Monday, September 6, 2010

Autopilot Work Schedule

I have recently got stressed over my work since a deadline has just gone whooshing past me (again). As I look back over the past month then i have achieved and produced much more than I would have if I had been working daily for 16 hours. I enjoyed my time as well, because in reality i was working around 1 hour daily. I read a novel as I went along and it has been one awesome month of producing more and enjoying more.

  1. Completed my coding and to an extent my experimentation work.
  2. Did a complete literature review.
  3. Almost wrote a whole paper
  4. Read a novel.
  5. Enjoyed a few sports matches
  6. Went on guiltless outings
  7. Wrote around two dozen posts on my blog and read lots of stuff online

 To sum it up, its been a good month. The problem now is finishing it off nicely. I have failed to write and I am having trouble writing and completing my paper. What I have realized is that I work best early in the morning when I have nothing scheduled and no distractions. I have failed to develop an autopilot schedule. Most of the times I waste my mornings away online and I should therefore strictly focus on being offline in the mornings and I should only go online once I have exhausted my potential for focusing on the relevant tasks. 3 hour stretches are easily possible in the morning but the focus dwindles in the evening with the realization that there is a looming deadline to go home which in itself is very distracting.

Easing yourself into a task is also very effective. The technique is to remove distractions and start working. Work for only a few min initially and then take a short break but do not indulge in any distractions during that short break. After a few starts and a few breaks your mind will become saturated by your work and you would easily lapse into a state of flow. Once that is achieved then you can easily hack the task away.

 Another problem bothering me is the choice of my major. This problem has bothered me off and on from day one but I have come to the realization that you shouldn't pursue risky opportunities and it is better to deal with them as side projects. I have been lacking a meaningful side project. Although I do indulge in blog writing and philosophy/literature but this project is not really meaningful. I have heard of a really good program on environmental engineering which is paying very well as well. I have been thinking of applying there but that would mean that I would lose out on the graduate work that I have accomplished here. This opportunity like any other has a big downside. I can either complete my course work and with the free time at my hands do some meaningful work related to environmental degradation and once I have achieved my graduation then I can build on top of that experience and do more meaningful work in that field. Their is no point in completely starting from scratch. I need to be exceptionally good at what I do and then do some extra curricular work to pursue some far off opportunity. This is the better strategy.

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