Finding inspiration

I am pretty obsessed with mini-post-it notes… and leaving little surprises for people to start their day with [since I get to work way before anyone else]. Hence, today’s inane image of the day:

I like leaving little notes  with fun facts or quotes like the one shown above for my co-workers.
Everyone hits a wall of non-productivity every once in a while — sometimes it is just hard to find a reason to keep studying, working or doing menial tasks around the house. Admittedly, I find that this slump comes around a lot more often than I’d like — without deadlines or someone breathing down my back, I find that procrastination gets the better of me and I end up scrambling at the last minute to finish tasks.

I don’t believe that anyone truly “works better under pressure” — sure, you may have more adrenaline surging through your vessels, which could make you more efficient in your work, but in the end, who wants the extra stress of an upcoming deadline?
As the years have passed, I have found techniques to keep chugging on. The best thing I’ve discovered is just learning more about my optimal conditions — I hate to admit my caffeine addition, but without this wonder drug, I doubt that I could even get the most basic tasks done. Sure, in middle school or something I was able to do homework and and such without caffeine, but that was way before real life started [shhh don’t tell anyone that my actual reason for going to medical school was to avoid being a real person out in the scary world… jk]. With every passing year comes more responsibility — for example, when we were given the ability to drive we become responsible for our own livelihood and others that we encounter on the road. Someday, I’ll look back on this entry and laugh at how simple my life is today — I’m single, without child and without a full-time profession. Anyway, caffeine is a must.
Also, I am happiest when surrounded by other people [yes, definitely a huge reason why medicine made sense to me] [this does not mean I work well in study groups, however — I get to be too chatty and no one ever gets anything done…]. This generally means that if I have to study that it’s best for me to go to my favorite bustling coffeeshop or cafe. True, people tend to be distracting at times, but it really helped me 4 summers ago when I was studying Organic Chemistry to just look up from the dizzying number of reactions and people-watch. It’s like coming up for a breath of fresh air.
Another thing I mentioned recently, is that I love mornings. ‘Nuff said.
I need to stock up on these little techniques to get me through the rest of my medical training — I really don’t want to come out on the other end completely jaded. How do you find inspiration?
P.S. WHY WAS IT HUMID AND GROSS OUTSIDE AT 6AM?! Bah! Bring back last week’s beautiful weather!

2 thoughts on “Finding inspiration

  • July 18, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I’m with you on the working-under-pressure thing. I would rather get stuff done early, but then I tend to procrastinate. I tend to have a hard time coming with the will to go all-out on work when there’s lots of time left.

    At my research group’s weekly meetings, everyone talks about what they’ve done since the last meeting for about 5 minutes. If you think about it, five minutes is kind of a long time to talk about *what* you’ve done without just diving into minutiae about *how* you did them. I’ve found that it’s a helpful motivator to be able to go to one of these meetings and talk for the full 5 minutes (or more) about the different things I’ve been working on, rather than talking for like 90 seconds and then feeling awkward.

    Speaking of which, our meeting is in two and half hours. I should probably go finish up some stuff so I can call it done rather than “almost done”.

  • July 19, 2011 at 11:24 am

    @Kyle: I definitely agree that it’s hard to get stuff done when you have time before a deadline — but even just getting a head-start is still something!

    Your research group’s weekly meetings sound like a good motivator. Hopefully the way that OUWB’s curriculum is designed, that I will feel the need to prepare for each class instead of slacking off and trying to play catch-up before exams.

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