Energy levels.

This post is from an old draft.

Last year this time was the most crucial time of my academic career. I had started my master thesis and had to write a huge program to analyze one of my systems that I had prepared. This led to incessant shuffling between lab and home with no time to think of anything else. I would simply spend too much time on my work, even when I’m back home; even during weekends. I literally took work from home to the next level.

Once, I stumbled upon this Youtube channel called CollegeInfoGeek run by Thomas Frank. Later this became my daily dinner-time video. One such video suggested this technique to find my biological prime time so as to be get more work done. This way, I thought I could find the best times for me to work, rather than meekishly completing tasks with zero energy left for the rest of the day.

CollegeInfoGeek: Tracking energy levels throughout the day to probe for prime productivity time

I rated my energy level (how I feel mentally) on a scale from 0-4. Sampling time was 80 days, sampling every one hour. Then I took the average of ratings given for each hour to get this:

From the above plot its kind of inferred that I had pretty consistant energy levels throughout the day. But post lunch break, till the end of office hour there is some apparent trend where my levels dip.

I put this into use right after: I started taking a short break in the cafeteria after my lunch, and also reading books from a lighter genre during this time. This was also the period when I had to start wrtitng my thesis. Based on my energy levels I started working on my thesis only post 19h00 and in the mornings.

This kind of became my daily routine was able to complete everything on time without much stress. I stopped logging how I felt once I completed my thesis report and article. But then I had to defend my thesis to get the master, in 2 weeks. I also had to defend the thesis a second time in front of the university doctoral committee to get my doctoral funding so as to continue the project I had applied for. This made me go back to my old routine where I skipped most of my meals, had some sausages and bread for dinner and went back next day to work. My weight dipped to 84kgs from 89Kgs in 2 weeks.

Surpringly enough doctoral committee defense went well.

The day before my thesis defence though, my sugar levels dropped and I started dehydrating right after a mock presentation with my supervisors in the evening. My current PhD advisor dropped me home after this incident.

Next day after the master thesis defence I would come to know from my master thesis advisor that the university would fund me further for my doctoral studies.

Update, Sept 2 2017: Then I went back to India after 2 years in EU and regained all my weight (+4Kgs), currently weighing in around 93Kgs.

Update 2, Feb 25 2018 : Once I started my PhD, I joined a gym, went on an on-and-off keto diet, and lost some weight in a healthy manner: currently weighs 85Kgs.

For some reason my stories in general end with an optimistic tone.