Finally, after 19 posts without a single deadline topic, I can proudly present my first serious deadline since quite a while. And it is getting serious!
There is a major external experiment coming up next week, for which half a truck of samples needs to be prepared. The samples come from two different collaborators. One of them has send the samples in way before schedule, so I had to delay the whole preparation process quite a while, to build up the right amount of mental pressure for this task. Even before this threshold value was reached, I checked if all the equipment needed for preparation was there - and, of course, it was not. Some significant parts got lost and the PhD student, who most probably new where they could be, was away for a few weeks. It took a while until we found out that some not-authorized person had "borrowed" the equipment and broke it in action - the secret person and the PhD student knew about it, but it seems they were all too busy to inform somebody. This first issue was luckily fixed very quickly and I was still relaxed in schedule.
Sample prep was already progressing well this morning, when I realized that the prep lab will be blocked by student classes half the week and I have to squeeze my prep time in between classes, group seminars, meetings about the upcoming experiment,.... - there goes my "still relaxed in schedule". But finally the other half of the half a truck of samples arrived today, so at least I can't blame it on anybody else anymore (= .
So the next days will be a great practise in prioritizing and keeping calm (and maybe humming "soft kitty" once in a while).