On Having Non-Work Time

Academics, scientists, researchers – all LOVE their job. In many cases the love drives the work. This means it can take up the time allotted to it. But, if you ask me, that’s the reason why you struggle so much with negative feedback. Your entire life, your sense of self is all bound up in your research self. There are few other interests to drive your intellect. To take your attention. To pick you up when research is taking you down. So, make sure you have non-work time each week.


When your life has a single focus, one of the things that can make life hard is that when that single focus fails. As researchers, we love our job it becomes our life, it becomes our single focus. And as a result, when we get negative feedback when the research fails, we feel like our life is a failure.

So, one of the ways to combat this to prevent this from happening is to have diverse interests or at the very least to shed your non-work time. So don’t work 10 hours a day, work 8. Don’t work the weekends, give yourself a break. So, if you want to increase your resilience, if you want to have a better research career, I strongly encourage you to give yourself some non-work time too. It’ll freshen up your mind, It’ll allow you to freshen up your body, and it’ll certainly allow you more connections with the people that you love in your life. 

So go ahead! Schedule some non-work time.