Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lack of sleep + anything = a bad combination. The importance of developing an assignment filter in order to apply all-nighters* effectively. “Why must life be so hard?”

* My definition of all-nighter is anything less than 3 hours of sleep between the hours of 12 and 8:30am.

First we’ll state a fundamental rule for having a productive day (adapted from an Amazon product description): sleep is important. More specifically, 7-8 hours nightly is good. Good? If that is considered good, then I don’t want to know how far below good I am on this spectrum.

Anyways, I’ve been 'pulling all-nighters' for the sake of purely turning in an assignment on time. The simple solution to this is properly managing time and progressively working on a project as the days go; I knew this, but I was finding it very difficult to motivate myself wrt academics.** Assignments were stressed over accordingly to the order in which they were due with no consideration at all of sleep required to perform well for the next day/major assignment due. The last few weeks were littered with these cycles. For example, an all-nighter token*** was spent on completing and polishing my module 1 lab notebooks (1.67%) which resulted in underperforming in or missing class the next day. Somehow something was then phosphorylated and another and then something happened down the signaling cascade (320 got in the way again) resulting in a clueless Xander who had no idea how to start and finish his methods (5%) and data and summary (15%). 

** I don’t want to say too much on here, but I’ve felt my worst in these last few weeks. Ask me about it when you get the chance after buying me dinner or snacks, and I just may tell you. There’s a lot of action and drama in the story. so light-weights beware. 

*** It’s fun to think of all-nighters as currency you spend from your end total pool of sleep.

Then the next week followed with using 5 all-nighter tokens on a design project (15%; honestly I chose to take my time with this project since I really enjoyed it). I just wanted to keep working at a steady pace and time just slipped passed me. After the assignment was turned in, I was faced with another all-nighter for my (self-declared) well-known, notorious journal club presentation (10%). It’s all in the past now, and I have a second chance to redeem myself come next presentation.

To sum everything up: perspectives have shifted for the better, going to sleep more, I’m happy to be alive, MIT is hard, and I will no longer have any all-nighter tokens by the age of 22.

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