Productivity for Scientists

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2) a list of 126 Ways to Become More Productive

3) Olga's weekly Productivity Insights ezine

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Learn from Nobel Prize Laureates

The Nobel Prize laureates of 2014 have been announced earlier this week.

The interviews with each recipient of the prize can be listened by following the links below; there is also a transcription of each interview:

PHYSICS: The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 was awarded jointly to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”. CLICK HERE for the interviews.

CHEMISTRY: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 was awarded jointly to Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”. CLICK HERE for interviews.

PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 was divided, one half awarded to John O’Keefe, the other half jointly to May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”. CLICK HERE for interviews.

It’s time to learn from them and be inspired!

When asked: ”What advice do you have for students who are just starting out”, Shuji Nakamura – this year’s Nobel Prize winner in physics – said:

”I think the most important thing is … to find out what you like. … It’s like a DREAM. And then, just work hard FOR your dream. I think that’s the best way … to a good invention’.’

Now the question to you, dear scientist! Do YOU have a dream? Are you working on finding out what you like? What makes you heart sing? What makes you get excited about your work? It is never too early to set a big goal or have a big dream. You don’t have to be at a certain stage of your career, or be of certain age. Start pondering about it now, and soon enough you know.

“…you can be in the lab and be just as adventurous as people exploring the deep ocean…” To this, Stefan Hell, one of this year’s Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry, said:

“Absolutely, and also creative. I mean, you can imagine that something works. I imagined there would be a way to crack the diffraction barrier. But of course I didn’t know exactly how it would work, but I had a gut feeling that there must be something and so I tried to think about it, to be creative. And that initial phase of the development, it was a creative act. In the end of course you have to prove that it’s not just imagination. It’s not just a theory or just a thought – it is true. And there is where the hard work comes in. And you have to really prove that the way you think about it is right. And that took, of course, some time and a lot of development.”

And if you think you don’t know enough yet or not worked hard enough to start getting “Nobel prize ideas”, this is simply not true. It’s never too early, and again you don’t have to be of certain age or career stage to start having these kinds of ideas.

However, what I hear from scientists I get to work with is that they feel tired, uncreative and a bit stuck. There is always so much to do and so much to worry about.

If this is you, and you too feel a bit stuck and uncreative, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you can absolutely start shifting it right now to being more creative and having more inspiration and imagination. Check here for some ideas for how you can start cultivating and allowing more creativity.

Also, you are more likely to get a new thought or an insight when you quiet your mind. So right now start by introducing a little daily practice when you get to quiet your mind, and see new ideas starting to come to you more easily! :-)

May-Britt Moser – this year’s Nobel prize winner in physiology, who received the prize together with her husband Edvard Moser – answers the question: “What is the secret of why you could come so far together in science”. One of the things she shared:

“…when you want to select your colleagues you want to have colleagues who respect you, who you can trust and who will support you and I think that is the clue, isn’t it.”

Such wonderful words! I hear from a lot of scientists about their sufferings from having an “awful” boss or “horrible” colleagues. And you also might be hearing that many scientists among your friends are in a similar situation. This all leads to a belief that this is how it should be in science. “This is something I have to put up with”. I am here to empower you that you absolutely shouldn’t be putting up with this. Ask yourself now a question, what one step you can do right now to start following the wonderful advice by May-Britt Moser!

In the comments below, please share what resonated with you in the interviews with the Nobel Prize winners the most.

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