Spring Refresh: Updating your IDP Tool & Goals

Spring is the perfect time to refresh your goals and update your IDP tool. Recently I attended the Creating and Owning Your Individual Development Plan workshop hosted by The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) and learned some great tips. Next month, they are having a follow-up workshop called, I Completed my IDP…Now What? If these workshops sound interesting you can check out more of their resources on the CIRTL website. (more…)

Superwoman: Achieving Work-Life Balance

As many women agree, society can put pressure to do it all – to be a superwoman. Sometimes we might want to do it all, but then there are times we cannot. That is okay because we are human and we all need balance. Whether it is a “yes” or a “no”, establishing boundaries, knowing your limits and expressing yourself is key. “No” is a complete sentence that needs no explanation and it is not being rude. Do not fall trap of being voluntold. A superwoman asserts herself and is confident. If you want to learn more about being more assertive in the workplace check out the book, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel.

Besides this Lois P. Frankel’s book I recommend reading Dr. Amy Freeman’s book about work-life balance, Stress Less: 10 Balancing Insights on Work and Life. I did a Mademoiselle Spotlight on her last year and talked about how she is an inspiration to me as an Black Woman in STEM. She is a wonderful mentor and in her book I learned so many things about how I can achieve work-life balance. (more…)

Spring Cleaning: 5 Quick Tips to Declutter Your Inbox

Inboxes can get easily get out of hand. Let’s fix that. Here are 5 tips to get you started:

5 Quick Tips to Declutter Your Inbox:

1. Unsubscribe from unnecessary notifications:
This is one of the biggest ways to decrease your daily emails. Unsubscribe from news feeds, social media notifications and any other subscription services that you do not need. For example, if you read a lot of blogs sign up for Bloglovin’, which is a website that allows you to read all of your blogs in one place instead of reading the blog post in your inbox or going to the blogger’s site.

2. Color Code, Create Labels and Filters:
I’m big on organizing, especially color coding. Gmail has great color coding and labeling options to keep your emails organized. If you don’t have a Gmail account many email accounts have color coding options, which will make checking your email a breeze. Use the filters and labels to your advantage.

3. Daily Maintenance:
When you check your email immediately delete the emails you do not need.

4. Respond as Soon as You Can:
The longer you wait to respond the more emails pile up. If an email takes more time to respond to set a reminder and use the stars feature to set it as a priority to email back.

5. Set a Time to Check Your Email:
Decide what time is good for you and set a small block of time dedicated to checking your email. When you do this you will find yourself spending less time looking through your inbox.

What tips do you have for getting your inbox under control? Share below.

The Power Nap

Tired or stressed? Recharge your batteries with a Power Nap. I like to take my Power Nap after my Power Hour depending on my schedule that day. Power Naps are amazing because it’s just enough time to relax without falling into a deep sleep. (more…)

Recharging After Your Vacation

A month ago I wrote a post about How to make the most of your summer vacation. Recharging after your vacation is just as important as taking your vacation.

Here are My Tips to Recharge After Vacation:

1. Read an Inspirational Book(s):

One of my favorite hobbies is reading. During my break I relaxed and spent quality with my family. Towards the end of my break I picked up some inspirational books.

2. Take a Nice Walk, Run or Jog:

Along with reading I enjoy walking. Whenever I feel stressed or need some fresh air I take a walk. After your vacation take a moment to walk to help you unwind before resuming your regular schedule.

3. Listen to Some Good Music:

I enjoy listening to music and this summer I have been listening to all types of music. Before you go to sleep listen to music that makes you feel happy and relaxed. When you wake up you will feel happier and ready to start your day.


How to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation

It’s vacation season. Now is the time to relax, spend time with family and have fun.

How to Make the Most of Your Summer Vacation:

1. Prepare and Create Lists:
Send reminders to our labmates, boss, coworkers, or other people that we need to notify because people generally forget when people have time off. You don’t want to receive work/school messages while on vacation so set your vacation away message for your email. Set a to-do list so when you get back you know what you have to work on. Now, you can enjoy all your vacation time and have things in order when you get back.

2. Switch Your Mind to Vacation Mode:
Leave all of your worries, frustrations, and stresses out of your mind for the time that you are on vacation. Have you ever been on a vacation with someone and all they talked about was how they are so stressed and dreading going back to work? Don’t let this person be you. Use your vacation as a time to temporarily forget life’s stresses. This is how to take a true vacation inside and out.

3. Leave Your Work at Home:
This is important, especially for my workaholics out there. The purpose of a vacation is to have time to relax, have fun and explore your vacation’s surroundings. If you are working you cannot enjoy your vacation to the maximum potential. Use your vacation time to completely escape from your work for a while. It will not hurt you. Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you for it. (more…)

Welcome to the New Year – 2014

Happy New Year!!!

Thank you for coming back to Mademoiselle Scientist. Last year when I started Mademoiselle Scientist I set my intention to create a digital space to support the next generation of scientists. Even though there has been ups and downs I am determined to find my niche. Having this corner of the internet is my opportunity to share and create the career path that suits my purpose, passion, skills, experiences and make an impact. 

This year I will keep sharing information and take steps to move forward with my goals. I know there will be challenges, but I am ready to face them head-on. Here’s to a new year. I made it and you did too. Congratulations, I want you to the best for all of us.

Grab your list of ideas, goals, planner or notebook and let’s get started planning for 2014. (more…)

The Power Hour

The life of a scientist is pretty busy. Between labs, meetings, conferences, association involvement and personal duties your calendar can look like a game of Tetris. Work is important. Life is important. Finding the balance is key. Many of us understand the struggle and this is where the Power Hour comes in. This is your chance for you to focus your energy to do something exciting or give yourself a break.

Here are some ways to use your power hour:

  1. Use the Pomodoro timer for your break:  The Pomodoro is a time-management method created by Francesco Cirillo that is designed to help you stay focused while working on a specific task. My favorite way is through My Tomatoes. It’s free to use and it’s only 25 minutes. This short time will get you recharged in no time.
  2. Get active: Getting active is not only good for your physical health, it’s good for your mental health. Not everyone has a standing or bike desk so it is important to get moving. If you find yourself sitting for hours at a time get up and take a 5-10 minute walk, do a quick office yoga routine and make it a priority to get outside daily.
  3. Take a power nap: Most of the time when we can’t concentrate we are tired. In a study from the Journal of Physiological Anthropology naps help improve cogitative function when used correctly. Naps do not replace sleep, but they can help you recharge which will increase your productivity.
  4. Do a quick hobby: Take time to do something creative that will get your mind off of your project. Simply journaling, reading or drawing can be quite relaxing.
  5. Drink or eat: Use this time to fuel your body. Many times when we are tired we are dehydrated and hungry. Ditch the vending machine snack (if you can), refill your water bottle and eat some fruit.

After doing one of more of these tasks you should be refreshed and ready to tackle your next task.

How will you use your power hour? Comment below.