Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Women in Science

Back to the Topic

Video clip: Eleanor finds she can get caught in a self-perpetuating cycle of work, which can lead to tiredness and being less efficient that she could be.

And you say you still paint, so you have time to paint then?

Occasionally [laughing].


Yes, I have to decide, 'this weekend, I'm going to do some painting'.


And then. Because otherwise you just, you get hooked into the email cycle, and you think 'one more'. But of course you do one, two more come in. And it's very, very easy to - yeah, just suddenly the whole weekends gone, and all you've done is email which is awful.

And in terms of your working hours away from home, what sort of hours would you keep on average a week? In terms of the day?

So, I mean - I travel a lot so it's hard to say But I mean I will usually be in by half past eight in the morning. If it's a day when I'm in the lab all day, I'll probably work through to about six. If I'm at home, I'll probably work even longer. This is why dancing is good, because it means you have to leave the house.


And as I say, I'm convinced a lot of it is deeply inefficient.

In what way?

I think if you had to work between nine and five, and you were not allowed to work outside those hours, you'd get an awful lot of what you manage to get done in that time because you'd have to work efficiently. And I, yes, I think we've got it wrong.

So why do you think - why do you think you don't have that, that discipline to do it in those hours? Is it because you enjoy it? Is it because –

No, no, no - I think it's insecurity. It's 'oh what if I don't do it, there'll be even more tomorrow, so I'd better just finish this'. And then you get tired, and then you get slower at doing something. And then it self-perpetuates. So you, yes... And I do sometimes break it, and say "No, this weekend nothing's happening. Emails off. Fresh on Monday." And it's always better. But I don't seem to learn from it as much as I should.