The winter blues is hitting and everyone around me hard. There is a weird miasma in the air that's causing anxiety and low moods.
Maybe it's because we're entering the heat of grad school without the novelty of it being a new school year or without the prospect of the holidays.
That led me to think about work-reward ratios. Everyone knows that delayed gratification is associated with better life outcomes, as suggested by the famous Stanford marshmallow experiment.
But on a more microcosmic scale, I personally am realizing the limits of my own motivation. How much work can I churn out without bearing fruit before I burn myself out?
So far, we are in week four, and the pace of work has been non-stop for me and my cohort. This is not an atypical student experience. But as functioning adults in grad school, maybe our perspective on life is much broader, so academic success is no longer a singular goal.
And maybe that causes some sort of existential anxiety. For me, it's been tough to do work because I feel like the rewards I'm gaining are not proportional to my hours spent. Perhaps I need to re-strategize how I spend my hours to better align with the kind of outcome I expect.