realtime is awesome

rabbit holes

Quick post here –
Sometimes I’m not sure whether to be frustrated at things that seem to make me take forever on tasks, or to open my eyes and learn something about them.

For example, I’ve been working tangentially on a piece of code almost all night that will help me remove systematic errors from my dataset (research-y stuff), but instead of making much progress, I’ve poured lots of time into trying to get a better understanding of both software development and a mathematical curiosity called “robust statistics”. I’m a little irritated that I’m not as far as I wanted to be, but I feel like this was worthwhile procrastinations.

Traps

I appear to be falling into the same traps that made my life freshman year all but miserable.

Staying up very late every night to work on a problem set, but not finish it 100%, while failing to take advantage of spare time during the day; tumbling through the weeks sleep-deprived but unable to turn extra time on the weekends into a swap space to regain my footing; always busy-busy-busy, but never doing anything right.

I’d hoped that I was past this, especially since my courseload is not completely oppressive by most objective standards. And yet, these painful positive feedback loops have gotten me again. Damn. I’ve even reformed my Internet habits significantly, and become more effective at how I do course readings (namely, printing everything and avoiding computers whenever I can). I’m a junior, for god’s sake – how the hell have I not learned how to manage my academic life by now?

So – how do you do it? How does somebody who feels oppressively busy and under-productive become someone who plans time effectively, gets things done ahead of time, sleeps and exercises and eats regularly, and stays happy and successful with a good sense of perspective? I feel like I’ve made philosophical gains in some of these areas but I just can’t drag myself out of the rut I’m in.

Let’s hope that Spring Break gives me a chance to reset my clock and pick up some of these habits.