It is a lot of work, but if you are well organised, then I think that it’s not much different from the other jobs. The thing that takes most of my time is the commute from Cambridge to London, 🙁
All the spare time is usually spent with my boyfriend (organising our wedding!) and with friends and often we go away during weekends to visit family and friends!
Being a scientist can be pretty busy, but it doesn’t have to be much busier than any other job. I see friends nearly every weekend and often do things in the evenings too. It’s important to have some time to rest and do the boring stuff like cooking, cleaning and laundry too.
I treat my job (as much as I can) as a 9-5 job. I only work outside of my normal hours if I really, really have to. As such, I have plenty of time for myself and my girlfriend. However, some scientists do work much longer hours than me – but then they probably get much more done!
I think any job should be balanced with your personal life – I think that too far in either direction can have a negative impact on the other side. Getting this balance right is not always easy, as there is no right answer – but I suppose that as long as you do what you say you’ll do (or what you’re told to do), and you are happy that you have done as much as you should, then you are onto the right kind of schedule.
Being a scientist does take a lot of time and devotion. But as long as you’re organised, it’s perfectly possible to have a life outside the lab as well! Spending time with family and friends is very important to me, so I make sure I have time to do it.