This blog as might be apparent from the title has to do with running, biking and basically other outdoor individualistic sports, sometimes extreme, such as rock climbing . But don't be surprised if you find articles on work, personal life, music and even philosophy, this blog is an exception in this aspect in the blogosphere of running blogs and I am trying to revamp the blog to make it more runner friendly. You might want to look at the sidebar titled 'categorised', which as is obvious, categorizes my posts into different areas of interest.
The other thing that might interest many people is a section on 'running videos' and 'general videos' on the side bar, which I keep updating now and then.
I plan to bring in more posts on running and biking, with some added colour, so as to make them 'complete'. That's about it for now.
As a post-note, I have run a half-marathon, but I am yet to attempt a marathon, which through some concerted effort and time should happen in the future, but that ofcourse is not the culmination of this blog, it would on the contrary be something to jumpstart this blog onto new vistas.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

On work place, work ethic and productivity

Since I am working a tad over what I normally do(which isn't much anyway), I thought why not dedicate a post to 'work'. So here goes....

First my work. Usually involves some thinking, scribbling, model formulation, coding, some thinking again, hazzar debugging and finally hazzar more debugging. There's the data collection part too, but that's best left alone.

Here are two places I can possibly work:

1) My good old, a little too comfortable but shabby looking room.
2) The department computer facility at the civil engg. department a.k.a the dcf.

Next lets look at the configurations of the computer/computers in my room/the dcf:

a) Room: 2GHZ, 256MB RAM, 17'' "normal" monitor

b) Dcf: 3GHZ, 2GB RAM, 19'' flat LCD screen

Does something seem strikingly different? Before you jump to conclusions, there are only 5 comps of the type b amongst the 30 odd comps in dcf.

The little work that I have done over the last one year untill recently(read 3 weeks) was mostly in the confines of my room and even that happening only when the quarterly evaluation seemed looming and menacing a week or two before the evaluation date. So my work over the last 10 odd months can be best described as a series or sequence of dirac delta functions(a function defined as a very high value at a single point and zero else where) with an even spacing of 2 weeks between consecutive functions. The spacing depicts the lack of any above-subliminal work productivity. Another point to be noted is that, the word 'work-ethic' was unknown to me during this period.

Now, if you are wondering as to why I was dumb enough to continue working in my room given the obvious lack of productivity, all I can say is working in dcf never occurred to me as a feasible option. I thought it to be a pain to take all the necessary stuff(codes, books,etc) and haul my lazy self over a distance of 2 kms and back everyday. Plus, the 5 hifunda comps had arrived just a month back, therefore I was oblivious to the allure of them beauties.

So what did it? A sound threat cum chiding cum lecture from my prof about a month back. I am thankful that hapenned for that lead to the discovery of the newfound land..err workplace.

Since I stepped foot into the dcf with the sole purpose of improving my productivity, my non-existent work-ethic transformed itself into a scheduled work routine. The past three weeks saw me getting up at around 12 noon, having grub and going to the dcf by around 2-3 pm and working at a reasonable pace till 12 midnight, after which I would laze around on the net or give some thought to the next days work before crashing back at around 4 am. I can't suppress myself from delighting on the statistics of the marginal work productivity increase. The average 'work hours' went up from (2 - 3)hrs/day to (8-9) hrs/day, an average improvement of around 250%. The highs and the lows were around 12 hrs and 6 hrs respectively, the lows being during the weekends when there is a tendency to unwind, let-loose, watch a couple of movies and fool around and the highs; well that's interesting, the highs came around the middle of the week(when I am due meeting the prof) when the realisation hits you : 'There is so much more to be done and so little time left'.

What is the single most important factor that affected the change in my productivity? I had say, a dedicated ac-encapsulated work place lacking the comfort of a bed to laze around but full of like-minded research scholars egging each other on from slumping into this affirmation: "I know, I know fully well that I have got considerable work to do, and it's not that I am dis-interested either, it's just that I am unable to check myself from continually monitoring the arrival of my next mail, scrap(orkut), offliner or blog comment; leading to a loss of focus and a consequent terribly average day!"

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