Work and Life and Balance Series, Episode 05: Work - Expectations, Responsibilities, and Time Management

Posted on Monday, Feb 11, 2019
Work AND Life AND Balance Series, Episode 05: Work - Expectations, Responsibilities, and Time Management. Zach, Keighley, and Dani discuss work/life balance and what it means to them, followed by what graduate student work might look like on a daily/weekly/semesterly basis as well as during the years of your graduate work. They end by chatting about their own time management strategies for work and efficiency. Show notes are PLENTIFUL. Episode lead by Keighley. Music produced by Will. Music mixed by Will and Keighley. Episode edited by Zach. Transcript by Will/otter.ai. Special Guest: Zach’s Neighbor’s Dog.

Show Notes

References:

Zach’s citations for his convo about 40 hour work week:

Keighley’s citations:

Dani’s citations:

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Transcript for Screen Readers

All
Welcome, to STEMculture/podcast!

Dani
Oh, I fucked up! [laughter]

Zach
Alright, we have an intro.

Dani
You guys, it’s so warm in here!

Keighley
Welcome to STEMculture podcast where we’re beginning our second series work and life and balance. Today, you’ll be listening to Keighley. That’s me

Dani
and Dani.

Zach
And Zach.

Keighley
We’re taking on that infamous trio for the top of the New Year. Bringing it in with the convenient reminder to reset and rebalance. Today, we take on work everything for what goes on in the grad students’ day to how we manage and try to optimize it all and make room for the rest of it.

Zach
This episode goes out to all the Hermione Granger’s out there who have to magically do it all but without the actual magical powers.

So what does work life balance all mean to me, it is a balance between work, of course, personal, mental, social, and physical health. Anybody else have a contribution to that?

Dani
Yeah, I mean, I have the same feelings. And when I think about like my own interpretation of work life balance for me, that means for me to work productively, I also need to rest productively to make sure that I can balance the two of those things.

Keighley
Yeah, I think it’s exactly what you were saying. It’s the fact that we need to have all these components in our very complex lives, they all need to be acknowledged and given space, and more or less honored, so that we can be complex, well rounded humans and not over extend ourselves in any one direction.

Zach
I’m just really bad at it.

Dani
You’re really bad, yeah.

Zach
That you know of.

Keighley
But you’re still alive. And you’re still doing

Dani
Oh god he’s a ghost.

Keighley
Okay, so that’s our understanding of work life balance, but I looked it up on Twitter. Well, there’s like Twitter counters out there, that will tell you how many times a hashtag has been used, usually within a certain number of days, or up to a certain number of counts. And every single one that I checked for hashtag work life balance, maxed out the counters. So obviously, people are talking about this, which either means it’s working for a lot of people. And so they’re sharing their ideas, or it’s not working for a lot of people. And so they’re lamenting the fact that hashtag work life balance sucks.

Dani
[laughs]

Keighley
But overall, I think, you know, even if you just do a cursory Google search to find pages, and pages and pages of articles written on this, and people’s approaches to this. So it’s obviously a really popular concept. Why do you think work life balance as an idea is so pervasive?

Dani
Well, I think it’s the idea that it’s a hard goal to attain. And I think part of that is because balancing the two looks different for different people.

I think we’re also always chasing it because you see someone that you think has a good work life balance. And so you’re like, Oh, I want to do that. So how do I do that, and then maybe you try what they’re trying and it fails.

Zach
I agree with that one. But I also think that it’s one, it’s a difficult goal to achieve in the first place. And that it’s, to me, it seems nearly impossible. In some cases, like, I have to balance it. And it’s also kind of leaning towards that healthy into, like, you know, you need to be better, it’s new year’s resolution time, you should be focusing on that. But then it’s just sometimes it seems like an impossible standard. So something to keep going back and forth.

Keighley
So kind of what I’m hearing you guys talk about is this idea that work life balance is this constant desire to like, succeed, right? So what Dani was saying is, oh, so and so has appears to have a really nice work life balance, like, I want to be successful like they are. So therefore, it must be because they have their life in this potentially unattainable or under tenable to you in the way they’re doing it, or attainable in the way that they’re doing it way. And one thing I think that really takes this idea of why we try to be so successful, and we tried to constantly push our lives into this balance. And that talks about it really nicely was that BuzzFeed article, the millennial burnout generation article that was published a couple of weeks ago, and we’ll link that in the show notes that you guys can read that if you haven’t seen it yet, but it was really nicely written piece that for me personally cause a lot of fields. Have you guys read this article?

Dani
Yes, I read it. And I’m so burned out, I couldn’t even finish it.

Zach
It made me sad.

Dani
Yeah, I was already having a bad week. And I was just like, I can’t read the rest of this, because it’s just, I could identify with it. And so many ways, it was a little too much for me.

Keighley
So burnout was first coined by a psychiatrist in 1974 talking about, for people who may have not heard this term, which would be rather shocking, if you haven’t heard burnout by now. It’s talking about the term when people overextend themselves to the point that they’re not even stressed out anymore. They just do not have any more to give. And yet they keep giving because there are certain pressures on them to keep moving forward. And you’re usually suffering and more places than just work. How do you guys think that the idea of burnout applies to work life balance,

Dani
I mean, I think it’s just one in the same. So what happens to me

is, I’ll get really burned out on work, and then I can’t work anymore. And what ends up happening is i want i i binge, an entire show in one day, or like on Netflix, or Hulu or whatever, or I will start like reading for fun. So I’ll go through all of my favorite books, I’ll just start reading them non stop. And that’s just my brains way of telling me I’m burned out on work, and I need more balance.

So I identify very much with burnout.

Zach
I do as well I’ve, I’ve had issues where I’ll keep going, keep going and never stop, and then my kind of system recalibration is leaving town. I’m here almost every single weekend. And I don’t go anywhere. I just locked myself in my office in my apartment and work on stuff for the lab. So to me, it’s it’s an opportunity to reset and kind of unburn matches actually, because I know that that article had like a burnout match tower. And I was just like mmm can’t undo that, gotta buy new matches. So you got to just replace everything. So I’ll just leave town and try that.

Keighley
Do you have any favorite places you like to go? Like, you know, really far away? Or do you just like go far enough.

Zach
So my family lives in town are not in town they live in north of here, so about two hours away so I can visit them. However, one of the common practices I do for it, and this is something we’ll discuss later. And balance is I’ll go to an escape room. Oh, so I still get to use the thinky thinky bits of my brain. But it’s more of a challenge. Versus it’s more of a fun challenge than an academic challenge. And so I’ve enjoyed just stepping away and doing that I’m not an outdoorsy person. If that’s not obviously you can’t tell that from my voice. But yeah, I don’t go outside that often. Because that’s a lot of the articles that I was looking at for this were like, go outside and recharge your batteries. I’m like nah, pollens out there. I don’t want to go outside.

Keighley
So when you’re talking about those articles that you read about, you know, how people are suggesting to fix work life balance, and how to like adjust to burn out he has read or heard about anything else that really sticks out to you.

Zach
I read an article and it’s from the southern California University of Southern California and it is “stretched too thin” is what it was described as a five graduate student work life balance tips. (I have violated all of these.) So the first one is Be honest with friends and family I have mentioned before I have a hard time saying no. And so if I don’t have time to do something, I’ll still accept the burden of it and still try to do it. Plan ahead. Don’t wait to the last minute that is like my family motto I should put it on a crest we I’m notoriously last minute with some things and often I find that it’s not really my fault on that it’s other people who are affecting my schedule because I didn’t tell them ‘no’ in the first place that they’re going to come in and say ‘hey I need this last minute’ whether that’s home or at work and you’re like oh I guess I’m won’t go outside today or see the sun I got to finish this. This is not as bleak as it sounds. I don’t like the sun so it’s kind of a bonus. So there’s “make a flexible schedule, Don’t overbook” for me I overbook myself To the degree where I have appointment after appointment after appointment. And these guys know I’ll come late to something or I’ll go to meeting or we’re all together and be like, Okay, you guys stay in chat. I gotta go to another meeting. See y’all later.

Keighley
Then you come back to the meeting that we’re still having

Zach
We have long meetings can use that grad school and then it says reevaluate your daily activities and responsibilities. I haven’t done that in a while. I probably need a good self reflection. Is that something you’ve done recently, where you’re like, oh, I’ve got to really do this. I can’t do that other thing, though. don’t have that situation, Right?

Dani
Yeah, you know, I’m always reevaluating what my priorities are with work life balance. So sometimes for me, and I’ve never really read anything on work life balance. But for me, coming into grad school, I knew very much I wanted to make grad school a Monday through Friday, nine to five kind of deal. And my advisor, I asked him, What was his expectations? And he said, Well, you know, treat it like a job nine to five, Monday to Friday. And I was like, Yes, yes, say more. And, and then he was like, you know, it’s really up to you. Sometimes you’ll be here longer than that, depending on your goals. And, or you’re going to not be here as long and it’s really up to you. And so for me, that worked really well, because I don’t like to be micromanaged. And I manage myself pretty well. But it sometimes I’m like, you know, I actually do need to be in the lab a bunch. So Zach and I, one summer spend, yes,

it was our first my first full summer here as a grad student, and the two of us plus our friend Farzaneh, we’re in our lab for 10 hour days, every day of the week, for a full month,

Zach
my hands still can’t get out of the pipe. That position.

Dani
Yeah. And we had,

Zach
Its stuck like that

Dani
yes. And we had certain goals, there was a grant deadline coming and

we needed to get that done before classes started. Because we all recognize that as soon as classes and teaching started up again, that we would not be able to finish this in time to analyze the data to get the grant in. So

reevaluating priorities is something I do frequently. And then also, sometimes I become a workaholic, like right now, and I’m, I’m kind of addressing that with myself and trying to pull back because for me, I’m start making mistakes. When I

I start making mistakes, when I’m really burnt out. And making mistakes in the lab can be dangerous, you know,

Zach
Yes

Dani
and not only to me, but to others. And so, you know, once I can recognize that I’m having this burnt out feeling, I feel like I’m not paying as close attention and being as perhaps safe as I should be, I really have to pull back. So I’m really trying to do that now. So this weekend that we’re recording is a three day weekend. And this is the only kind of work ish thing. I’m doing nothing else besides this

Zach
Do you reevaluate your schedule frequently.

Keighley
Um, yes and no. So we’ll get to this later. But it was kind of once I started reassessing where I was spending my time

that I realized I needed to be more, Whats the word I’m looking for

Dani
picky?

Keighley
like mentally aware of like, what I was actually doing with my time. So I had a similar problem that Zach has, where I say yes, to all lot of things. And things make sense. And like, this is really interesting, this is really exciting, this will help me with my career, this is something I’m passionate about. And I end up having four or five calendars that are all laying on top of each other, that dictate my life for me. And that’s wasn’t really where I wanted it to be. I wanted to be more in control of it. So I sort of looking at where I was spending my time and what percentages with my time I was giving to certain things. And that helped me reflect and be like, okay, not enough time is going here, I need to push more time in this other thing, or I’m spending you know, too much time on this per week, I can I can give you this up or take a week on take a week off, you know, I really had to think about that. It’s definitely not a perfect process. And every the tough part about being a grad students every semester changes. I think this kind of gets into the idea of like, the grad grad student work life, not like work and life, but like the work part of a grad student, job or career,

it’s this idea that, you know, you have semester responsibilities that can change from,

you know, even week to week. But typically, you know, you have a teaching load that changes and you might be teaching different days of the week, and you might be taking classes that are different, and at different times of the day. And your research priorities might shift from semester to semester causing you to have to be in the lab, you know, maybe if you’re doing a new thing, you need to be in the lab where you can be mentored, which means you have to somehow fit research in like a nine to five if that’s when your advisor will be around to help you. But for for a typical stem student, I think those are kind of the big three rotating time strains in a week is research classes and teaching. Do you guys have any other major work components that should be included in that list?

Dani
writing

Zach
writing

Unknown Speaker
That’s right.

Zach
lit searches

Keighley
I’m really bad at that

Zach
ditto

Dani
meetings and seminars,

Zach
I have meetings, teaching research, writing, lit search, and then repeat. That’s all I do anymore.

Keighley
It’s so weird to me, because I’m like, I hear those. And I’m like, Oh, those are things on my calendar. But for some reason, they don’t fall into things, like categories. I actually acknowledge, yeah, like, Oh, it’s writing well, like in my brain that falls under research. And so I guess it’s interesting to hear how people categorize their responsibilities. And how far down the chain Do you do sub separate? And does that help you to have more categories? Or does it help to keep things in a broader sense,

Dani
well, helps me protect my time. So I kind of schedule out

by semester for myself, but also for my lab mates.

And so I will say, Okay, here are the times I’m writing so that I can protect that time. And then here, the times I’m doing lab works, that I can protect that time,

and then other meetings and other seminars. And it’s all in an effort to protect the times that other people can’t take it from me.

Keighley
So that, you know, we talked a little bit about like, how that how your life changes on a semester basis, how we both kind of address our situations, from a really broad perspective for people who may not yet be in grad school, let’s talk about what a work situation may look like for typical daily or weekly straight into, so we can get a better sense of what that that stressor, or that strain feels like,

Zach
I’ll start off with my week. So it varies as you progress through your program. So for the first two years, I can say probably most of us are in classes. And then after that, you don’t take classes anymore, celebrate that enjoy it, never take a test again except it’s all prelims oral exam, so half of that so so there’s, there’s a transition between being a student and being a researcher and a teacher. And that’s something that a lot of us will hit teacher right. When we start, most STEM programs will have you teaching labs as soon as you start your career there. The thing I’ve noticed is, there’s a transition of, you might have fewer responsibilities, depending on what courses are teaching. So I know that when I teach, like a general chemistry course, it’s a pretty quick go, there’s stuff already prepared for me. And it’s ready to be just taught because there’s like 50 sections of it. And everybody’s just got to go through it as quickly as possible. And then there’s other courses that are

more in depth, maybe sophomore, to senior level courses. And those require a lot more effort on my part, that’s prepping solutions from a chemical perspective, and doing all this extra work on top of teaching the lecture or teaching the lab and then grading the assignment. So I think another thing teaching, I would both together grading, like you were saying, what goes where to me grading could be both its own category, because it takes so much time to do versus teaching. And then over time, you’re just like Taylor mentioned, once you have a grant, you don’t do that for a while. It’s magical. And it’s the best feeling ever. When you’re like, you mean, I can just sit in the lab and do research, I consider my computer and write and look at data. That’s what I dream about.

Keighley
So it’s interesting, you bring that up, because even just like from a component of just work balance, not even considering your balance outside of your work hours. For me, it’s super weird to have taken away even like, I’m okay with, like not having classes because those were already pretty much a non strain on my day, they were really late at night, it really didn’t matter if you didn’t affect my, like, typical working hours. But having teaching kind of removed from my, my research balance or trying to balance my research and my teaching. It’s it’s good in that it allows me to do more research. That’s like an obvious time shift. But I like a mental perspective. The bat I tried to balance now going long time, a long time without having success, you know, from a daily perspective. Okay, well, I felt like I did a lot today. But then at the end of the week, like, Oh, well, I didn’t get these three experiments done that I thought I was going to be able to. And then you look at your month, and oh, well, okay, I thought this was going to happen. But then like, my cell line got sick, and I had to throw it and start over. And so you start realizing that there’s like this very long arduous process that is research and with teaching, even though it’s really tough, and it does take a lot of hours, sometimes, depending, especially depending on the course you’re teaching it so variable and, but it is kind of this instant gratification, of at the very least, well, we got through another week. Like my students have learned another chapter, I have graded these papers that’s like something I can check off my list. It’s not just this ongoing process. And so for me, it’s really important that like, my work day has moments of instant gratification, because I’m not one of those researchers that loves the long haul,

I love research what it stands for, but I’m not necessarily so in love with it, then, okay, with just going months without a lot of progress, or feeling the slippage and not like beating myself up about it. So it’s important for me to have like other things that I consider work. So in a previous episode, Danny was talking about, like, an outreach organization that we were working on. And that has now become a part of my work because it is now gotten a paid position. And so I treat that as kind of my stand in for teaching where I get instant gratification from that, because, okay, I completed a presentation, okay, I sent the emails, I need to descend, okay, I’ve written the documents I need to. And so just even balancing your work responsibilities from a mental perspective,

how that how that affects me.

Dani
And then for me, I’m in my fourth year and hoping to graduate this year as Zach. And right now, I’m really lucky where I’m on a research assistantship, which means I’m not teaching and I don’t have classes. And so really, I just have lab work and writing. And for me, I really love that it’s not scary to me, because I’m, I’m pretty good about managing that time. And I have times like I mentioned already, that I write every day, and that I do lab work,

except in the first week of classes when I have 15,000 meetings,

Zach
so many meetings,

Keighley
new semester. Whoa,

Dani
yes, yes. So for me, I, I am just so happy when really all I’m doing is lab work and writing. And for me, especially with the writing, I keep track of what I’m working on and how many hours I get done a week. So I can kind of total that up at the end and be like, happy feelings about how I progressed on that.

Keighley
Can I feel that like it add to that instant gratification. Well, I put in this many hours this week. Yeah, that’s got to help you feel good. Because you mean measuring your progress like that. That’s a really good idea.

Dani
Yeah. And then for one, we can talk about this later. But I have semester goals to that I write down for the lab, well actually it’s not semester goals right now. It’s like in the next two months, what do I want to what do I have to get done so that I have all my data. And so having that in written format makes me feel really good, too. But yeah, that’s what what it looks like for me right now,

Keighley
I kind of want to continue on that to the next question we have here because Dani created this really amazing document for our department that talks about the different requirements, demands, responsibilities, etc, and how they changed through grad school. And so if you wouldn’t mind kind of sharing why you created that document and how you think it is helping.

Dani
So for me, I definitely, and I think a lot of people will identify with this, I will not be able to see the forest for the trees. That means I’m only able to see these really small details. And I can’t plan out beyond that. And I can’t look at the big picture. And so to help me see the big picture, I thought why don’t I make a visual timeline, I’m also someone who’s very visual, if I have a list of things, I just need to see it in a timeline if it’s a chronological list. So I started making this timeline where I said, Okay, so like year one and two, this is when people are getting adjusted to grad school. So what are some of the things at our university that they can take advantage of during this time, so they can set themselves up for success later on.

So that was for year one and two, and then in the next part of the timeline is basically like a three year three and four together. And in our in our program kind of end of year two is when we take our written prelims. And then the beginning of your three is when we are supposed to defend our proposal or other universities, that might be kind of an oral defense of your proposal depends. Everyone has different names for it, it’s ridiculous, anyway. And so I wanted to make something visual for that to, you know, keep in mind that for this, there are some rules in the grad handbook that you need to pay attention for, to reach this timeline in that timeline. And you should start writing at this point, if you haven’t already. Because if you want to get out on time, you need to have submitted a paper and sometimes papers in review, depending on kind of what your specialty is, what department you’re in, what science you do, can take much longer than others. And so if you want to get out of here, so our university it’s five years. So if you want to get out of here in five years, then you need to really think ahead of time. So the whole goal of the timeline was, how do I see the big picture and keep it in mind so that I can be successful over the long term?

Keighley
Yeah, absolutely. And as we talked about, you know, how we kind of consider this change of grad school, I think it’d be really interesting to promote a conversation with our listeners about how their programs might be different,

because I know a lot of different programs have a lot of variability. When I was applying, for example, like one of the schools I was applying to, straight up didn’t have teaching requirements, like they would not let you teach, because they were such a rigorous university like, didn’t want you teaching, I don’t know. And another one, like, didn’t let you teaching your first year, but then you’re expected to teach like years two through four. So it’d be really interesting to hear what people’s alternate program timelines look like. And because I know there’s a lot variability between schools,

Zach
Oh, definitely. Then even departments here, y’all have way different the requirements that I do. So I have three oral exams to graduate. [Oh, gosh,] and I have pre or entrance exams as well. So we have to pass ACS exams in order to remain in the program, CCS American Chemical Society. [Oh, no, no, no, no.] So we have to pass three of those, including the one in our division.

Keighley
So what you guys are like real intense grad students. Like, I feel like I’ve been skating a little bit like y’all are legit, serious,

Zach
it’s very serious. And I think to even that out, they pull back on our coursework, okay, so I know like in the Environmental Science Department, they have to take six or more classes, and then take written exams on those their second year, I don’t do that I have an oral exam. Instead, on my second year, I have on my third year, fourth year, write a report and let your committee know how you’re doing fifth year, hopefully defend,

Dani
get the fuck out of here.

Keighley
And like, we know people in like a psychology program that they don’t actually do the equivalent of like their oral prelims until their fourth ish year, which is crazy to me, because that doesn’t seem like a proposal. It seems like a here’s what I’ve been doing. I’m halfway or more done with my PhD, which is weird. They actually have like, real data or like papers published.

Dani
Yeah, before they’ve even proposed. Yeah, so

Keighley
it’s really interesting, the different dynamics and I don’t even know anything about the TEM part of STEM, and how, you know, math or engineering or, you know, computer science people how they go about it either, like, I have no clue.

Dani
So if you want to educate us, hit us up on our Twitter,

Zach
I think the best thing we could say here is, if you have something that worked really well for you, this would be the time to share it. There are a lot of students that struggle with funding or managing their time and everything like that. So reach out to us and by proxy, reach out to everyone else and say, Hey, hey, you’re in history, or you’re in chemistry, or whatever field you’re in, I found this grant, it really helps when I was struggling with finances or anything along that lines or helped my research, you should apply to it to cycle start now, or anything like that. So share that information with others and us and we’ll be glad to disperse it to them as well.

Keighley
Yeah, having a better.. I think that’s exactly it. Having a better understanding of how people in other places do their grad student work can help other people by default,

Zach
because universities have different resources, for example, ours will provide multiple ways to find funding. However, there are sometimes a pay wall between that and not every university is going to cover that. And there are some that are free that could easily get to, for example, UCLA has GRAPES for funding. So I would suggest you take a look at those. I don’t know what GRAPES stand for it. They don’t tell you

Keighley
like, does it involve wine?

Zach
I might, I don’t know, I’ve looked at it’s like, we call it grapes. And then that’s the only explanation make it there’s no other like, because it’s an acronym for [mumbles] No, it’s just that we call it GRAPES. So take a look at that. If you’re interested in finding funding. It’s free. It’s open and it’s available. And there’s some great stuff for add anything else like that that you’re looking for?

Keighley
So with all of that on our plate and kind of hinted at this earlier, sometimes it’s really hard to say no.

Dani
Well, the way I’ve been dealing with that lately is all say, yes, but only if I’m payed, and then immediately when I say that, only if I’m payed part, people go, Whoa, I’m never asking her for anything again. And, or occasionally it works. So that’s how I’ve been dealing with it.

Zach
Don’t plan so last minute and be better about that. I would have to say, and I can’t talk because I need to know tattooed on my arm. So I remember to say it because I don’t.

Dani
But then you have this this great new technique you’ve been using. Where instead of saying, No, you just avoid people, which I think is a great

Keighley
it helps being nocturnal

Zach
it helps being nocturnal. I work very late at night, trying to avoid other people. But by other thing is I’ve gotten to the point where I have meetings Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and I teach Monday, Wednesday. So now I’m like, you know, I looked at my calendar after this horrible week of like, 15 meetings. I looked at it. I was like, Oh, I have nothing on Tuesday or Wednesday, Thursday, I’m staying home and writing and when can bother. And I think the one thing I’ll have to think or work on that is, I love my phone. And I love emails, because it’s like, regular mail. But it’s faster. And I love able to be like, ooh, somebody talking to me. I’m like, Oh, that’s an ad delete. Like, there’s some satisfaction of getting an email. I don’t know, if it’s just the nerd in me who’s like, It’s so fast. It’s so magical. But I think for me, I have to even disconnect the internet on my computer and be like, No, I’m not using this right now. If it’s something I need to do, I’ll write it down. And I’ll look it up later. When I have a moment. Or I’ll put my phone on Do Not Disturb, so that nothing vibrates, buzzes or distracts me while I’m in the zone.

Dani
Have you ever sorry, good Have you ever tried using so there’s some apps out there ones called Forest that will block all that stuff for you. And then if you like, just pick up your phone, because you’re so used to doing it to check it Forest will be like, are you sure you want to do this,

Zach
I have the app installed. I didn’t use it. Another thing that I’ve liked. And this is some useful focusing tools is called ‘stay focused’. It’s a Chrome browser extension they have, what I like to use is called the nuclear option, which is if you select it, it locks your browser from a specific list of websites. So like I always put on like YouTube, I’ll leave Google Scholar open and stuff like that. But like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and all that stuff, like, I’ll force it to block it. And then if I go to that website, it’s like, Man, you can’t be here. Right now, it has bitten me in the butt because I accidentally bought Google.

But then it comes to that whole, okay, I need to lock this down, I need to stop using the internet. Because Google leads you to some really weird places. And it also really is good at distracting me. And so this is nuclear, don’t focus on anything else, only do whatever you’re doing without the internet. And it prevents me from unplugging it. But if I need like a program, like say, we use a cloud service to store all of our documents. So if I’m writing, I need that cloud service to function so that I can backup my files as I’m writing just in case something goes wrong. And this is an opportunity to keep me from being distracted from everything else. So, um, one thing that I wanted to talk about was the 40 Hour Work Week. And as grad students, I don’t think we work that little amount every week, correct me if I’m wrong, those at the table

Keighley
I think thats a false statement. Dani may be better about out.

Zach
Maybe better about it, Danny may be better, because that’s, that’s one of the things you mentioned earlier that I really wanted to focus on to was if you’re just now starting, have that conversation with your API and say, What is a work week to you, because some of them will say, I don’t care when you’re here. As long as you get something done. Give me your phone number, I’ll call you if I have a problem. And you can just go home and ‘tee da lee dee’ Do you want wherever you want to go work in a Starbucks, whatever. But some people, and there are some people in mind that their advisor expects them in their lab from nine o’clock to nine o’clock, dinner time is fine, they are allowed to leave for food. And they’re expected to work on Saturdays. And I might be making that harsher than it. I

Keighley
No, I met somebody who had that work

Zach
And like their week off is Sunday, or the day off is Sunday. And they don’t have to come in. But most of the time they’re in because they started to experiment and they have to finish it. But those guys and this is the benefit is they’re guaranteed holidays. So if they’re like, Oh, well, MLK is coming up. Oh, well, I mean, it’s going to be later than when we’re releasing this. But you have that day off you are in that you’ve been working here you’ve got a spring break, you actually get Spring Break have a we go. So you have to outline that with somebody. And that’s something that I find very important to do early on. establish that timeline as soon as you can. But in the terms of 40 hour work weeks, we get a conversation about how much time we should be spending in the lab teaching and everything when we start so our classwork and research is 40 hours a week, anything additional should be about 20 hours. So we’re expected to spend about 20 hours total teaching whether that’s in the lab grading are preparing 20 hours. So you’re looking at a 60 Hour Workweek see anybody else feel that’s very similar? Not looking at Dani, who has time management skills.

Keighley
I think for our department, that duty requirement is 15 hours, slightly less, but depends. It wildly varies depending on where you’re teaching freshman is probably closer to 15. But some of the upper levels can take more than the 20. So you’re probably you’re probably spot on with that 20 estimate.

Dani
Yes. When I don’t want to make it out. Like I’m, I’m perfect. I’m absolutely not. But I do. I think it’s the way I categorize stuff. So some of the things I do that are meaningful to me outside of like my PhD. So this, our podcast, I don’t consider that work. I consider that as an extracurricular. Um, but anyways, I’m probably I’m lying to myself about how many hours a week I’m working

Keighley
it just different kinds of work, right? Like, it’s how do you exactly what we’re talking about before, like, how do you sub categorize things? And I do the same thing where if it’s not applicable to my PhD goal, it is a separate thing. Yeah, that’s not what I consider work. Yeah, that’s what I consider career goals, or career planning, or networking, or like all of these other gray space, things that are still part of my eventual work, but like, not immediately, yeah,

Zach
so on that topic, we’ve said that if it’s applicable to your PhD, do you consider teaching your responsibility towards your PhD other than it’s a source of funding? And I understand that is it part of your PhD?

Keighley
So I’m based on how I have in the past, categorized, it lives in a separate calendar, like I have my calendar for my life, I have a calendar for my lab, and I have a calendar for teaching. So because of the way I would handle that, I think ‘No’. when I was not time tracking when I was teaching for very long, and so, but it did get trapped into a separate column outside of work. So I would say, Yes, I did treat teaching as not separate as like, it’s not work, but it like as if I had a second job, like I’m working my PhD, and I’m working as a TA,

Dani
and then I didn’t work and I didn’t work beyond teaching, sir. Like teaching was part of my 40 Hour Workweek.

Keighley
Okay. But then as you integrated it,

Dani
yeah. Okay. But then there will be other times like during the summers where I would just be working my ass off getting data,

Keighley
because then research took up more of that 40 hours.

Dani
And our teaching responsibilities get a little more relaxed in the summer. And we went to that earlier, but they do. Yeah, so one survey from the Atlantic found in 2014 that most employees complex their work or sorry, a survey found that the players only spend about 40% of their time on actual primary duties. The rest of it, they’re just messing around, Solitaire, pinball if you’re old school. So I found this is an interesting statistic, because I feel I will admit, there’s times where I’m like, this YouTube video is funny, and I’m on lunch, I’m going to watch it. And then I’ll get into a rabbit hole and stick there little bit. But then in my mind, that guilt kicks in later and going like you weren’t there today. Mentally, you were watching stupid cat videos, you should get back to work. And so I’ll go into the lab after like, seven o’clock and be like, man, I gotta do something today. And so there’s this interesting shift in what is a work week. Yeah. And in the 1998 paper state that 100 years ago, workers clocked in an average of 10 hours a day, six days a week, and that they rarely had a day to themselves because they would be working Monday through Saturday. And then Sunday, they had church, right. And so that was your opportunity. You had to go to church, you never had a data yourself. So one person who really encouraged this shift, and I’ll try to put citations for this on our page was Henry Ford, because it was beneficial for him, one to have his employees who are functioning properly. But also he noted that if they were out and about for two days on the weekend, they can at least spend money on his products or anything else. So it’s an economic boost at that point.

Keighley
what a businessman

Zach
Yes, very much a businessman. So currently, we work about four more weeks a year than we did in 1979 in the US a whole extra month. And then another interesting statistic is overworked over time, employees raises the rate of a mistake and safety mishap by 61%, I’m not surprised. And I completely agree with that statistic. As I have worked really late at night, and I’ve dropped something I could correct it at that point. But if it was something that wouldn’t have, I probably would have broken down in the lab and just be like, light it on fire, it’s time to restart.

Keighley
I mean, Danny mentioned that earlier to like, when she was experiencing feelings of burnout, she noticed her work suffered.

Zach
And it’s very common, and a lot of them have even shown that you have a load of cognitive performance scores when you’re overworked, or you’re not really doing anything more than 40 hours a week, or you’re not even doing your main primary duty. So I feel that it’s, it’s very ineffective to work too hard. And this is more along the terms of balance in life. But I feel like this is something that you can consider when you’re working is am I functioning at peak capacity, and there’s only so much caffeine you can consume before it kills you. It’s a very high ld 50, but you should be aware of that

Dani
fucking nerd.

Well, the thing too, with like, these work weeks and amount of time,

you know, it’s not only us, the graduate students that are putting in all this time, and like, you know, potentially overworking ourselves. But it’s also the advisor like we’ve kind of talked about, if they have a lot of expectations, and they’re putting a lot of pressure, they could potentially be putting a lot of pressure on you as well.

Keighley
Zach said a comment, like, Okay, well, I was I was checked out at work today as I need to go back in and I need to work well, first of all, I don’t hardly ever feel like that. And then I actually think like, well, how much time is actually spent? Like, this whole conversation is making me rethink my life

Zach
I’m so sorry

Keighley
like, time track where it’s like, Okay, well, it’s about time physically in lab today. But like, how much of that time was actually spent being productive? And can I count that and then I feel really bad about how many hours I’m actually putting into my work. And then people start thinking like, oh, Keighley works so hard. It’s like, I don’t, if I actually track productive hours. Like, dude, like, no, like, I really likethis is a problem.

Zach
Would you say 48% of it is actually work [laughs]

Keighley
but I mean, I’m sure we’re gonna have a whole new episode about just imposter syndrome. But it’s very difficult for me personally, to hear conflict here. conversations about like, how I spend my time these like, consistently feel that I present like, I’m very busy. And this kind of, I mean, I’ve heard this before, like, looking busy, fake, busy, where you feel really busy. But then at the end of the day, like you’ve done nothing, because you just kept doing a little things you Oh my God, I check email 15 times today,

Dani
fuck emails. I can’t,

Keighley
I don’t. I’m kind of like Zach. I like getting emails because I like

Zach
I feel loved when I get an email don’t judge me

Dani
don’t know. I don’t. So when I get them, that’s fine. But then if I have to respond and send out emails, and all of a sudden, I’ve sent out a million emails and one day and my brain is like, you could put it through a sieve so mushy,

Keighley
I’m sure, like, I wouldn’t survive as like, my brain would not handle it. Well, I don’t really like monotony forever that, like, there’s a lot of days where I’ll be like, spent doing administrative tasks, like sending emails on like, what if I just become a secretary? I like emails. I like doing administrative, by

Zach
the way I see emails is, if it’s a good enough email, at least it wasn’t a meeting and I had to meet in person. Because if you’re like, wow, there’s so much information in this. This is really useful. At least I didn’t have to go somewhere and sit down and have a 15 minute buffer conversation than a 15 minute nosy conversation what’s going on and then finally get to the topic at hand. Yeah, and then wasted it and it’s like all this beautiful email like well crafted.

Keighley
So one reason I think, I don’t know if I like just feel unproductive. Because in my work, I like result in weird amount of time in my 40 Hour Work Week. I always have a portion of that time that is just awkward. Like, oh, I’m doing a centrifuge spin for three minutes. What do I do for three minutes?

Dani
You get on your phone? Yeah, you don’t, you don’t do anything,

Keighley
right. But like that, I’m like, Oh, God, like then I’m on my phone. And then like, the centrifuge beeps, and I’m like, deep in Instagram. And I’m like, this was bad. Because, like, there’s a person I listened to Tom Frank from college infogeek that talks about, like, good distractions and like, good mental breaks. And he always says, like, don’t go on your phone. Because then you get lost in these things. Like, if you’re working, like if you’re writing and you need to take a mental break, don’t check your email, don’t go on your phone, like get up, take a walk, like do something that has like a concrete time. Or like if there’s one email you need to answer, like, that’s your one break. Like, do something concrete. But that’s why I think I feel really like that’s not only the reason I feel imposter-y. But I think it’s because I spend my time in these weird amounts of time, like those three minute runs, or like, I have five minutes before class, what do I do? And so I ended up with these awkward lot of times where I feel like I’m not being productive. And I’ve heard like, time blocking helps with that. But it’s inevitable, you’re going to just have like, awkward time. Yeah, I want to say two things.

Dani
One is, let’s define imposter syndrome, for anybody that doesn’t know what that is. So, imposter syndrome is, maybe from the outside people see you as very productive and successful and all this stuff. And when they tell you that internally, you’re just like, wow, they don’t really know me, I’m not sucsessful at all. I’m not good at this. I don’t know anything about this subject, really, and you feel like an imposter. So the second thing I wanted to say is that if, if you’re starting to feel you listeners, if you’re starting to feel a little imposter syndrome-y as you’re listening to this, I want to assure you we are all disasters on this podcast.

Zach
Speak for yourself, i’m..

Keighley
First one to say that you did not have your ish together.

Zach
Oh, I mean, yeah, but it’s all about confidence. If I lie to myself i might beleive it one day.

Dani
Yeah, we’re not here to tell you that we are perfect, because we are not. So you’re in good company. But also, we believe in you. And we love you.

Keighley
Yeah, I mean, a lot of this that we’ve talked about so far has been heroes, things that are out there here at some of the conversations that have been happening that we’re just trying to combine into one vocal notebook, if you will. Okay, so we were talking about imposter syndrome, and why you might not feel that you are successful in managing your work and balancing it. And so one of the things that I in my researching this episode came across was this concept of the urgency effect, and how it can play into reasons why you might struggle, especially as a graduate student, I feel like this is a potentially very applicable concept. So the urgency effect is when our brains tend to prioritize immediate satisfaction over long term rewards. And we’ve talked about this, right. This is why I really needed to have other projects when my teaching went away. Because research is that long term reward that takes months or years to complete a PhD, takes bare minimum four years, like, I’ve never heard, maybe three, if you’re like a superstar.

Dani
Well, in the, in the or a different country, UK, Australia three or more years, it’s kind of

Keighley
still superstar status. So this, this idea of urgency effect came from a February 2018 publication from Zhu, Yeng and Tse.

we’ll link that that out also. And they looked at subjects that were more likely to perform urgent smaller tasks that had a deadline, then more important tasks without an immediate time constraint, even if the option to perform the urgent task was objectively worse than performing the larger one. So the researchers in their publication were talking about how people are choosing to perform these urgent tasks with short completion windows, rather than these larger outcomes. Because important tasks can be really difficult. And the goal is further away. And these urgent tasks have this time pressure, which is why a lot of people tend to work well, they say they work well under pressure, because they have that urgency effect. And they get in there, the payoff is obviously more immediate, because they’ve started working on this closer to the deadline, which means that when they complete it as the deadline needs to, they get the they get that payoff and that satisfaction a lot faster, because they’ve shoved their work closer to that deadline. And that that goal. So the point is, even if we know we have a lot larger, less urgent task that is vastly more consequential, like completing a PhD, we will instinctively choose to do smaller, urgent tasks, like sending an email. And so this is like a cognitive problem that people all suffer from.

Dani
This is an example of when, like, you have to study for an exam and instead you clean your entire house.

Keighley
Exactly. Because you feel really good about cleaning your house. And but then you’ve you’ve forced off

Zach
Oh, you just call me out and you didn’t even know you did it. Cleaning my apartment like crazy?

Keighley
Nope. I’ve heard this a lot. Like every person I’ve talked to you. Like your house has never been cleaner than when you have a project do yeah, Mm hmm. Or like with proposals until I was really fortunate to have my mother show up and helped me survive through that. But until she was here as like, Oh my gosh, like, I just convinced myself that my mom coming was so important. Even though she was here to like, help me study and, like live while I was doing my proposal. Because, like, Oh my gosh, like, my mom’s coming. I have to clean my house. Like, I can’t have her. And she was literally like, Keighley. I don’t like I’m literally here to just help you. I will clean your house because that’s what she was like here today. Because my mother is a freakin Angel.

Dani
Yeah, every time I remember. And I because I think I don’t know. You don’t know how often I think about how sweet it was that your parents came to help during that time. And I was a disaster during mine. Yeah. But I did have to fight that instinct of like, must clean entire house, I was like, no must live in dirty den of iniquity. And instead, study, study, study study until it’s done.

Zach
I clean my desk a lot more than anything. When I don’t want to do something. I was like, I got a lifestyle this this needs to be sterile

Keighley
and workspace. So of course, you have to have the best optimal workspace

Zach
I heard my labmate sneeze it must be clean.

Keighley
So that’s just one of the many challenges is suffering from this urgency effect. And I think acknowledging it can be really helpful is like, you know, knowing that, okay, I’m distracting my because I’m looking for this payoff. And so you can find other ways that are helpful. So one thing that I read was a helpful tip for people have to do a lot of reading, you know, you like have, you go through an article and you just highlight random spots. And every time you hit a highlight, like you give yourself like a skittle or

Zach
Plus when you leave candy on your paper, it looks so delicious.

Keighley
Yeah. And so like, it’s, it’s giving yourself these little rewards that help take big long projects and break them down or micro tasking. So people who write to do lists, this was also I think, something I got from college info geek. And we, if you have a to do list, like if you’re trying to write a paper, literally, right, the checklist, ‘open computer’ check, done. Nice, nice ‘open word’. Nice. Save File, cool, like you said, these like ridiculously small tasks that help your brain get into the progress of like working on whatever you’re trying to work on, which helps you sustain progress because you are overcoming this urgency effect. You’re giving yourself shorter and shorter deadlines, but they’re all in progress. And then your brain you get into what’s called the flow, right, where you start working really well. Your brain is in deep thought. And we’ll talk about that in a little bit.

But when you get in that flow, but like getting there is really tough, but that’s not the only challenge, you know, to getting it done is fighting yourself. And there are other you know, we’re talking about work life balance, right, where those are challenges to getting your work done. But life is not a separate entity.

Dani
Yeah, just a separate episode. Yeah.

Keighley
But I think we would be remiss not to at least mention and acknowledge that there are, you know, these, these subpopulations of grad students that have unique challenges.

Dani
Yeah. And so, I mean, you have children, or you have a partner, or maybe your family sick, or you’re an underrepresented minority, and doing these work items that we’re talking about, you’re getting blockaded. Or maybe you have a disability or learning difference. Or maybe you have a super long commute from school because you had another career and now you live close ish to the school that you got into, but it’s a 45 minute commute each way, etc.

We love you all and you can do it.

Zach
Yeah. And make sure you listen to ‘STEM culture’ on your long commutes.

Keighley
Really, the idea was that these things will be talked about more in depth. But we just would be remiss if we did not bring it up at least a little bit. And that’s up. So

Dani
yeah, well, that’s why we have our in STEM episodes as well. So hopefully, I’ll listen to our last in STEM episode

Keighley
Yeah. And if you feel like you fall, you know, you have things to really talk about, like, let’s say, you listen to our work life balance, you’re like, Oh, my gosh, like, I really think I could provide an interesting story of how I have these unique set of challenges. And this is how I integrate them. I’m sure it’s helpful to people out there to hear people’s stories of those things. So we would love to have you share your story with us.

Dani
So with this episode on work, something I keep in mind is, we have so many things on our plates. So how on earth are we really supposed to deal with all these, you know, we’re supposed to be lab techs and writers and teachers and students. And then we’re also supposed to learn how to conduct ourselves professionally, during our PhDs and after our PhDs Not to mention, we have to find a job after our PhDs. So Oh, and also, you know, publishing so that we can graduate on time. So this next section here is about our specific time management techniques. And you’ll notice each of us have very different techniques. So sprinkle them in so far. And I think this is going to be the hopefully the most helpful portion where we’re giving people what is working for us and other options out there.

Keighley
So since I’m already talking, I’ll just keep going. So I mentioned up until this point that I have started time blocking. So I use an Excel sheet that I got from Tori, which is a woman that works next door to me. And she started doing time blocking and she was doing on a Google Docs, because she likes that she could access it anywhere. But then I’m me. So I have to make everything extra, which means that things are color coded color coded based on what I put into the box. And you can’t do that kind of conditional formatting in Google. So I was doing an Excel so if I look at it, everything that says like it’s a lab activity, color codes, yellow, and everything that’s for the podcast is pink, like all these different things. And then at the bottom, I will even then

taken you know, the kind of the format that was given to me, and I’ve adjusted a little bit where, okay, things that have these tags, count as work. And so then I can calculate how many hours in doing work or doing Sci Comm or doing teaching, or like having all of these different categories in my life. And then per week, I can look at the percentage of time I spend doing work things, doing personal things sleeping, which is also been really cool. That’s been really helpful. I’ve mentioned that I have Google calendars. And I’ve heard Zach mentioned that he lives and breathes by his calendar. And I’ve made the joke that I scheduled my friends. But I actually do like yesterday, I spent time with a friend. And she’s straight up in my calendar, even though like we made the plan kind of last minute, she still went in the calendar. And I have multiple calendars, I have ones you know that for our email, we have a calendar, you know, a Google calendar for STEM culture. And Brooke is really amazing, and puts calendar events on that. And so that gets added to my calendar. And then I’ve got my work calendar that has all of my seminars and stuff on it. But it helps me make sure I don’t forget about events, and that I am blocking my time, at least somewhat appropriately. And then I’ve recently started doing calendar planning with my PI, which is super cool, where I’ll send him at the beginning of every month, a physical calendar that I’ve written experimental goals at the bar. Okay, so we have this paper, what we’re trying to work on, we have these figures that needs immediate attention. So I’d write out kind of the goals for each of those experiments, like the big thought process, and then I fill in the experiments, you know, on the first day, I’m going to grow my cells, and I think that, you know, it’s gonna take me a week and a half until I know that they’re good, and they’re clean. I can’t do anything until after that. And then maybe I can do some like molecular works. I’ll just throw in exactly what the experiments are. And then how long I think they’re going to take. I just like drawing an arrow. And then I send that to him. And I’m like, Hey, is this look like I’m on track? Do you think this is also feasible, because I realized my first year that I was getting really upset because I was having all these new things on my plate. And I was trying to also just do all this research, because I’m a grad student now. And I have to do all this research. But I took me forever to do anything because I was new. And I didn’t know how this lab worked. And I was getting super upset. And I had a conversation with my my boss, and he’s like, yeah, that it’s normal. You need to stop thinking you can do all these things in a week. And then I’m like, Oh, well, now, I don’t have all these responsibilities, just researching. So then I thought I could like triple my workload. Also, not true.

Like experiment, cells will still grow at the rate that they will grow. rather

Zach
if you believe in them.

Keighley
I try. I talked to them. And sometimes I seem to them not when they’re out in the environment, when they’re safely somewhere else. And they’re covered. Because don’t breathe on your cells. Yeah, don’t be so finicky. But, you know, getting a better idea of how long things take already is becoming a bit of a conundrum. But having that as a tool to have these conversations with my pa has been real helpful. So those are kind of the big three, I think, in the ways that I track my time.

Dani
And then the follow up question for you. Yeah, for the time blocking, how do you use that information to help you?

Keighley
So it was kind of, again, ties back into my like imposter syndrome. So, I realized, like, I’ve spent too much personal time this week, like, Okay, I’m not reading articles, because I spent three hours on my couch watching Netflix. So it’s, it’s having a

Zach
balance

Keighley
it’s a way for me to not just feel guilty without a basis. Like, if I can have like, actual number in front of me, I’m like, okay, like, I’m not just thinking I’m not doing enough for me, there’s like actual numbers here. And then I can make a better decision I can try for a number next week, like having an actual goal. So one of the things we might talk about what we just talked about smart goals. So they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, relevant, and time based. So for me, like, if I wanted to big picture, incorporate more lab work, or like spend more time doing lab activities, or reading a magazine or reading articles as part of my research, like that could be something so like, specific goals is increase or decrease the amount of personal time I spend in a week by 2%. And then I can actually see that because I can measure it on my time, like time tracking chart, and I can think that’s attainable, because I’m like, okay, in the last week, this is how much I spent doing it well, and the week before I was really productive. And this is approximately how much personal time I had pick a number between there, it’s, it’s attainable, obviously relevant to my life, because I’m trying to become a better grad student, and actually, like, do the thing. And it’s time time based, because I give myself a week to do it. And so that’s one way in which I think it’s helpful. It also helps me like, just know if I’m sleeping enough. So like, just knowing that like, Okay, if I’m, I’m really trying to be more consistent, like going to bed every at the same time. And I have, like, an alarm on my phone, but to like to look at it through a week. And like, see, like, the variability in like, where I’m actually going to bed. Yeah, and when I’m waking up, it’s helpful for me, like you are a visual person, this has kind of taken it and made it a visual confrontation, but like, not in a bad way, just like have to literally be like, confronted and like reckoned with, this is how I’m spending my time do I like it? Do I not like it?

Dani
Hmm. Okay.

Zach
So I, as Keighley mentioned, use my calendar, I scheduled pretty much everything for my day, mainly meetings. And anytime he says, Can I chat with you about that it goes on the calendar. Even if it’s friends, I schedule friends no judgment. That’s that’s how I’ve managed My time is putting it in a calendar. And then when I realized I don’t have something there, that’s when I go, Oh, I should be doing something else. I get distracted. And I need to, that’s where I see I met need to start time blocking everything. I’m like, Oh, I should be doing this right now. I have a free moment I should be doing this. And then maybe structuring it more around like, Oh, well, you need to get here at nine o’clock during the day and leave at six and then maybe come back later. Hopefully not because it’s already full day’s work. But if I don’t get anything done, there’s that guilt that sets in. And so I too, have had stress dreams. I’ve been reorganizing things in my sleep. And I don’t know why. And I don’t know what I’m organizing probably a paper or something like that. But me from from this conversation right now, I see that I really need to do better at time management. I need something to say, Hey, stop messing around on the internet and do your job or do something like I have its not..a fear of writing, it’s a loathing of it. And I don’t I don’t want to do it. Because I know that this is kind of my starting point, I’ll get better at it. But I feel like I’m nothing’s good enough. And that’s a whole nother conversation that’s a whole episode.

Dani
to be fair writing is never good enough. You just get to a point where like, I think this done

Zach
submit it.

And that’s where I’m at. It’s like, I keep changing. And I keep changing. And then it feels like I don’t go anywhere. And then I’m like, well, then I’m not going to spend time on that anymore. Which is the mistake I’ve been making recently. So don’t do that. Spend time on stuff.

Dani
Yeah, when when you get to that kind of brick wall on writing, send it to somebody a lab mate, a friend

Zach
a stranger, put it on your calendar,

Dani
even your parents, they might be like, I actually was able to follow up until this point. And then I couldn’t your methods didn’t make any sense to me, which for parents might be okay. But they might be like, you know, you lost me here. And they can really help with kind of clarity.

Zach
So that’s, that’s something that I’ve noticed now is that I don’t have the right focus on my own stuff. And I do block everything. But it’s not enough. So I need to have somebody I’ve told my lab as I had a sign next to my desk that says, I have blocked this time for writing. But I know I am very bad at doing that. And so underneath that, it says, if you find me distracted, throw something at me. They’ve only done it twice. And I gave them all either tennis balls or stress ball.

Dani
Oh, tennis ball could hurt though.

Zach
I need the encouragement.

Dani
Negative reinforcement for Zach.

Zach
How do you manage it? Danny?

Dani
Okay. So, um, about a year ago, I started.

It’s not like I was purposefully looking for this kind of stuff to make my time management better. But I just happen to start listening to some podcasts and one of them in particular, which is the startup scientist by Dan Quintana. Yeah. So it there hasn’t been any updates for about a year. But there’s a lot of content there. And he talks very much about workflow and how you can really structure your time when you’re at work to be super efficient. And he’s found that he can really do no more than five hours of concentrated work in a day. And that’s to do with, you know, he has other meetings and stuff he has to go to. But it’s also just how much you can physically handle in a day. And so I thought, Hmm, well, like, let me see if I can try out some of these techniques he talks about, and I find them all incredible that maybe not all of them, but I find many of them very, very useful.

Keighley
Before you get into that. Can you define what concentrated work actually? Like? What, what is what is Dan went on to talking about when he means concentrated work?

Dani
Oh, I don’t know if that’s the term he used.

Keighley
How are you interpreting that? Just so we have a very clear understanding.

Dani
Yeah, so it’s where you’re, you’re maybe you’re at your computer, or I don’t know if you’re doing lab work. But when you’re working, that is all you are doing. So if you’re at your computer, and you’re supposed to be writing that is all you’re doing. You’re not on your phone, you’re not on your email, you’re not doing anything else. But focusing on writing as an example.

Keighley
Yeah. Okay. Yes. Want to make sure that there was a clear before we Yeah, some tips that are sure to come.

Dani
Yeah. So one of the techniques he talks about that is pretty popular is the Pomodoro technique. And so this technique is, basically you’re like, I need to work on this thing. And I’m going to work on it for 25 minutes. That’s kind of the standard time. And so you literally set up a timer, and you work for 25 minutes, then once that timer goes off, you take a five minute break. And then maybe you can do several sessions of a Pomodoro, so maybe you do 25 minutes, five minute break, 25 minutes on five minute break, and then maybe one more, and then you take a longer break, then it really helps you focus. And I found it for me, that helps me focus a lot. But 25 minutes is just an example time. So in my writing groups, we do 50 minutes at a time. Because for me, 25 minutes writing that’s right when I’ve hit my groove, and I don’t want to stop yet because there’s other people in the room. And we’ve like, I cannot sometimes work in my lab, I have many lab mates. And it’s none of their faults. But sometimes it just gets really busy in there. And so I really need to leave if I’m going to get any kind of writing done. So for my writing groups, I leave that room, I’ve reserved a room somewhere else. And I meet like minded people that also want to write during that time. And then we do the 50 minutes on 10 minutes off 50 minutes on again,

Keighley
Does it also helped to have people who are working? Yes, yes. on that, that I had a roommate once who, whenever she was around and was working, I found myself to be infinitely more productive, because, yeah, oh, well, she’s she’s working.

Zach
She’s making me look bad.

Dani
Well, I think a little bit of it really could be like, oh, gosh, well, they look like they’re really focused. So I really shouldn’t like, I want to check this thing that is not related to my writing, but I won’t. So that has worked for me really well. And I did start keeping track of how much writing I was doing and on what topics or maybe what papers so he keep track of how many hours I gave a paper or an application so that I can feel good about myself, essentially.

Keighley
Are there any other reasons you keep track of that, other than that gratification?

Dani
No,

Keighley
okay. Just I mean, it also might be helpful to be like, you know, on average, this is how much writing time it takes me to turn on a paper. So, like the next time up, I asked you to write, you can make, okay, I anticipate it taking me this many hours, which can be really helpful, you know, trying to put as multiple papers you can give them more accurate timeline, knowing how many hours it took you.

Dani
Yeah, well, and that’s, that’s a really fantastic point. I’ve only been keeping track for a semester. And,

and so I write every two hours every day, Monday to Friday. And there’s sometimes when other things come up, but I protect that time like crazy. And if you try to schedule something with me during that time, I’m not going to do it. Now, there are a few times where I’ll make exceptions if it’s like a once a semester kind of thing. And I’ll be like, okay,

Keighley
like a great speaker or something.

Dani
Yeah, or I want to volunteer at the museum says like, that’s going to happen next Friday. So then I’ll make the exception. But besides that, it’s not happening. What’s really important is also keeping up to date with the literature. And people have many different ways. I know Kaylee is looking tortured. There’s a lot of different ways to do that. But I think one of the easiest ways I found is to set up Google Alerts. So our Google Scholar alerts

Keighley
or also Scopus, just want to throw that in there

Dani
during the the show notes are going to be intense, we will link literally everything. Okay,

so for Google Scholar alerts, what you can do is you go to school Google Scholar, and you can actually set up specific phrases that if they appear specific words, if they appear in a new article that’s come out that Google Scholar has indexed, you will get an email about it. And so sometimes, I mean, I have word phrases that send me a lot of crap.

And so if you find that, then you can get rid of those ones and make it a better phrase. But that helps me so much keep on top of the literature. Now, the only problem with the Google Scholar alerts is that if you get these emails, you do need to actually go through them and figure out what papers are there. And what you want to look at what you don’t

Keighley
i could have time block, though, it’s like, you know, at the beginning of every week, you spend an hour and a half just going..

Dani
Oh, it’s not that much time.

Keighley
Or, 20 minutes I don’t know, my my, my boss does that he actually said it gets those and it gets them all sent to a folder. And then at the beginning of every month, he goes to that folder. So that’s probably where I was getting the hour the whole month collecting literature,

Dani
and is he actually reading it? Or is he actually seeing what is going to be useful in he

Keighley
so he goes to the articles that are sent to him, and he categorizes them into skim it because it’s like an interesting idea, or it might just be kind of conceptually helpful. And then it so that’s one category if there’s a share with the students category where he wants us to do it and report back to him. And because he thinks that like, it’s very helpful for our particular research, and then he has a spend a lot of time annotating really deeply understanding a category [Okay], so that’s how he does that because he uses

uses papers which is just like Otero or no or a Mendely to help him, kind of categorize that.

Dani
Okay, that’s, that’s super helpful, I think I do need a little bit more help there with how, like, what to do with these papers once I have them. Because what I’ve done is, um, there’s an app, you can get called pocket, and it will, and you can just download it to your phone. And you can open a website, basically, and then save it to pocket. And then you can open it up in a web browser on your laptop later, and then you can and then you can address whatever the heck you wanted to do with that website. So I use pocket and then I do spend time once a month with pocket and I go through it and make sure that I I know where I want to put things.

So Kaylee just mentioned some citation managers and citation managers are hugely helpful. So before citation managers, people had to to do all their citations by hand, which is a fucking waste of time. And it’s really irritating. And it takes it just takes so much time I had to do that for my masters. And I think paper citation software existed at that point. But I just didn’t know how to use it. And I didn’t really know. Yeah, it’s really worth the time. So the two most popular free ones are as Zotero and Mendely, and we’ll link both of those. And like our university has workshops with Zotero so I can actually go and get some help setting it up in a way that’s going to be useful for me, but your university might have something else that they like, or Zach and I were talking about this earlier, if you want to take that away, Zach.

Zach
So make sure you’re using the same citation software that your advisor uses, particularly that like if I use Zotero, the database I produce is not compatible with Endnote, that was what my advisor uses. So I have to make sure that we use the same software that we while we’re writing citations are managed properly, and I don’t have to worry about them.

Dani
Yeah. For me, I use Zotero and my advisor, I actually don’t know what he uses I think he was looking at as Zotero as a as a potential thing he might want to use. But I just tell them, you know, don’t delete any of the references, if you don’t want them leave a comment. And that has been has been working for us. But I will link because the internet is amazing. There’s really a whole matrix of paper citation software comparisons and you can see what works for you and what your friends might have experience with, or what your advisor might have experienced

Keighley
one even just one might not work for you. So like, our university provides us with Endnote and I found for my personal like, when I was writing my proposal and note communicated a lot better with Word in terms of like, making updates as I would like, add a citation. Whereas though, Zotero, for me at the time was not as easy, but I like so Tara was format for like my day to day. So there might need to be a combination. And like, on my iPad, when I read papers, I use the papers app. So it’s a little annoying, having things in three places, but I have a very specifically use for them. So like, I’m never on a note, unless I have selected my papers that I’m going to use for my manuscript. And then I only like a note, which helps me keep things just mentally separate. These are papers I’m just consuming versus papers I’m actually using versus papers, I’m in the middle of, you know, reading on the go, Hmm. So, there may just need to be, you know, there may be a combination that works best for people too

Dani
Yeah, and, and knowing yourself, will be very helpful too, because I know, for myself, if I have more than one, I will just die, I will lose track of stuff. And I will. Like, I don’t function well, that way, but Keighley very high functioning in the organization part of things and I am not. I really struggle with

Keighley
we kind of complement each other organizationally

Dani
we do I’m a we like to joke that Kaylee is type A and I am type be in terms of personality types.

Keighley
But I’m wearing off on you becoming an A, B

Dani
B plus perhaps. Okay. And so the very last thing for workflow is one of the things I’m most happy about is that I can make my own graphs in R and they look very nice. And they are repeatable. So learning code early on, could be really important for you. And there are ways in Excel to make really nice, nice graphs. So I’m not knocking on Excel. And if you know Excel, well, then you might not want to waste time learning a programming language. But for me, I started learning are several years ago. And being able to have control over graphs in that in that program was really helpful, helpful for me, not only that, but also analysis and just overall data management. And then, of course, there’s obviously a ton of other programming languages. But I like our because it’s really, really great for visualizations, and graphs, and all that. So after taking up all of that time, I will kind of back off from all those details of workflow. And just say, for me, in general, what helps me very much is planning ahead, which is why I made the timeline for the graduate students here in our department, because that helps me keep big timelines in mind.

Keighley
Yeah, I think that’s mean. That’s the common denominator, at least between what you and I and even Zach are saying like, that’s why we use calendars look at things more broad perspective, that’s why I send calendars to my PI at the beginning of every month, because we take these big steps back they think are super important. And you’re really the champion of reminding us to have these big goals and look, taking a step back and being like, Okay, what progress Have you made on those big goals.

Dani
And then the last thing I do is, whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, which is frequent enough that I do this at least once a week as I make lists. And they’re kind of to do list, but also just to get everything that’s in my brain out onto paper, because it might be in my calendar. But having it in a to do list that I can actually Mark things off is really helpful for me, too, and it helps me plan out, I do this for semesters, like, what are my goal for the entire semester. And then I’ll do monthly goals to like for January, I want to get this done. And then there’s some times where you have to control over that, like my writing groups, I feel like I have a fair amount of control over how much time I spend in those. And then other times, I don’t have control. Like, if we’re doing if I want to do lab work, and something is not functioning right, or I forgot to order solvent in December. So we don’t have solvent right now in my lab, then, you know, that’s kind of my bad. And I can’t really control all aspects of that. So I have to let it go. But it helps me just get things out of my brain and onto paper. So as a visual person, I can, I can see what’s next.

Keighley
That’s 100% true, I was filling out my individual developmental plan, NIH requires it now, okay. And one of the things that they said is, it’s really important for you to get your ideas out of your brain. Because your brain is really good at generating ideas, it’s not good at holding on to them. And I read that it’s like, oh, my gosh, that’s, like, so true, right? Especially, because, like, we’re being trained to think really deeply, and, like intricately. And now we’re like, also remember to like, reach out to this person, it’s good to get so easily lost in the shuffle. So your advice to put things in a physical place where you can reference it is, I think, spot on.

Dani
Yeah. And then overall, if you need help doing something, or like Zach’s having trouble with the writing portion. And so he’s taken steps, which I think is really great to make Tuesdays and Thursdays, his writing times that is not disturbed. And then, you know, like I’ve already mentioned for me, I need to write outside of my lab. But I am not good at writing at home. So that’s something I know about me. But you can have groups. So we have writing groups, but then somebody else recently was like, hey, I want to find grants. So she decided to create a grant writing group or the first hour is looking for grants and second hours writing outlines for those grants. So whenever you are trying to do something, see if other people want to do that, too. And then you can meet up and maybe that will be enough to help you move forward with it.

Keighley
Accountability buddy

Zach
Support group for this is really, really important. Otherwise, we’ll never do it.

Keighley
So one thing that kind of ties into with what we’ve been talking about is this idea of deep work. And we’ve been really kind of skootling around it without, you know, calling it by name. It’s so it’s this concept of deep work versus shallow work. And it was originally coined this, this concept by Cal Newport in 2016, he wrote a book that basically talks about how he focuses on things. And so the idea of deep work exactly what you were saying before, Danny, is when you’re focusing without distraction. Like you’re saying, dad went on his podcast, it’s that concentrated work, it’s the same thing that counts, talking about his deep work where you’re locked into doing something and you’re refusing to, like, let go of it dog with a bone style, like you really got to just dig in. And, and in this book, he talks about a couple of interesting things like task switching. And that results in something, it just I like having words for things like terms for things, which is why I’m bringing this up, kind of in a somewhat redundant way. So when you when you task switch, so when you go, you’re writing, oh, I’m just gonna check this email really quick, you result in something called attention residue, where it takes time to get back into it, right. And like, this is all a concept, I’m sure it’s like, not novel to hear about. But for me, just like having a word justifies it. And like, allows me to control it, like, you know, it’s like name your demons. So it’s a idea, if you keep yourself in a state of persistent attention residue, you end up draining your brain really quickly, because you’re spending all this energy on just pulling yourself back into things. And so Cal discusses four rules of helping you do deep work. And I’m sure they aligned very similarly with what Dan Quintana was talking about. But two that he really that I think are really common for people. It was getting off social media that’s like a big drain, especially considering that’s how a lot of us network now and that’s how we stay in touch with people. That’s how we keep our pulse on the latest and greatest that’s really difficult. So some people will just go and decide not to do social media but personally I don’t think that’s an option for our generation long term

Dani
as Zack hangs his head because he’s not only social media,

Keighley
I mean, it could be anything from like, just having a LinkedIn account, to creating your website to being on Twitter daily, you know, it can be anything but to not have any access to that, I think is, it could be really difficult. But because of these, again, urgency effects, going back to words that we’re introducing to this podcast, you go on to Twitter, and you like, Oh, you you hit get a little bit of a high because somebody may be liked your post, or you can retweet somebody and then you feel like, oh, I’ve accomplished something like I went on and I networked today, you can kind of, you know, justify these things and making yourself feel good about it.

Dani
Someone. Yeah, someone liked my posts. So that’s positive reinforcement. So I’m going to do it again.

Keighley
Yeah,

Zach
you drug addict.

Dani
I mean, well, it is addictive, though.

Keighley
But that was. So really just being like, I think really aware of that. And understanding that we can really be easily manipulated by social media. And in the book Cal talks about the reason he officially effectively started with deep work was because of this problem. And how, because of this conversation, a lot of people have become this. Apparently, there’s a digital minimalism movement, which just is kind of like time blocking your social media. Hmm. So you only allow yourself between certain hours of the day

Zach
I’m really good at that.

Dani
Here’s so good at it. You don’t even have any hours,

I can ask a question. Because I feel like with the workflow stuff I talked about before, it helps me be really efficient, so that I can do a 40 Hour Workweek, because I’m spending time doing deep work in a way that means I don’t necessarily have to spend eight hours a day writing I can do two hours and then do other stuff. So does What’s this guy’s name again, Cal Newport? Does he talk about that at all like is it hasn’t been shown that with deep work, you can do more in the same amount of time. Yeah, in less time.

Keighley
Yeah. So I don’t know if it’s been like he had, I don’t know if he has the numbers, but based on his theory, and a couple of anecdotes that he presents in his in the book. And because if you do deep work, you do not have things like that attention residue, the you become more productive. So if you have an eight hour workday, and you’re constantly flipping between tasks, you end up losing a bigger chunk of that work day, okay, to adjusting to making tasks switches, yeah, whereas if you focus for two hours, you’re unlikely to have that level of work if you are switching back and forth. So if you were even if you were to give yourself three hours, you would lose effectively an hour of that by attention switching by not doing this deep work.

Dani
Okay, cool.

Keighley
Yeah, that’s one another one. So that sometimes you know how, when you start thinking about something, and then all of your conversations start happening. And people start giving you advice on this thing that you’re working on, or like you you’re another podcast, or read a book about things that are like, relevant, this has happened to me. So I was listening to a different podcast, and they were talking about Randi Zuckerberg pick three, and the women on the podcast kind of had mixed reviews. But I think conceptually, it’s a really interesting idea. And so this was a New York Times bestseller. And the theory is very simple, you have categories in your life, and you pick three of them. So you set up five categories, and you literally just pick three, I’m looking at Zach right now, because he mentioned this in our bureaucracy episode,

Zach
there were three points, you can only pick two,

Keighley
it’s very similar to the triangle option. So that was very similar, right. Um, and the five categories proposed in the book are work, which are projects, you give time and get value, sleep, family, either you’re given, or your chosen friends, which is she uses as a catch all for pleasure activities, which is separate from working family and fitness, which is all areas of wellness. And the conversation from the podcast that I heard was, these aren’t really great categories. For like, the average person, Randi Zuckerberg has, like a lot of Facebook money. And so she’s able to kind of delegate a lot of the necessary tasks like clean your house. And also it’s kind of obvious, we’re going to work and we’re going to sleep. But one way that as a graduate student, we could adjust that is, OK, we have five categories of work, you know, we have writing, we have teaching, we have class work, we have research we have, I don’t like mentoring or something, and you per day, it’s not even like, you don’t pick through just private, right, you every day, you decide that you’re going to commit yourself to three of those things. And so like, if you’re like, today is going to be writing day or mentoring day in our research day, like, I know, my, my undergrad is going to come in, so I’m gonna spend actual time with them today. And whereas like, maybe I’m not going to spend time doing those other two tasks, but then you make up for it. And the big key to this is tracking it, which might be, you know, you might do it the way that I do it on Excel sheet, where you track which things so that you have a rotating schedule, so nothing gets stuck by the wayside. And it gives you a really good broad view. So that’s one thing I thought would be really interesting. And, and I like that, because it allows you to make these decisions kind of burden, like guilt free, like, well, nope, I picked these things today. And if somebody comes up to you and says, Hey, can you help me with this thing? And you didn’t pick it you can make tomorrow, tomorrow. I’ve already delegated as a writing day. So yes, I will write or if you want to consider editing as part of that, like, Oh, sure, I will read your paper, because that fits into my writing. And that’s also a really helpful way if you want to just, you know, just talking about from a work perspective, hello, choose your time and not feel guilty about it?

Dani
Yeah, well, I think that’s really cool. Because I, I think, you know, Zach, talking about it in Episode Three, just kind of intuitively.. intuitively assigning those, and then with the idea of like, some days have certain things we were just talking to about Zach. And like, Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be your writing days now. So I think it’s cool that a lot of these are kind of intuitive. But then we learn more about them. And when we can use them.

Keighley
Yeah, I think he’s all kind of have a little bit of overlap, because they’re all based in a good idea, right? It’s all conscious use of time.

Zach
Yes, I think one kind of mental switch you have to make is, this is time management, not a sacrifice. And that’s what I’ve seen it is like, I’ve always said it, like, I sacrifice that third point of the triangle. And I’m not going to do that. But in this point is, I’m going to manage that later, so that I can do what I need to do today, and moves that time.

Dani
Yeah,

Keighley
and I think the last thing, so this actually came up in a lab meeting originally, which kind of made me remember this. So there is a famous quote quote from Dwight Eisenhower that says, What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important. And this goes into play in what’s called the Eisenhower box, where you draw a four quadrant box, and we’ll include an image of this, where along the top, the first one says urgent, and then the second ones, the first columns is urgent, the second column says, not urgent. And then the first row is labeled as important. And the second one is labeled as not important. And if you’re having a hard time deciding on tasks, you know, like if you have a research day, or you’re looking at a long term goal that you’re trying to figure out where tasks fall, or even just responding to tasks as they come into your, you know, somebody sends you an email, like, Hey, I actually need this really last minute. And it’s somebody you can’t really say no to, it helps you really keep track of where your things where things live. So in our lab, we kind of redid the traditional box. So the traditional docs says that things are both important and urgent, you need to do today, things that are important, but not urgent, you have to schedule a time to do in the future, things that are urgent, but not important, you find someone else to do for you, if you can,

and things that are neither urgent or not important, you must delete

and really just, you need to really like assess if you don’t think it’s urgent or important, it needs to not be on your plate right now. And so in the lab, we kind of came up with a new system where we’re aiming for our projects to be in the important but not urgent category. So instead of, you know, we’re, we’re scheduling it out. But that’s really where we want our projects to be. We don’t want to be responding last minute, because that’s a stressful environment for research is like, Oh, crap, I need this figure for this publication that’s going on or for this grant that my PI is writing, like, I have to suddenly do this and drop everything, it’s really stressful. So we’re not aiming to have our tasks be in that box. We’re aiming for them to be important tasks, but not urgent. And then use the other thing we talked about is their urgent tasks, but not super important at the moment, like a meeting that came up last minute, you know, it might not be considered very, very important to you, but you have to be there. And those are draining tasks. Those are things that take away from your time. And so we’re trying not to have a lot of things there. You know, we’re trying to schedule our meetings where they are not urgent, we know about them in the future, and they’re not reactionary. And then also, we concurred with the traditional Eisenhower box that things that are neither urgent or important should not happen, I think when we did it, or my PI just wrote a giant x in that box he’s like, nope, tasks don’t go there.

Which is, it’s a really interesting concept. I’m going to try to implement it this semester to help me I have a really bad problem with I received tasks and then I immediately do them. Yeah, whereas I think it’s kind of taking your your list idea, but for me, like categorizing them, which helps me respond to them better. And rather than, like, I just because I’ve done the list thing, but I just will pick and choose the things I want to do. Yeah. So if I can put them in these boxes, every you know, as I received them, then it’ll help me A not feel bad about doing them later. Because I know they’re written down and they’ll they’ll get done, but the night like the things that actually need to get done, will, ya know, kill you have to run this Western today? Yeah, like, that’s like, it’s not great that it’s urgent. But like it’s today, it has become urgent because I moved it from my not urgent to my urgent for today. List.

Dani
Yeah, Brooke talks a lot about swallowing the frog. Yeah. Which is a phrase I never heard before her. But she swears other people know it.

But it’s the idea that if there’s a list of things that you’re supposed to do start with the one that you don’t want to fucking do, because it still has to get done. So just do it. And then it’ll be so like, such like a relief and it’ll be so great. And then doing the rest of stuff won’t be as bad. But just getting that first thing off the plate. The one that you don’t do that you’ve been avoiding for perhaps weeks. Yeah, just get her done.

Keighley
You know, look, for me, it’s writing. Which is why I’m glad that writing groups are in the morning time based on like, I just gotta do it. Do it. Yeah. But that’s also you know, in the swallow the frog, the first time it came up is when I was doing proposals, and I was not working on them, like I should have been, and it was so nice to have an accountability buddy for that. So I was talking about having an accountability, buddy, but sometimes you have so many things that you just cannot have somebody who’s helping you keep track of your shit. Like, that’s just not, I think, fair to ask people. But yeah, to have the swallow the frog tasks, having an accountability buddy, then, like, you can tell someone, hey, this is going to be the tasks that I’m really going to struggle with. And so you celebrate even harder, like, I remember, I sent you guys a picture of me, like, finished my first article. Yeah. And it was such an achievement. And you guys were like, so happy and so proud of me doing like the thing. It’s like, dumps like, obviously, I need to do it. Yeah. But just like, get that, like overjoyed made me feel so good. That like, okay,

I really did do it. Like, I can just keep doing it. Even though it’s like obnoxious, it shouldn’t have been celebrated that much. But just acknowledging like, this was hard for me, it was really hard for me to have to start this and just getting the feedback from others being like, we know. Yeah, and we are so happy that you did this.

Dani
Yeah. And a lot of times, too, once you get over that hump of doing whatever, that one thing was, that you really didn’t want to sometimes doesn’t even take that long, and it was just irritating. And now it’s done. Like, Brooke, in writing group yesterday. She was like, Okay, this whole thing is going to take me two hours. And that’s my goal for today. And I said, Okay, and then like, during our break for after the first 15 minutes, she was like, so that actually ended up only taking me five minutes. Wow. Yeah. And I was like, okay, so you’re not getting a checkmark today? Because you’re not. How did you not know that was going to take only five minutes, but it’s because she’d been avoiding it. Yeah, I didn’t give her a checkmark for that

Keighley
thank you so much for listening. Next time we’ll be talking about life parenting partnerships and death with Brooke will and Danny

Dani
you can find us on Twitter @STEMculture. One word or email us at STEMculturePodcast@gmail.com. If you like what we’re doing, please rate us on iTunes to help other people find us. Please do that. We don’t have any ratings yet. Love you.

If you’d like to support us, you can find our patriot on our website plus our show notes like the copious show notes that will exist for today articles to STEMulate and links to our YouTube channel for transcribed shows at www.STEMculturePodcast.com

Zach
until next time, don’t forget to consensually hug grad student or at least buy them coffee

Keighley
sort of thing. If you can name

Dani
beezlebub

Zach
Jamathy.

Dani
It’s not a real

Zach
Lucifer.

Dani
Okay, better. That’s a fallen angel. That’s fine

Zach
Gurglesletch.

Keighley
Sorry, I don’t know any… my brother. No Colin I’m sorry

Zach
She’s not sorry… the look on her face …

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Hosts

Keighley R.

Keighley R.

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Keighley is a badass bitch and studies metastatic breast cancer. She’s also super into science communication and will organize you under the table.

Zach W.

Zach W.

Pronouns: he/him/his
Zach is super into STEM professional development and into being an online enigma. He also likes Sweet Tea and DND.

Dani C.

Dani C.

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Dani is the big bad wolf to tyranny and fairy godmother to grad students. She loves to invade the private lives of cetaceans and sling iron like a boss.