Asked on twitter here

What are the top things that get in the way of your doing productive research or work?

I was thinking of a rough categorization...

  1. Motivation and demotivation
  • I’m not good enough
  • This is pointless
  • This is endless
  1. Distractors (internal)
  • Nerd-sniping
  • Fun/attractors
  • Anxiety
  1. Distractors (external)
  • Interruptions
  • Urgent requests
  • Fear of missing out/jealousy
  • Fatigue/physical things
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I think most of 1 and 2. But also, on a larger scale, something related to the Peter principle can happen: I spend way more time doing things that I'm not motivated for, because those are the ones I get stuck on. The fun parts are over more quickly.

Or maybe these are the mediators and not the prime movers. When I am in certain mental states most of the problems that I mention above can become much more severe or they can disappear entirely.

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