STAT

My work-life balance is tilting toward work. I’m trying to tilt it back

It’s easy to feel guilty if weekends often involve more sunglasses than safety glasses. But taking breaks will make me a better scientist in the long run.

“What’s hot for the weekend?”

For graduate students like me, this is a loaded question.

It’s asking, however friendly the intent, “What will you prioritize this weekend? Churning out data, or working on your tan?”

The bread and butter of biomedical research is publishing research papers to get grants to publish more research papers to get more grants. This means hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of work, of timed experiments that don’t skip weekends, and of model organisms that need to be fed and looked after, even if it’s Friday night.

It’s competitive, meaning 10- or 12-hour days are

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