Happy Monday! Has daylight savings time been a real treat for you so far? I woke up on Sunday morning at around 9:55 am, thinking I had finally managed to sleep in on the weekend after daily bouts with insomnia. I was excited for all about 30 seconds before realizing my phone had automatically changed the time in the middle of the night. Since yesterday, I’ve been slogging through pretty much everything and work today was no exception. What’s odd is that I’m not necessarily sleepier just more worn down than usual.
Daylight savings really came at a bad time. I’m one week away from Spring break, although it’s more of a break from teaching and attending classes than anything else since I’ll still be in the lab, conducting research. For some reason, these last few weeks have just been next level intense. I literally texted my husband three separate times this evening because I kept having to change when I was planning on leaving work as he was trying to time dinner to my arrival.
Having some fast approaching deadlines doesn’t help and I’ve been consistently plagued with a myriad of interruptions at work that quickly derail any intent of getting some deep work in. I still don’t quite know how to create an environment where everyone is self-sufficient so I end up having to constantly be involved in the most infinitesimally small tasks. If I don’t do a lot of direct supervision then stuff gets messed up rather quickly, which affects my projects in the long run.
In fact I know part of the reason I’ve been spending extra late hours at work is because I’m essentially moonlighting as a vigilante. These are the parts of mentorship that are extremely challenging because there is a fine line between wanting someone to succeed and see them do well yet be fully aware of their shortcomings. And when those shortcomings affect your everyday work it gets more complicated.
I feel like I need a break from mentoring which thankfully I will get during Spring break. The idea of having an entire week where I can devote myself fully to my work without incessant interruptions is just about the happiest thought I can muster right now. It’s also not just from my direct charges. There are so many meetings, seminars and scheduled events that really don’t make a whole lot of sense yet there they are, on the calendar every week.
I’m not the first person to complain about meeting overload, yet I never really hear anyone in my workplace really mention that they would like less meetings. At least not out loud. When we had one of our weekly scheduled meetings canceled this afternoon because the person tasked with leading it was out sick; I almost jumped for joy. How wonderful to get that hour back in the day to do real work (or at least attempt to). I used to hold weekly meetings with undergrads I mentored in the lab but realized that was mostly unnecessary as I could impart the goals for the upcoming week in a less formal manner, without all of us having to stop everything else we’re working on.
Moral of the story, if you can cancel a recurring meeting do because the rest of us will thank you. Massively. In fact, I’ll bake you some chocolate chip cookies for your troubles.