A while ago, I read a column in Nature which I related to. Like the author, I am currently a postdoc researcher, and recognize the dilemma. The column ‘The postdoc dilemma’ appeared in the Careers section and was written by Gaston Small. The crux of the dilemma:
The job–career balance is a fundamental challenge for postdocs. Fulfilling the obligations of the project that currently pays your salary is, of course, essential, but at the same time postdocs need to push previous work through the publication process, which often entails multiple revisions. Writing grant applications, and applying and interviewing for faculty jobs are necessary activities; […] postdoc funding runs out quickly. These additional responsibilities to our careers are as time-consuming as obligations to our full-time jobs.
An important point made in the column is that in the postdoc will work on papers from the postdoc project in years after the project is over and thereby catching up on whatever time lost on non-project work.