week 9

I seem to be taking longer between these. Strange. Will try to do the next one on time.




  • Everything in its home
    • When you’re not using something, put it away
    • Only put things in their home
      • Room is a heck of a lot neater
      • Everything is suddenly in a convenient and relevant location
  • short term goal & big rocks for each yearly goal, weekly
    • Honestly this is pretty much worthless right now because I’m not working on any projects over than ‘get high grades- oh god that is due tonight?!
    • also hard to tell because I only get to do this once a week



  • bedtime alarm
    • Bedtime alarm massively improved my sleeping quality
      • able to fall asleep within a reasonable timeframe
      • actually tired when I go to bed
  • food time alarm
    • It is easy to start ignoring these since I am usually in the middle of some task or another
    • lets me start eating dinner soon enough so that I can go to bed on time
    • Effectively makes it possible to eat vegetables since otherwise I forget- vegetables don’t fill me up at all
  • vegetables for dinner each night
    • Uncertain as to any actual changes since I started eating these
  • draw before MITs
    • Because of this I’ve drawn nearly every day!
    • unfortunately this seems to switch my brain off and make me not want to do MITs – same with day-to-day being first
  • draw during computer science & at least one other day per week
    • means I have a reason to go to the lecture
    • makes lecture a heck of a lot less boring
    • means I don’t have to use up as much time later in the day
    • forces a 50 min drawing time limit
  • Day to day stuff before MITs & LITs in one note daily
    • eats up a lot of time and my early in the day focus
    • I end up outright wasting a lot of time
    • feels like an extension of my 1hr pre-work break rather than actually getting stuff done
    • very easy to delve into random unrelated topics further pushing MITs away
  • After finishing a multi-pomo task every 4 pomos
    • 10 min to clean room and workscape
    • extra 10 30 min break
      • multi-pomo task idea fell through because I almost always just forgot
      • 4 pomos makes it happen a heck of a lot more
      • much easier to sort through ‘workspace’ (aka my linkdump for browser tabs) when doing it in small bits and pieces
      • keeps net link generation down
      • massively improves state of the room


  • one note daily
    • mostly still working well
    • kind of repetitive at this point
    • may be a cause of inefficiency
  • RTTN
    • definitely less useful overall as I’m not doing much new
    • mostly for keeping random notes I know I’ll collect now
  • pomodoros
    • main problems here step from the lack of buckling down as I’m getting unfocused and easily distractible
      • mostly caused by skype
      • also some browser distractions
    • once I actually get going I am very efficient
  • virtual desktops
    • very nice still, keeps everything separated and easy to focus on only one thing at a time if I do it right
  • start work alarm
    • this has started to be something I either forget or fudge on. I am supposed to start it as soon as I get home, but I’ve failed to do that.
  • comp alarm
    • Still far superior to phone alarm
  • midnight bedtime
    • with the alarm, this has definitely been a good thing for me to do repeatedly.
  • weekend 10am 9:30 alarms
    • I think this helped smooth out my sleep problems even further. No inability to fall asleep due to having gotten too much
  • homework algorithm
    • this failed me rather hard, as I apparently have gotten to the point where most of the tutors don’t actually know this stuff, and I wasted quite a lot of time because of that
  • % task done algorithm
    • Has forced objectivity on me in that realm, and weighting it like that seems to be pretty quality overall.
  • no naps
    • I did have one nap, but that was a day I got 6 hours of sleep. So it seems that in cases of random low sleep this is a breakable rule.
  • no neurontin
    • Very little knee pain at all
    • tiny bit of throat/chest pain at some point, but for the vast majority of the time it isn’t there

mid week additions

  • shower every other day
    • very important rule, ensures that I don’t suffer
  • alarm at 5pm for lunch
    • kind of helpful, ensures I don’t need to think about it
  • alarm at 10:30 pm for dinner
    • gets me vegetables in my diet
  • altered 11pm alarm to 10:30
    • more time to eat, little bit less working time
  • bed time 11:45 -> 11:35
    • added 10 minutes for washing dishes
  • youtube playlist as breaks
    • very unsure about this, because it feels more like extra work than a break
    • after adding this I definitely started doing a lot more system breaking and skype using, but I can’t tell if it was this or the day-to-day being before MITs

near-end additions:

  • 9:30 wake up on weekends (slightly better perhaps?)
    • seems to have made a positive impact

I created an engrained column in my weekly methods so I know what to review and focus down, and what I’ve already gotten situated. Otherwise I’m reviewing the methods I already have down and that’s silly.

Bi-monthly review

  • takes like, 3-4 hours because I’ll get caught up in one thing or another. Last time it was looking through all of the RTTN crap which didn’t end up being helpful, this time it was figuring out what I meant by ‘psychic energy’
    • nebulous concept I’ve grounded a bit in a whole bunch of questions
  • The new methods and review takes a single pomo
    • All I had to do there was copy-paste from focus, write down how it went, and it is much more straight forward than the secondary stuff I’ve attached
  • I should only write down stuff that will direct my behavior in the future.

“doing day-to-day stuff before MITs: took 4 pomos… that’s about half of what I even have to give each day! Admittedly… that number will go down if I do this every day. ”

  • my prediction here only kind of panned out.
    • I got day-to-day down to 1 pomo, but only when the inbox is empty, I have no emails, and I’ve already drawn.
    • Drawing usually takes two pomos on its own.
    • doesn’t even include writing which can also take two pomos!


Old pillow – works for one night every other night. Getting decreasingly comfortable over time

Pillow #1 – was okay for like a week and then died

Pillow #2 – kind of worked. Better than #1 mostly

Pillow #3 – No pain, has worked for a week. Can’t improve, best.

Pillow #4 – untested

Big pillow:

  • took 40 minutes to fall asleep, hard, annoying.
  • seems to be 90% the same as the small fluffy pillow TBH
  • Slept for most of the night on left side, switched to right side and hurt neck
    • may be due to laying on right side for 3 hrs

Sleeping on left side is terrible, but almost workable sometimes

Sleeping on my back is impossible- there is some tension in my butt that just gets worse over time if my neck is supported. Might be due to head height, so I might be able to get around it by making pillow denser

Sleeping on right side fucks up my shoulder and hurts like hell in the morning, but seems to be okay for the second half of the day

The biggest thing is to smoosh it down and get more of the pillow under me

Waking up at 8am on Friday cause me to be super productive before school.





Main things achieve this week

  • Getting sleep back on track
    • pillow
      • #3 seems best
    • neck pain
      • mostly gone away!
    • Time to fall asleep
      • cut in half!


rambly rant:

One very interesting thing was that after watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEikGKDVsCc I was able to recognize something in my mind incredibly similar to the high building example, and that it was just my brain not understanding signals from the other parts, leading to a rather annoying issue. Just watching that and being told what my brain was doing really helped me. There was a comic I could swear was from http://zenpencils.com, but I just scrolled through the entire archive and couldn’t find it. Although totally unrelated the comic was short, and was about some guy who had been sexually abused as a child. But then superheroes (and doctor who and a bunch of others) turned out to be real and then the comic ended. Point is- there was a panel with what was a gun to his head (it was in blue) that vanished in a puff of smoke when he read one particular line. Now, my thing wasn’t nearly so extreme as that, but it felt a lot like that particular panel with the puff of smoke. Just like, a moment of clarity where you can relax because everything is okay. It is just your brain not understanding itself and getting caught in weird spirals.

Fun/learning media

  • these should be the same
    • I should get so much enjoyment from learning that I do it for fun
    • additionally, the things I do for fun give me an opportunity to think more deeply, make new connections, and improve relevant skills
  • I should be so enthralled by things that give me power, prestige, and potency that is how I spend the vast majority of my time
    • not to say no downtime- I just make very effective use of it.
    • absorbing details from movies watched and reinterpreting the input and outputting my own creative works.
  • put another way: learning and projects should be so much more fun and enjoyable that I choose them over mindlessness or less effective things.


The best path will have a lot of miserable hard things, but it will not be solely comprised of such things. Otherwise it is unlikely I am fully utilizing the rewards circuitry in my brain. Voldemort underutilizes kindness.

Humans work well with satisfaction and pleasure, and tend to avoid things they dislike. So trying for force exclusively unliked things means avoidance.

Is there a way to eliminate ‘breaks’ – that is to say, can I always be moving and thinking, working at full force, or do I actually need ‘downtime’? Develop mental pathways so being effective is actually easier- the brain ought be trainable to be able to use resources more efficiently at the very least.

Sure, not working on the same sphere of activity 100% of the time makes sense, but can I refocus my energies elsewhere? Do I run into a hard barrier or a soft barrier? A hard barrier would be an absolute amount of thinking that can be done each day that cannot be increased with training. A soft barrier would be that I would be able to improve my ability to endure until it was no longer an issue and I could work 16 creative hours a day. I strongly suspect it is a hard barrier, and that at the very least I’d have to choose two major things so that my brain would have a sufficiently different field to play in while it was recovering from the other. Complementary and mostly perpendicular to eachother’s resources.

Maybe not working all day every day, but finding something I’m actually passionate about and good at, then really refining my ability to do that thing well. Basically, entering a flow state consistently- no need for breaks if your brain is really truly working hard.

A common theme: If you see something which is piling up (messy room, unexplored links, watch later videos), then it is more important to set your demand slightly higher than the supply, or at the least, meet it. That is to say, if you add 10 links a day, you should remove 11. Over the long haul the problem will go away, and it isn’t getting any worse.

New Methods:

Last bi-monthly was about sleep. My new focus will turn to my ability to do hard things.

This is largely seeing if I can affect my level of burnout in any meaningful way. To that end I am making the amount of work time I have to do constant- I enforce 1 pomo of studying, then 6 of MITs/LITs. This is large enough to get stuff done, but small enough to ensure I can do it every day and relax. I expect to dramatically improve my tasks set/done metric since I’ll have a clearer idea of how much time I will have to work with.

Removing buckling down meant I started falling into the same traps as before. Primarily skype and IRC. It was too easy to just hit the shortcut and move back to the ‘play’ workspace whenever I get a message. Much better to just have it off while I’m working and on when I’m not.

youtube playlist seems… like a good distraction from thinking, but often it feels a lot like an extended amount of work, just a different task. I added it near the end of the last bi-monthly, so I’m counting it as ‘new’

I’ve heard flux helps to make people fall asleep easier, so I’m thinking I can drop my time-to-fall-asleep metric below its current average of ~25 min.

I want to write more, so # fanfic words writter makes more sense than ‘did I write more than a thousand or not’

I need to ensure I actually get started properly each day, so I’m enforcing a timer starting when I get home instead of whenever I happen to remember.

strikeout works pretty well, but gets kind of annoying to undo every morning. Let’s see how well “now do this” works in place of that system.


  • one note daily, RTTN, pomodoros, virtual desktops, Buckling Down, everything in its home
  • alarms: 1 hr start, 5pm lunch, 10:30pm dinner/finish, 11:35 bedtime, 9:30am sleep in
  • every 4 pomo cleanup & 30 min break
  • shower every other day
  • draw during CS class
  • short term goal & big rocks for each yearly goal, weekly


  • structure: 1 pomo studying, 6 MITLIT pomos, day-to-day
  • youtube playlist as breaks
  • flux to further improve sleep
  • #fanfic words rather than binary
  • start timer immediately upon getting home rather than when I sit down at the computer
  • buckling down again
  • replace one note daily with this

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