Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Time Management

At the risk of sounding like a commercial advertising self-improvement CDs on public television at 2 in the morning, time management is really important. This became increasingly clear to me throughout our preparation of our Mod 3 research proposal.

My lab partner and I started talking seriously about our research idea for the proposal over two weeks before it was due. During our spare time in lab, we would bounce ideas of each other, talk about how would tackle which aspect of the presentation, and what we would need to have ready by next class so that we would have enough time to ask for feedback. The great thing about asking for feedback is that you get to make your proposal better. The bad thing is that you might have to rethink entire sections of your experimental layout, setting you back in your overly optimistic timeline for your project.

Then, we scheduled time to work together on the presentation. I find it a lot easier to force myself to tackle a big assignment when I have the social pressure of having told someone I would finish a particular task.  So my lab partner and I spent a good 15 hours in the conference room of my dorm the weekend before the presentation was due, trying to push each other to finish the assignment. We kept our spirits up with chocolate and coffee. 

By Sunday night, we felt a little something like:

But we still needed to invest time into perfecting our slides, working out our timing, and practicing what we were going to say, so that we wouldn't look like this:

Finally Tuesday came around, and thankfully we were one of the first groups to present. The actual delivery of our proposal went by very quickly, and neither I nor my lab partner remember anything we said. Hopefully it sounded like coherent English sentences and hopefully it was related to science. 

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