I’ve been doing things, really I have. But it never feels like I’ve been doing enough things, and when I am feeling unproductive and useless I get stuck in a spiral of being unproductive and useless, and if that continues I will really be in trouble.
So! for the last hour or so I’ve been better, getting some real work done, and now I’m listening to Bach (listening to high-energy dancey pop really helps me get down to doing things like cleaning or cooking, but any music with words completely distracts me from reading or writing or anything that requires a lot of verbal thinking. classical music doesn’t get my energy going the way the pop does, but it does seem to help me focus on more sedentary tasks like reading, writing or programming) and I started the whole lots of things I made deal to help deal with this precise problem, so here’s a big list of stuff that I’ve made lately!
- dinner tonight: Chili and honey chicken legs (super easy! super delicious!) and pasta with roasted red pepper sauce (not quite as easy, but just as delicious) and of course various other foods in the past
- all kinds of physical changes to my capstone arduino prototype over the past few weeks
- all kinds of code changes to my capstone prototype over the past few weeks*
- Illustrator and InDesign documents for the Super Secret Project I mentioned ages ago
- notes on a whole lot of interviews I conducted last week, some for my Tech for Social Good class, some for my Human-Robot Interaction class project, which is ever-so-conveniently related to my capstone project, so I can use some of the interview data in my final capstone report
- more mix CD playlists, but for myself, not for other people this time
- HRI reading responses
- A presentation on our HRI project progress so far
- sketches for our HRI project
- little mini-models of possible forms for our HRI robot prototype (using Model Magic, which is wonderful stuff)
- various adjustments to I101 lessons, example exercises, etc
See, look at that! that’s a lot of stuff! and most of those items are not just one thing but a collection of things I did over time. I’ve just got to establish and maintain momentum. And just now I’ve been doing pretty good too I think, I’ve either been writing this blog or my latest HRI reading reflection, which is now finished.
Another important thing is that I’ve been getting better at waking up and then getting out of bed. I was afraid that the combination of going on daylight savings time and being in a later time zone for a week would really screw me up, but my partner gets up at 6:30 for work, and being with him provides me with some much-needed outside structure, so I generally have much better sleep hygiene when I’m with him. Getting up at 6:30 pacific time for several days, and then getting up at 3:45 to catch my 6 am flight home, seem to have kept my sleep schedule from being too disrupted. And now that it’s spring and the days are lengthening all the time, I tend to have more energy in the mornings and get up more willingly anyway.
Maybe someday I will blog about my sleeping issues. For now I will just say that, with no exaggeration, the number one reason I do not want to get a phd is that the structure of academic life is almost 100% antithetical to my ability to sleep well. The last time I can remember going to bed and falling asleep quickly, staying asleep all night and then waking up feeling well-rested and energetic (and staying that way for most of the day), was once about four years ago when, during winter break my sleeping schedule got severely offset from what I’d need in order to function when I got back to school, so I lived on a 27-hour schedule for a week. If it weren’t for the social awkwardness, it would have been perfect.
- I’ve found starting out by writing pseudocode in my sketchbook is a good way to get myself started on work when using my computer just leads to google reader and youtube and spider solitaire and whatever else I can think of that is not work. Plus it means I’m actually planning out my work better and writing better code the first time around! A win for everyone.