When it comes to the menial tasks and frustrating inefficiencies of the lab, it helps to keep a sense of humor. We polled our lab-dwelling colleagues to see which inconveniences ranked as the worst time sinks.
Here are the most common (and dreaded) time wasters in the lab:
10.) Re-working an experiment
The first run messed up... the moment you stepped away.
9.) Babysitting instruments
You may have a bachelors degree, a doctorate, and a post-doc under your belt, but no degree can get you out of babysitting your experiments.
8.) Waiting for instruments
Your sample is ready. Your protocol is prepared. Your reagents are mixed... Instrument In Use. Pull up a seat for an indeterminate amount of time, you need to wait for an instrument to be available.
7.) Converting data
There's nothing like converting files from one format to another, over and over again, to really make you feel like you're accomplishing something as a scientist.
6.) Dealing with customer support
Why are you spending 3 hours on the phone with a customer support representative like it's the 80's? You don't want the Maytag repairman - you want modern, customer-centric tools, that are easy to use and troubleshoot.
5.) Data jockeying
Another favorite past time - manually copying data into Excel in order to perform the exact same analysis. Every time. For every sample.
4.) Keeping a lab notebook
Nothing says "efficiency" like manually recording data in your lab notebook... only to retype it into a computer later.
3.) Interruptions from the boss
Oh the irony. You have to postpone your experiment because your boss scheduled a conflicting meeting - to discuss whether you're going to get your project done on time.
2.) The law of wrong parts
At long last the technician shows up to repair some mission-critical equipment, but they bring the wrong part.
1.) Pure and simple: it's fate
Three things in life are certain: death, taxes, and coming in to the lab at 2am...
...or is it? We feel your pain, so we created a solution. Learn more about how you can alleviate some of the most common time sinks with TetraScience.