Your mental energy matters significantly, because knowledge work requires deep concentration and creativity. Many young research scientists struggle with time management, not only as a product of time, but that of mental energy. The cognitive load that one experiences can be tremendous, especially when it comes to intellectual focus and decision making. This is a critical resource that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The results can be catastrophic when we’re deciding whether to invest our time into completing a manuscript or completing another assay. Therefore, we need to make room to reserve our most critical thinking during times where we’re most refreshed and focused.
Aside from the technical skill sets seasoned or novice research assistants can possess, they have 4 traits which can contribute to their work behaviors; motivation, mindset, perspective, and feelings. These dynamic traits can determine the productivity of your lab’s early success.