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How to get something accomplished December 22, 2016

Posted by mareserinitatis in family, humor, teaching, work, younger son.
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I’ve been wondering why I felt like I got little of what I wanted done the beginning of the year, but the past four or five months have been amazingly productive.  Part of that is, of course, due to the fact that I have been regularly employed since August, and having a job to go to makes you feel productive just because you show up not wearing pajamas.  At least I haven’t yet… (And I must’ve had an exceptional class because I don’t think any of them did, either, despite our class meeting at 8 a.m.)

I think I realized the other thing that helped: I moved to another town.  You may laugh, but I’ve been back home a couple days now, and it’s kind of hitting me that driving my offspring around really chews up my day.  (No wonder I was under a lot of pressure to get a drivers license when I was in high school.) Doubly unfortunate, we are down to one vehicle because someone ran into Mike last week and his vehicle is waiting to be assessed by our insurance company, so I’ve been responsible for driving him around, too.  However, he begins his vacation tomorrow, which means he gets to play chauffeur, even if only to himself.  Conveniently, there’s no activities for the offspring to go to, starting tomorrow.

My next goal is to get him to do all the cooking…but I already failed that one since I promised to make meatloaf.

Anyway, the gist of the story is that people are more productive when they have a lot of time to themselves.  That being said, I am glad I get to spend some time with the family, even if some days it feels like it’s mostly in the car.

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thinking work June 10, 2012

Posted by mareserinitatis in grad school, research, solar physics.
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I have to give a presentation next week and older son took off for the summer, so between getting slides together and getting stuff and people shuttled to the airport, it was a rather busy weekend.  There was some code I wanted to work on but didn’t have the chance.

It’s funny, though, because I was still thinking about it, and I actually think I made good progress on a plan of action.  I realized I had three options: fix it, rewrite it, or throw my hands up in despair and give up. (Okay…last one is very low on the list of possibilities, but I can’t say it’s non-existent…there have been days.)  I’m not sure I can fix it, but I have an idea of how to go about doing it.  It’s a piece of code without commenting, but I know what it’s supposed to do, and I have an awesome ‘cookbook’ of numerical algorithms that explains it.  (Need a spline written in a jiffy….I’m your woman!)  I also suspect that in the process of trying to fix it, I’ll figure out a way to rewrite it a bit more efficiently, likely with less effort than fixing it will take.  And I planned out how I can verify everything, as well.

While I didn’t have much time to work on it directly, I got my resources together and know what I’m going to do so I can hit it first thing after work tomorrow.  I wonder if I made more progress by spending my ‘off’ time thinking about it than if I’d just dived in.  I guess I should know in a couple days.  But it’s funny how stepping away from something and letting your mind idle on it can result in something worthwhile.

The Morning Person July 16, 2011

Posted by mareserinitatis in personal, work.
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I was the kind of person that went to bed by 9 and got up at 5.  While this schedule worked great as a high school student, but I found that the college culture, especially in dorms, was far more rewarding for those who are night owls.  However, when I returned to college to finish my bachelor’s degree, I started back on this schedule and found that I was more productive.

Then I met my husband, who, unfortunately for me, is much more of a night owl.  Bedtime at 11 pm or later became the norm.  And I’ve been struggling for a long time with the fact that I’m usually asleep during my most productive hours.

As I mentioned on my EngineerBlogs post earlier this week, I’ve been working some funky hours.  Namely, my son’s babysitter was on vacation during the past week.  In order for me to get any time at all in at work, I had to go in around 6 and leave around 8 so that my husband could get in his time.  Not surprisingly, I really enjoyed this, although I did struggle with getting to sleep at a reasonable time.  I found that I accomplished as much in those two hours as four hours during normal working hours.  I suspect some of this is because I had no meetings and no coworkers to deal with, although I don’t think that’s all of it.

After this past week, I’ve decided that I’m going to keep doing this, using those early morning hours for work on my dissertation.  Not that I don’t want to be productive at work, but I often struggle to work on my dissertation in the evenings or afternoons.  I find that other things will get scheduled over the times I want to be working or that I’m working well after I’ve run out of steam.  I think I will accomplish a lot more by shifting my hours to a time when nearly everyone else is asleep.

Now I just have to find a way to get to bed with all the noise and distractions of neighbors doing yard work and kids and husband who like to be up later than I.

So what are your productive hours?  Are you one of the lucky ones who is most productive in the middle of the day?

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