Towards the begging of my sophomore year I kept track of my time for a week. I wanted to see how things have change in my work habits since then so I did it again. This week that I recorded turned out to be kinda average: there have been some weeks lately where I worked a good deal more, others a good deal less. I had a prelim Thursday night, after which I kinda crapped out and couldn’t bring myself to do anymore work.
I recorded how much time I spent sleeping, going to class, eating, and working outside of class. Time spent doing none of these things I consider “other.”
My total class time was 16 hrs, my total time working was 31:15 hrs, so together they make up a standard work week, which is rather respectable. But compared to how much I should be working it isn’t quite enough. I have on average 3 problem sets a week. To get them mostly finished I probably need a good 8 hours on each. There is also research that I do that I should spend 10+ hrs on. Then there is time I need to spend actually learning my material, say 10+hrs for all my classes combined, although I learn a lot of it by doing problem sets. This comes to 44+hrs, so I should be working about 50% more than I do.
This is perhaps not the best way of determining how hard I actually work. Time spent “working” can sometimes be intense mind-bending learning, and sometimes it can be staring idly at a question and daydreaming. It’s highly dependent on how I’m feeling, and often even though I have time to work, I’m just lacking the mental energy to be productive.
Something people are often surprised by me is that I’ve never pulled an all nighter. I’ve gotten pretty close say, work -> 4hrs sleep -> class, but never have I done zero sleep. Sometimes when I am hopelessly behind in work late at night I try to push on, but when it reaches about 2:30 my work begins to actually be detrimental so I give up and go to bed.
Compared to sophomore year, I’m now sleeping over an hour less than I used to. It’s really starting to take it’s toll on me. Waking up can be very painful and some days are just wasted from being too sleep deprived. I can probably increase the time I spend working if I sleep more. Speaking of which, time to go to bed goodnight.