>How much time I spend…

>I was just thinking about the division of time amongst the various things I work on – and realized it’s pretty bizarre. Unlike most grad students, I have to interface with people using my software for many different analysis types – some of which are “production” quality. That has it’s own challenges, but I’ll leave that for another day.

I figured I could probably recreate my average week in a pie chart form, covering the work I’ve been doing…


Honestly, though, It’s just an estimate – and the sum is actually more than 40 hours a week. (I do work in the evenings, sometimes – and support for FindPeaks happens when I check my email in the evening, too. – to compensate, I may have been stingy on the hours spend goofing off….)

Anyhow, I think it would be an interesting project to try to keep track of how I spend my time. Maybe I’ll give it a try when I come back from vacation. (Yes, I’ll be away next week.)

Still, even from this estimate, three things are very clear:

  1. I need to spend more time upfront writing tests for my software to cut down on debugging
  2. I need to spend more time reading journals.
  3. I am clearly underestimating the time I spend playing Ping Pong. But hey, I work through lunch!

>It never rains, but it pours…

>Today is a stressful day. Not only do I need to to finish my thesis proposal revisions (which are not insignificant, because my committee wants me to focus more on the biology of cancer), but we’re also in the middle of real estate negotiations. Somehow, this is more than my brain can handle on the same day… At least we should know by 2pm if our counter-offer was accepted on the sales portion of the transaction, which would officially trigger the countdown on the purchase portion of the transaction. (Of course, if it’s not accepted, then more rounds of offers and counter-offers will probably take place this afternoon. WHEE!)

I’m just dreading the idea of doing my comps the same week as trying to arrange moving companies and insurance – and the million other things that need to be done if the real estate deal happens.

If anyone was wondering why my blog posts have dwindled down this past couple of weeks, well, now you know! If the deal does go through, you probably won’t hear much from me for the rest of this year. Some of the key dates this month:

  • Dec 1st: hand in completed and reviewed Thesis Proposal
  • Dec 5th: Sales portion of real estate deal completes.
  • Dec 6th: remove subjects on the purchase, and begin the process of arranging the move
  • Dec 7th: Significant Other goes to Hong Kong for~2 weeks!
  • Dec 12th: Comprehensive exam (9am sharp!)
  • Dec 13th: Start packing 2 houses like a madman!
  • Dec 22nd: Hannukah
  • Dec 24th: Christmas
  • Dec 29th: Completion date on the new house
  • Dec 30th: Moving day
  • Dec 31st: New Years!

And now that I’ve procrastinated by writing this, it’s time to get down to work. I seem to have stuff to do today.

>Dr. Randy Pausch’s lectures

>I often use my 3 in-boxes as task lists, and I had one item in particular that’s sat around for ages: watching the Last lecture of Randy Pausch. I finally watched it last night – in fact, I stayed up late to watch it, despite my intention to get to work early to get a head start in a few projects (which I managed to accomplish anyhow). All I can say was that it was worth it.

Tonight, I was debating going to bed early, but ended up clicking on a link that took me to Dr. Pausch’s web page, where I discovered a new lecture he’s posted: “Time Management”. It’s a fantastic reflection on how to focus on your goals, and to achieve the things you want to achieve. He gives plenty of pointers, of which a number are so clearly good ideas that it would be silly not to follow up on them.

Taking his advice, I’ve already done two things this evening that I was procrastinating on… and I have several good ideas on how to improve my working environment.

Anyways, if you have the time, each of the lectures I’ve linked to is about an hour and a half, and worth every minute of it. Invest the time and watch them.