Whether its designing an experiment, cleaning the house, or playing academic politics (yes, its sometimes necessary because others do it), my basic approach is always the same:
Step 1: Divide the big problem into many small problems.
Step 2: Choose the first small problem and solve that first.
Step 3: Repeat Step 2 for all the small problems. And perhaps the hardest step,
Step 4: Don't stop until all the small problems are solved.
Strangely, I learned this lesson from doing chores. If you are like me and indulge in occasional marathon house-cleaning sessions, glancing at the entire living room at once will drive you nuts (books, papers, clothes, toys scattered everywhere.....). Start by dusting the TV. Think Small.
Some old ones Reposted...
8/18/13 - A Classification of PI's - find yours' in the list!
7/6/12 - Way to a "Science paper"
5/30/11 - 20/20 Hindsights
9/30/11 - Evolution of a bizzare, new Idea
11/17/2011 - Rationale for curiosty-driven research...
lessons from a 4 year old
1/28/12 - "GTFM" - hilarious article on grant writing!
The PI Blog
This blog exists because my wife seemed a bit tired of being the only recipient of my random pontifications on life and Science for many years; and gently encouraged me to vent in a blog instead. From time to time, I put down thoughts that occur to me as I naiively stumble through a life in Science - bestowed upon me by accident (literally!). Please keep in mind that these musings are rather obvious things of little or no use to anyone, and are certainly not personally targeted in any way, even though they are obviously derived from my experiences. OK, enough said.