Preparation time

This weekend, we’ll be (finally!) launching the call for our giant citizen science project (more on that here). Truly a mastodont of a project, and that is reflected in the numbers. I decided to look back at my time tracking data, from the first spark of the idea of the project till today, two days before its launch.

Hours per week spent on preparing the project, from the first idea back in spring 2019, over the writing of the proposal, the first trials in lab and field, and the preparations for the big launch in January.

Turns out I already spent close to 300 hours on this project alone, since the spring of 2019. While this is not a surprise to me, it is intriguing to see how work effort has come in three increasingly big waves:

1) idea development and proposal writing, after which a big slump while we wait for grant approval.
2) Trials in the field and the lab, exploring what works and what not, how data will look and how to improve the workflow. Followed again by a little drop over summer, while sensors where out in the field ‘doing their thing’.
3) In autumn, we picked up where we left of, started working with that data from the trial, and got into full swing for preparations towards the big big launch.

And that’s just me, mind you, I’m just one link in the chain. Luckily, as I for sure lack the resources to keep tackling increasingly big waves for this project, without loosing track of all other things I’m working on!

Interestingly, this also nicely highlights the lifespan of projects. Spring 2019 feels like ages ago, but if you want to make a genius scientific idea work, persistence is the key. So please, check back in with us over 2 or 3 years, when perhaps first published results of this 2019 idea start coming in!

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