Mid-Summer Update

Okay, so it’s no longer mid-summer. Well, it’s not if you use the university calendar of May – August. But, it’s pretty much the mid-point for my “real” summer, as this covers the time I’ve had to be on campus, and is just over halfway through my trek using Beeminder to keep on task.

While you can see a small view of my graph on the main page of the blog, I’ve included a copy of the current larger view here. You can also access the larger view by clicking on the small one or the one below. I decided to take a snapshot of it as of yesterday, so that in case the link doesn’t work in the future, you can still see what it looked like at this time. 🙂

Summer Tasks at Beeminder

As you can probably tell, I spend a lot of time skating the edge of dropping right off the graph. Eek. But, just by knowing that I’m on the edge has been useful motivation to keep plugging away at stuff. Which has been very important recently, as I’ve become super frustrated with my project. Well, not the project exactly, just some of the software I need to use.

I have continued to have a lot of trouble defining what counts as a task. And so, at the end of a day, I try to think back over the day and did I actually either a) accomplish something of reasonable size (ie it took more than 15 minutes to do) or b) did I spend a lot of time and make headway on a larger problem. I’m counting both of those scenario’s as success and worth marking down. I suppose I could be more generous on some days, and say that 4+ solid hours of work on a project should count as more than one task, but I generally don’t. I’d rather be kept closer to that edge and keep working, then artificially give myself a large buffer. Of course on weekends, it’d be nice to have that buffer.

As much as it’s been a pain being on campus all day everyday, there is a certain amount of motivation and energy that comes from having the high school students around. They’re so interested in what’s going on, and much more likely to find success in the smaller steps than I would on my own. But, I will still be relieved when I can stay home again in a couple of weeks. 🙂

How’s your summer winding down? Are you going to get anything done this last month? Apparently August is the month of no-work. I’ve still got lots I have to get done, so it won’t be so relaxing for me. But I’m taking a vacation end of August, beginning of September after I finish my candidacy exam. Anyone else have any exciting plans ahead?

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