28 October 2015

Putting on the cleaning gloves

“I have to clean the tub today.”

The tub’s been dirty for a while, but you finally have a quiet Sunday morning. So you pull on the cleaning gloves, get out a scrubber or rag for one hand, and put a bottle of cleaner in the other. You fully intend just to get rid of the soap scum in your tub.

But then you think, “I’ve already got the gloves on, and I’ve got the rag and cleaner, so I might as well do the bathroom sink.”

By the time the gloves come off, you’ve done the tub, bathroom sink, toilet, and kitchen sinks and counters.

For that reason, anytime you start a scientific project, open up your writing program and save a file. Even if it’s just a title, a few headings, your address, and maybe a few lines of introduction. If you have enough of an to start collecting data, you have enough of an idea to know, in broad strokes, some of the stuff you need to say in the introduction.

It’s easier to continue projects than it is to start them.

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