Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sometimes I'm not sure if I'll ever have a spare minute again

Things I've learned recently:

My mood depends (at least in part) on my productivity. If I feel like I'm getting things done, I feel like I'm kind of swimming at work, and I feel good. If not, I feel like I'm totally drowning. (This is new. On the upside, I'm never bored. On the downside, I feel like a heroin addict; addicts display increased rates of hyperbolic discounting, meaning they can't reason rationally about the future because they're so fixated on the next day or the next hour.)

My ability to work depends (at least in part) on my mood. Also, my mood is my mood; it is nice to be in a good one.
Therefore, it feels helpful to insert tasks that I can make progress on, to keep my mood up, between other tasks that are frustrating and difficult.
This is weird. It's like I've got a little homunculus in my head who controls whether my mind and body will be working right, and I've got to keep feeding him little productivity nuggets. Also, it's nice to do a little reality check if I feel drowney, realize that I won't always feel this way, and realize that maybe I just need a bit of sleep.

2 comments:

Julia said...

Welcome to grad school! :-P

I have similar problems, especially when my workload gets lighter - boredom turns me into a depressed slob. Also, it's amazing how much sleep matters! When I cross the line into severe sleep deprivation (like being awake for 48 hours or more) I become positively psychotic. It's an incredible phenomenon and is always fixed by going to bed.

Effects of sleep deprivation: http://versita.metapress.com/content/m472042327u66115/fulltext.pdf

Dan Tasse said...

Right? This is the response I keep getting. "Welcome to the force, kid." Which is fine. I pretty much knew in the abstract that this is what I was getting into; now it's in the concrete, and I'm overall cool with it (agreed, it is much better than boredom), but it still means I've got to adjust.

We've talked about sleep before, and you're still totally insane :D For me, sleep deprivation is like sleeping 6 hours one night. Call me a koala.

However, I think it'd be fun to stay up for like 48 hours sometime just to see what it's like!