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I feel terribly guilty if I’m not somehow being productive. Most of the time, I’m beyond driven to just get things done. It doesn’t even matter what things. I just have to feel like I’m doing something useful. It’s satisfying.

But my “issues” often get in the way of working productively. Either I’m too distracted, miserable, or hyper to get much done. At other times, I’m whipping out 7 things at a time, with highly variable success (but mostly pretty good). It’s a little bewildering. Jorge Cham, author of Piled Higher & Deeper, totally gets this state of mind:

I ❤ PhD Comics! “Wishful Thinking” – originally published 5/18/2012

This rings very true for me. Of course, I did manage to get through the PhD in a mere five years. Despite knowing that it’s utterly unrealistic, I still feel inadequate when I can’t keep up hypomanic productivity all the time. I get constant pressure from peers who only see the high productivity, and have never seen the months and months where the only thing I accomplished was endless worrying.

But I set the bar pretty high, didn’t I? No wonder I’m always disappointed in myself!

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