Today at work I am mostly tinkering around in the background with a research project we are going to be doing. It has been internally agreed, but is not yet out in the big wide world. This gives me a lot more opportunities to fret and be anxious about aspects of it (such as recruiting someone experienced in the area to work specifically on it) than I would have if it were announced and ‘public property’.
Nothing will go wrong, and we do plenty of these projects every year, but I find them much more challenging than developing and starting my own (academic) research projects, which have never to date been collaborative to the same degree as the ones in work. I know that there are some people who find it much less stressful to be involved in a group or pair when doing research, but I find myself much more anal (and, therefore, anxious) about dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s when there are other people with a stake in endeavour. I don’t find this to be so with any of the academic advisers I’ve had, but perhaps that is because none of them have ever really invested very much!
I will fret about this project until it is under way, anyway.