Monday, June 11, 2012

Single-Minded Focus

I have decided to live out my fantasy and become single-mindedly focused only on doing my science work. Here is my first-day diary.

7am: Sunday morning: I pop out of bed. Today is the day I start focusing only on my science! And the timing couldn’t be better, since I have a proposal due in three weeks! I’m so excited!

7:15 am: Coffee

9:00 am: I am walking with my friend P., catching up on a week’s worth of our lives. In the time before single-minded-focus, we had a weekly walking date for exercise and companionship and in-depth hashing of family, work, life. Will need to evaluate whether this adds or detracts from my science-focused life. Note to self: P is not a scientist.

10:00 am: Look at me! I am at my desk working on a Sunday!
10:15 am: Very hungry. Note to self: stock lab fridge with lots of healthy goodies!
10:30 am: Awesome! I am working again.
11:00 am: Losing focus.
11:30 am: I make longitudinal plans for all of my projects. I am overwhelmed by too many projects.  I clearly have not yet broken these down into small-enough tasks.

2:00 pm. Brain travels far and wide, untethered to the work at hand.

3:00 pm. Optimism has been fully replaced by dejection. Time to come home.

5:00 pm. Concoct a large bloody mary; sit on the back patio with the computer.

6:00 pm. Family starts pestering me about dinner and asks what am I making? Note to self: need to apprise the rest of the family about my new focus only on work.

6:30 pm. Muscle memory takes over completely as I defrost shrimp and butter for scampi, put up multigrain porridge in the rice cooker, and slice vegetables for the stir-fry. My brain is concentrating again and it feels good. But it’s not concentrating on thermodynamics, it’s thinking about not slicing its fingers.

8:00 pm: I would get back to work, if I weren’t so tired. And family movie night is so much more fun… 

10:00 pm: I will try again tomorrow

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