Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Ultimate Time Drain

The past few weeks and the next few weeks are already booked out at work. If you look at my calendar however, you will see very few appointments. Instead, I am glued to my computer spending more time writing than you would think possible for someone who normally spends lots of time in the lab.

I am simultaneously engaged in the two most time-sucking activities known to man. If you've never undertaken either of these activities before, you will have that cute naive innocence that says "Oh, that looks easy and shouldn't take too long!" What am I talking about?
  • Writing a grant proposal
which is plenty time-consuming, but in terms of "where did the time go and why is this taking so long and how many more revisions do I have to go through", it's a child's play. No, I am talking about the ultimate time-kill, the one where a whole week can be spent, where endless searching of exotic databases is needed, where you leave the building each day in a mind-dead zombie-like state (where you can't even count to 4!) without having even looked out the windows once to even see if it was a nice day. I'm talking about
  • Writing a patent application
Lest someone complain about grants, grants are an internal driven process. When you are happy with it, you might have a few colleagues look at it for some comments, but with patents, it's back and forth with the lawyers, who have an entirely different (and appropriate) view on everything. Plus there is the almost absolute guaranty that there will be more back and forth in the coming years as the patent office and the patent examiners starts to get into the game.

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