I’ve always been a really organized person, and this trait, perhaps inevitably, has permeated my lab life. I’m a huge fan of color-coordinated labels and dividers, papers systematically filed away, updated lab notebooks, indexed experiments and freezer boxes…the whole nine yards. [I’ve always thought that, if the research thing didn’t work out, I could initiate a career as a personal organizer for scientists.]
But even for the most organized of individuals, the “System” can and will go awry. As of this morning, I have officially reached my tolerance level for paper piles and non-updated notebooks. I have five separate cloning projects underway, and I need to begin planning actual experiments for some of these buggers. Instead, I feel scattered and lost, and I absolutely cannot move forward on anything until my desk (and life) is put back in order. In other words, my lab world has officially stopped turning. Maybe it’s a weakness to be at the mercy of this obsession, but my brain just cannot function when things get this ugly. Thus, I am declaring today an “Organization Day”.
So now I’m in my happy place, playing with folders and labels and pretty colored tabs – an organizational freak’s heaven. By the end of the day I should have a plan, a beautifully arranged desk, and some peace. And then life can move on.