Graduate school is an exciting and challenging time for students, especially when it comes to research. However, students often struggle with finding the right balance between reading and conducting experiments in the lab. It can feel like you're spending too much time reading and not enough time doing, leading to feelings of frustration and inefficiency.
The good news is that reading efficiently is a skill that can be learned and improved. Here are some tips for balancing time between reading and experimentation:
- Jump around with articles. Rarely read them from start to finish, unless they are particularly important or interesting.
- Establish specific times for reading. This can help prevent reading from disrupting your lab work. For example, try reading during coffee breaks, long incubation steps etc.,
- Prioritize research over reading. Make sure you have read most of the key papers relevant to your research (such as "Smith et al. 1999") before focusing on new papers. This way, you can ensure that you have a solid foundation for your work.
- Talk to your supervisor. Your supervisor can help you evaluate how much background information you need and provide guidance on how to prioritize your reading.
Reading is an essential part of graduate school and keeping up with new research is important, but it's also important to find the right balance between reading and conducting experiments. By using these tips, you can increase your reading efficiency and ensure that your time in the lab is well-spent.