(MAPLE XX) Efficiency

I have noticed that those little bits and pieces of time that you might have in your day can often be used well or not well.  For some purposes, I can use an extra 15-ish minutes quite well, but there are other points where I am useless with 15 extra minutes.

When I was younger, efficiency with time was my specialty.  Between my eighth and tenth grade years, I was so efficient on daily homework assignments that the only assignments that I brought home in a stretch of 255 school days were legs of long-term assignments.  The time between classes or at lunch I used to knock out assignments that were due for the next day, instead of socializing.  That must have just been my Asperger’s syndrome at work then, when I would have felt awkward in social situations with my peers.  (Similarly, when I was younger, I liked inclement-weather days when recess was indoors so that I could do homework.)

As I have gotten older, I find that I can squeeze in activities in short periods of time like journaling or planning my week.  However, when it comes to reading or doing academic work, it seems that if there are 50 minutes or less before the next activity/meeting/other thing going on, I have little impetus to start something academic (research-based).  I am fine with using that time for coursework or TA activity, but for some reason, I can’t do research in fits and spurts, especially when it involves algebra.

This is one reason why I don’t mind taking the L if I need to do some grading or want to do some journaling–I can work efficiently on the train, albeit possibly not very legibly!  For example, today I caught up from a few days of journal deficit, did most of my homework for my Hebrew class, and read the front sections of the Sunday Chicago Tribune during my L and bus rides to and from League.  Given that this is a significant part of my Sundays (travelling), I should make it count!

Time management is definitely a mental thing.  It is easy to think “this is only 15 minutes” but at the same time, you don’t always need a lot of time to have something great happen.  And if not, maybe try calisthenics or some mind-diverting exercise.  You can’t work all the time, and sometimes those little bits and pieces of time were meant to be unproductive.

Going a little bit off topic, I should also mention that I was very surprised at how calm the rails were today, despite there being the NATO conference in Chicago and the Crosstown Cup in baseball.  When I transferred to the Orange Line in the morning, I had expected there to be some protestors and disorder, but all there was on the platform were some people with suitcases, obviously heading for Midway, and a few police that were just hanging around.

And even on the return trip, I saw no picket signs, protestors (or at least outward protestors), or any sort of unusual behavior.  I wonder if the L just had the “usual people” using it whereas the protestors used other avenues?  Or maybe the buildup to the event had actually driven away people from the downtown area?  Who knows?

Today’s counts and nugget:

Today is the 20th day of MAPLE.

היום שלושה וארבעים יום, שהם שישה שבועות ויום אחד לעמר

The best pre-conception to have is no pre-conception.  Enter each new situation with an open mind.

Today’s Score was 2-2.


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