“Always plan smarter, not tougher.” Isn’t it simply a lazy argument? However, it is a critical component for today’s and tomorrow’s efficient labs. Simply said, being clever and efficient ensures you’ll get more time and expense to do excellent research and get the lab to make a genuine strong inﬂuence sooner! That is something we believe everyone can agree upon.
Establishing a career in science generally entails a long list of tasks, such as studying, writing, doing experiments, exhibiting your findings, and disseminating them to people. Developing lab efficiency will assist you in crossing off tasks from the apparently never-ending checklist as quickly as feasible. You’re doing a fantastic job when you can maintain the growth rate of any to-do list constant (rather than exponential).
You’re doing a fantastic job when you can maintain the growth rate of any to-do list constant (rather than exponential).
Instituting a reliable procedure, resources, and people management will help as you try to advance the scientific value and the team’s well-being. It will also help you in minimizing lost time and effort,
Well, here are some steps you can add or modify to help enhance your lab productivity without sacrificing quality.
1. Plan your task ahead of time.
Thinking ahead of time is the simplest method to increase lab efficiency. Making color-coded, detailed to-do lists or a weekly plan will give you a clear representation – and checking off accomplished activities is quite rewarding!
You’ll be less likely to forget trivial chores, and you’ll be able to make better use of your time. Organizing your day in writing rather than in your head frees up your thoughts to focus on other essential things, such as your investigations and prospective theoretical ideas for your lab.
2. Make your workstation more organized.
The next critical step is to organize your workstation, which you may consider as ‘Biomedical Feng Shui.’ This will improve your job experience by making it more enjoyable, error-free, and more time-saving. In a well-maintained and properly arranged office, it’s easier to feel motivated and joyful.
Furthermore, being excited about your creative work is a great way to motivate yourself whenever matters get challenging in the lab! Keep routinely used pipets, forceps, scrubbers, and other lab equipment close at hand.
Put such items to the side of your preferred hand if feasible. Get a shelf with all of the essential chemicals and lab equipment for each experiment easily accessible and organized. As a result, you won’t have to look for the required chemicals each time you need them.
3. Improve your stock levels
You will benefit the lab mates by organizing and supplementing your inventory supplies/materials management while keeping your workstation organized. The only terrible thing than being unable to find a chemical is realizing you do not have it in stock anymore. Any lab must strive to develop a system that allows you to readily monitor which resources are available and be quickly notified when anything is running out (e.g., at 10% of the overall limit) or has totally run out. That’s not something you must accomplish independently; everyone in the laboratory has the potential to assess and act upon it. In many laboratories, scientists devise a rotation mechanism.
4. Make a detailed list of everything.
Note, kids, the one and the only distinction between fooling around and science is writing it down. Because it is hard to recall information, keeping a lab diary is critical. You can choose between a digital (ELN) and a conventional print. We like to use a paper book since it is portable (except at residence, obviously!).
In the lab book, note down every stage of your procedure in-depth, highlighting everything that went wrong or that has evolved. It enables you to understand unusual findings later on since you can come around and go through the observations and say to yourself, Ah, right, this is what went awry! or, And this is when we switched suppliers for our BSA, which is why our blots altered.
5. Make your workplace habits consistent.
While this may appear a bit fussy, we genuinely believe that consistent healthy habits will increase productivity. Anyone in the lab, for instance, can label their tubes with a distinct color marking, depending upon the buffer used. This gives you a brief summary of your samples. Another method to standardize the process is to put the specimen in another place as you finish each stage in the procedure. If you are interrupted, you will recognize which samples you have already treated and which ones you still need to treat. Make sure you put every piece of lab equipment in a place where it is used frequently.
6. Make sure you label EVERYTHING!
This one sounds obvious, but we are always shocked when individuals forget to mark or label their belongings.
Always keep a record of the time you produced it, the experiments or what’s in it, and your initials. Do not stop at labeling samples, but all serial dilutions of buffers must be labeled and perhaps dated as well.
This may boost your efficiency, minimize mistakes, and enhance accuracy.