So, my research has actually been moving forward at a pretty steady rate over the last month. Which, of course, means I’m getting closer to being done my current project (yay). However, that means I’m also at the point with my to-do list where I have to stop ignoring the tasks that I really really really really don’t want to do.
I find this is where motivation is hard to find and harness. For me, motivation tends to follow the same pattern through out a project (as I nicely illustrated in Figure 1 :P). At the beginning, I’m excited because I know what I want to do. Next, there’s bit of a lull as I start to realize that it’s going to take way longer than I expected. And then, it picks up again as I make progress and can start to see how it’ll all come together. But then, as I get near, that final third or quarter, I find it becomes really tough again as I stare down that list of tasks I really don’t want to do. Some of the tasks, are ones I’ve already put hours into and couldn’t solve, but know I need to. Others are just tedious and so I would prefer to never touch them. But all of them need to be dealt with.
However, this weekend, after a really great meeting with some friends that had nothing to do with my project but highly motivated me to get working, I’ve actually crossed off a bunch of items. And, best of all, yesterday afternoon I finally solved a problem that has been around in previous versions of my system, but have ended up ignoring because I couldn’t figure out what to do. It took a long time of tracking down what single line and variable assignment was causing the problem. But I have prevailed!!! And it made for an excellent end to my weekends work.
Of course, I still have more items to work on. But I’m that much closer to being able to have people test it. And definitely on track to have it done by the end of the month. Whew. Times like this are when grad school and my project don’t seem quite so bad.