I had three goals, one of which is broad, this summer. I aimed to do some reading on education economics and begin some empirical research, mathematics self-study, and programming practice. I have completed all with the exception that I gave up on R programming in favour for Stata and Python mix.
During the school year there is a fluid productive rhythm that work flows through. Consider this, I would wake up, run, go to class, work between classes, come home, relax then eat, do some work, some recreational reading and sleep. This is a generalization of my schedule for about 60% of the school year. The anchor here is my course schedule, which anchors my errands. It actually makes the forward horizon easy to see. I plan much of everything else around this and makes decision-making easier. However, the summer has an air of relaxation that can waste an entire day sometimes. My daily runs are usually the main anchor but that’s relatively flexible activity to move around.
Moreover, in school one can make inferences on effort from peers on work hours on specific projects since they are homogenous, as if they were econometricians themselves. Amongst mathematicians there is a tradition of autodidacts. People have often picked up textbooks and taken online courses at a pace unique from anyone else. For others, like myself, forums exist that show subjective information of mathematicians and senior students on self-study. This channel has been my way to remedy my lack of productivity anchoring. From information online I can get some sort of subject expectation of what I should be learning and how fast, as a replacement for classroom evaluation.
Of course, this is all retrospective. I used online forums to read questions about issues with proofs, programming code, book selection, etc. If I were to do it all again I would have a time sensitive schedule instead of a 3 project 3 month rule.