Workday accounting

Rather facetiously got a suggestion to keep track of how my workdays are spent, but that did prompt me to start keeping track since I have gotten into the phase of my job where I’m feeling somewhat burdened by non-research responsibilities and I like having data in hand. As I’ve noted on my other website, my workdays are now largely constrained by daycare hours. Thus, I do have pretty limited hours in a day to get everything done, requiring a fair amount prioritization; doing one things often means not doing something else.

I’ll sporadically hit “run” on my analysis script and the below plot will update. The n values are currently pretty small, but I plan to keep doing this indefinitely.

Keys for the above plot:
Red dashes are mean values across all days. Gray dots are values for individual days.
Research_internal” denotes activities that directly impact my research group (eg. meetings with personnel, data analysis, benchwork).
Research_external” denotes research activities that don’t have to do with my group (eg. Science-centric meetings with other faculty, emails to people requesting reagents).
Administrative_internal” denotes general paperwork (eg. Filling out my annual performance reviews)
Seminar_director” denotes work related to running the immunology portion of the Dept seminar series (eg. More emails…)
Postdoc_affairs” denotes work related to trying to manage postdoc affairs for the dept (and in some ways, by extension, the SOM).
Other_service” denotes other service activities for the school (eg. Corresponding with CWRU undergrads not in my group).

But I can break down some of these activities further. For example, for the the “Research_internal” section where I’m handling things directly related to my research lab, it can be further broken down as follows:

Most of the categories here are self explanatory. “DNA_construct_stuff” is planning out primers or checking plasmid associated sequencing reads. “Labwork” is mostly tissue culture, since I think that’s where my direct efforts are most valuable (in contrast to using a DNA extraction kit, for example). “Literature” is either doing literature searches or reading papers.

And, well, since so much time seems to be spent writing emails nowadays, this how much time I spend writing emails each day (note: I do all internal communication with lab members via Slack, so this is mostly administrative matters):