The 1 Week MITx Plan

15 Mar 2020

This is it, the start (ehh… an “offset start”).

The Plan

Currently have the second half of Week 3 and onwards in MIT’s 6.002x 3-part course to go through. There are a total of 4 weeks in a singular ‘part’, therefore a total of 12 weeks or 3 months to finish this course in an acceptable university standard pace… –I HAVE NO TIME FOR THAT! As you can probably conclude from the title of this post, yes, I plan to finish these 3 months in under a week. Ambitious? Yes - Doable? Maybe - Insane? F*** YES! To be accurate I’ll be starting the 1-week-plan from Week 3.5 like a pussy, so what? Sue me. In their introduction they do say one should spend at least 6 hours a week on the course. Translating that over means to finsih these remaining 8.5 weeks I need to spend 6*8.5 = 51 hours this week just studying. I know these hours are sort of achievable because I’ve seen just as crazy people achieve this kind of productivity over at the InterGalaxia guild in Habitica. Top place per week is usually about ~3000 minutes (50 hours) a week. That’s 7.14 hours a day. So what? That’s comparable to a regular day at a 9-5 job or a 7-2 school day. True, but this isn’t some low-level work you can just clock in and clock out, this is 7.14 hours of painful, frustrating deep work.

Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. -Cal Newport

The Setup

I had a test trial going from week 2.5 to week 3.5, it took me roughly 6 hours. I didn’t reach my 7.14 hour goal but it was close and I could definitely have gone for longer. However, by the end of those non-continuous 6 hours, I was done, tired, finito. Woke up at 10am, next 4 hours until 2pm, studied. Leisure time for 2 hours, then back on that grind, 4pm-6pm studied. I need a way, a method, a system which allows me to grind for hours with minimal fatigue gain per hour.

  1. The first obvious probable solution was the good ol’ pomodoro. I don’t usually like using it, but those breaks every 25 minutes may help to keep my sanity in-check (and improve learning efficiency).
  2. Energy/snacks/food/water - My mind is telling me yeees! but my bo-ody, my bo-ody is telling me NOOOO! Those 5 minute-breaks mentioned earlier should be partly spent eating and drinking.
  3. To combat tiredness will be quite tricky. I could risk a 20-minute power nap - potentially feel energized or accidentally sleeping through hours on end. So it is out in the running for me. My remaining options are to exercise or walk outside for a bit. I’ll exercise when I hit the first wall of drowsy, a walk outside for the remaining drowsy walls I come across throughout the day. I don’t like coffee so I won’t be relying on that.
  4. Distractions, distractions, distractions! Easy, this one week, I am only allowed 1 item from the toy chest and that toy is the edX domain alongside a chewed-up limited functioning version of google to help with terminologies, explanations, etc. I’m allowed more toys after I hit my daily quota. Simply put, I can have more fun later in the day with the Internet after going through roughly a week and a bit of 6.002x a day. “B-but what about chores?” I’ve a set time, every 12pm I have an hour to finish up chore duty, imma sneak
  5. Sleep that beautiful ideal 8 hours a day. I’ve been sleeping for 10 hours a day for the past few weeks, not good for my health and productivity. It’s because my sleep cycle gets ruined every 6am due to external issues. Solution? 8 hours of sleep before 6am comes around. At the very end of that burning candle wick, it should say 10pm… hopefully. Going to be a rough time couple of days for sure.

Edit: 20 days later, I’m sorry I failed. I needed a better way to attack this massive workload. It’s not something one completes so easily in a few days. I also had depressive and suicidal thoughts a few days after I started this massive undertaking. I just wanted to get away from it all and find comfort somewhere else. I’ll return with a new project or even.. projects! I have a few things I need to get done for the remaining 2 weeks before I start. Hope to see you then then when I come back on the 16th of April.