Research output is highly nonlinear. It’s unlikely that you can (or at least, I can) consistently progress by the same rate each day. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve just been wandering around looking for a direction (which means I am not moving forward). But I believe that once I found a direction, I can make a jump. The prospect of that day makes the wandering enjoyable. I remember the conversation I had with Sean and another colleague—let’s call him the third guy. Third guy said a research career is risky, as you’ll never know if you’re gonna figure out the answer. Both Sean and I thought that it is the uncertainty that made it interesting.
Although output may not be consistent, input can be, and should be. I’ve decided to commit 12 hours a week to it. And recently, my little one has resumed his “good” sleep timing, which means I can have the two hours in the early mornings again. Great! It’s recess week now, and my teaching assistant duty will start next week. I have more commitments in the second half than in the first, which means I have to be more organized. First semester was totally about coursework. Second semester was 75% research and 25% coursework. This semester is a balancing act. I see it as good training.
I’m taking two days of semi-break: spending the days at home with the little one while fitting work into the non-baby intervals (early morning, late night, when he eats etc.) This is also good training: I have to divide my work into chunks, just as GP advised me previously. By the way, it’s nice that the little one is having his sunshine period right during my recess week. He’s so joyful. His smiles are so adorable (it can melt anyone’s heart). I’m gonna enjoy it while it last—very soon he’s gonna hit another sensation week and will be grumpy again….