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Anyone else feel like their brains do this?


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I've sorta been running an experiment on myself, where I either do my usual daily things, read, solve puzzles, write computer programs, do some math, OR go a few days w/o any of this (as much as I can manage).  In the latter situation, when I then try to get back into my usual routine, I have to admit that my brain feels utterly useless for about the first day or so. Does this happen to anyone else? 

A part of me wonders if this has anything to do with intelligence, that is, people who are actually smart don't have to constantly bombard their brains tasks that require considerable mental effort. If they decide to go watch T.V for a few days, they'd be able to get right back into it, no problem. 

Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind having to constantly do what I do to retain my mental sharpness, on the contrary I enjoy it. That being said, I'm left wondering if other people also feel this way? 

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Yes, whenever I am away from a project for some time, it takes awhile to get back into the swing of things. I think this is normal. That is, you are not lacking in intelligence or ability because you aren't able to jump right back into your work at full speed after a few days off. Typically, when I come back from the weekend, Monday morning is a little slower for me.

But knowing how you tick helps you set helpful schedules for yourself. For example, because I take time to "get back into the work", I don't try to get into heavy duty coding on Monday mornings. I tend to just make more mistakes that way. So, Monday mornings are good times for me to write emails or prepare materials for my TA work. Or sometimes I have to do lower level thinking work (think "look at data and classify it") so I schedule that for the mornings. 

Also, I often work on multiple projects simultaneously. To avoid the startup lag, I try to work on the same project for at least 2 or 3 days at a time before switching. Usually, given my other non-research commitments, this means I only work on one project per week. 

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