Working and the holidays

Lately I’ve been thinking a bit about the work/life balance that we all hear about in graduate school. At this point in my life, I’ve realized that I’ll always be one of those people who has to tell myself to take the necessary breaks in my work schedule. Coming up on the TG holiday, I’ve set aside some time (not much, but some) for family, friends, food, sleep, etc. It will be interesting to see if I’m able to stick to my “scheduled relaxation” or not (yikes, that doesn’t sound good when it’s typed out!), given that there’s always more to do. That said, there’s real wisdom in taking that break if you need it.  But, as many of you already know, achieving that work/life balance is always tricky in graduate school.  I think it’s a critical life skill–and one that I’ve certainly not perfected yet.  But, I’m getting better with age.

Happy Halloween! And about those deadlines…

I hope you all had time to celebrate a little! I got a little carried away in costume planning one day. It was worth it, but now I’m paying for it by frantically trying to finish a grant proposal before tomorrow’s looming deadline. I’ve secluded myself in what I like to call “The Isolation Chamber” – a room tucked away at the back of my house, away from distractions generated by roommates, spouse, or large windows with a view of the outside world. Having a place where you can really focus is critical in graduate school. So whether you prefer a desk at the library, the backroom at Soma coffeehouse with your headphones on, or a room like mine, find your happy focus place and use it when the deadlines loom!