believe it’s important to maintain a good work life balance (weekends are not for PhD work!), so I don’t feel guilty at all. We have a lot of discussions about work life balance as it’s an important topic for PhD students and for those working in academia in general. So I thought I would share with you an article the wonderful (and very soon to be Dr) Ana Manso, who I work with, sent me this morning. To sum it up more hours does not = more productive. So I’m looking forward to my time off, I’m spending it with my boyfriend and our families, and rather than feel like I should be doing work I’ll be relaxing so I come back in Jan refreshed and ready to face the new year.
This year has kind of rushed past at an alarming rate this year, I’ve managed to fit in work related travel to Paris, Gottingen and Siena (with conferences in Oxford and Italy also scheduled for next summer) and become a second year PhD student rather than a first year probation student (despite what my blog bio tells you …another job for the to do list). Speaking of to do lists I don’t think I’ve ever written about how completely reliant I am on them, especially when I won’t be in the lab for a while, I learnt after last Christmas that I need to plan what I’m going to do when I get back because my brain will be mush and it’ll take a week to remember my computer password let alone what experiments I need to do. So trusty week planner to the rescue, next week I’ll decide what I need to do that first week back, and on the 5th of Jan when I wander in feeling very confused I’ll open my lab book and sitting in the front will be a list of what I need to do, a list I can follow until my brain wakes up from it’s food coma. This is definitely an approach I recommend after any time away from the lab – otherwise you just don’t do anything for a few days while you try to get back into the swing of things.
In half an hour I’m off for the Genetics department Christmas party – there will be food, games and yes I’m wearing a Christmas jumper 🙂 have a great weekend everyone
For info on holiday entitlement guidelines you can visit the graduate school website where you’ll also find all the regulations relating to Postgrads at the University of Leicester.