I will stay late or come in the weekends when it is necessary. As Ph D students we’re trained to put in a significant amount of time planning our experiments.
But as a rule I’m only present 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You need to think of everything in advance: in my biology world it’s to make sure the lab is ready, well-stocked, the equipment is booked, calculations are done and so on.
There is a very, very famous myth called work-life balance in Academia.
Let’s get this straight right now: there is no work-life balance in Academia. What is possible, however, is in words of Radhika Nagpal This means you should try to be the best whole person that you can be.
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This study proposes that organizations need to adapt their cultures to develop a more egalitarian and employee-centred approach to work-life balance but identifies that cultural change at organizational levels alone would not be effective in challenging work-life imbalance.
Planning, or at least having some goals, for a year, the next 5 years or similar is also recommended.
For your day-today-work however, the daily, weekly and up-to-6-monthly plan is the most useful. I have a template for the weekly and daily note looking like this: You can download this Evernote template here for free (and as a bonus a template to plan your experiments).