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Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info? (Read 1215 times)

Offline Bob

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Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
« on: December 29, 2016, 05:33:18 PM »
Dry, technical info.  Think financial or computers.

I have to go through a pile of this stuff but it's tedious and the info is very, very dull.  Afterward, it's "great" to know.  It's not quite anything I'm interested in though.  No end to the amount of it either.  I can push myself as hard as I want and there's still more.

Any ideas for sticking with this stuff?  The only thing that's working is sheer willpower and taking breaks, but sometime it's just five minutes of study/work and then a break that's longer than five minutes.

I can potentially see some actual relation to real life, but not at this stage of the info. 

Any ideas for getting through this stuff?  It's just... boring, tedius, dry....

Standing up, moving around, helps a bit.  I just keep thinking with all the breaks, it's not as productive appearance-wise.  Someone else might be thinking, "You only did this much?  That's it?"  Except the information is just so dull....
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline dogperson

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #1 on: December 29, 2016, 06:10:52 PM »
Been there... done that.  The only advice is to use a timer and make yourself go through XXX minutes before a break is allowed

Offline Bob

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #2 on: December 29, 2016, 06:15:37 PM »
Thanks.  Oi... Back to it.  I can feel my brain resisting going back or silently screaming when I'm going through it.  Although I do notice that's at the 'break' parts of the information.  If I'm working through something, there's no attention left to 'scream' with. 

I suppose another element is that I keep thinking I should be going through it faster or someone might expect I've picked up the skills the info presents.  I'm just trying to follow along, going through examples, but I lose track of the overall picture or would need help redoing the exercises without the training guide taking me step-by-step through things.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline outin

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #3 on: December 29, 2016, 07:07:04 PM »
I usually just fast read/glance through such things so that I get the big picture. If the details ever become useful I then know where to find them.

Offline quantum

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #4 on: December 29, 2016, 10:05:01 PM »
I usually just fast read/glance through such things so that I get the big picture. If the details ever become useful I then know where to find them.


I would do this as well.  Skim the material multiple times in thin layers, starting at the outside and working deeper each time, like peeling back an onion. First time through you might not understand what is going on, but by skimming you will have an idea of the big picture.

Reading the conclusions first before the meat.  There is no need to hold suspense as when reading a narrative.  Read the answer first, then the introductory summary, then the section titles of the meat, then gritty details of how you get to the answer.  However, since you read the conclusion first you will already know what all this material is trying to achieve as you go through the process.

Try to relate the material to something you are interested in.  Make some relation up if you have to: learning astrophysics will assist you to do financial calculations in less time, which means you get to practice your C++ coding and database management, all the while code from this project can be reused for your project in developing music theory learning enhancement tools for students along with a customized CMS for use with the app, which in turn will streamline your piano studio, meaning you will have more time to practice Beethoven and contemplate imagery of snails in the late string quartets.  :o  ::)


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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #5 on: December 29, 2016, 11:58:11 PM »
If it is useful information it shouldn't be boring.
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Offline georgey

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 06:56:29 AM »
Couple thoughts:  Can you get someone else to do the work?  If no and you know how many days you will be doing this work, mark an X on the calendar at the end of each day until done.  If you have the flexibility to do this, the following has worked for me:  If you need to get in 5 hours of tedious work that day, do it in 10 hours.  Give yourself a break equal to the amount of time you just spent working.  You will need a stop watch for this.  Example: you work 30 minutes, you can now take a 30 minute break.  You then work 45 minutes and so you earn and take a 45 minute break.  You then work 5 minutes, you can now take a 5 minute break.  Keep doing this for approx. 10 hours to get in 5 hours of work.  Will power is needed.

Offline Bob

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #7 on: December 30, 2016, 11:32:10 AM »
It's all me for the work.  I'm supposed to go through the material.  Done enough now I guess, although I'm thinking I might continue with it a bit just to be safe.

Still looks like...
Willpower
Scheduling time for it and sticking to that.

And probably something with adjusting goals.  In this case, "going through the material" is the goal, not necessarily actually learning it, understanding it, etc.  Although being at least a little thoughtful is good for absorbing it on some level.

Still thinking I'm too thorough about some things too, ie It takes forever if I'm really being thorough.

And I'm probably a bit out of practice for studying.

Caffeine too, although that seemed really limited for effectiveness.  It's difficult to stay awake for this.  Better sleep yes, but... This is material that puts me to sleep.

Goalwise also, part is just to have the appearance of going through this material, not necessarily that I actually learned anything from it.  It's playing the game, although if I'm spending time on it, I might as well get something out of it.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 11:30:05 PM »
There are times when one is faced with that sort of thing -- either incredibly dull stuff to learn or do for one's job, or incredibly dull stuff which just needs doing to get to something else.

The only thing I've ever known to really work is to stare at it for a bit, then take a deep breath and say to myself "OK, Ian.  Let's get on with it." and just buckle down and plug along until it's done.
Ian

Offline Bob

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #9 on: December 31, 2016, 03:23:50 PM »
I suppose the positive side is that there may be an actual use for the info in the future.  I just don't see anything in the present.

I'm kind of curious about continuing on with it a bit.  It's dull, but more won't hurt, esp. if I do find a use for it in the future.  I'm curious if the dullness will lighten up a bit if I'm back in a habit of studying that kind of info.

The expectation keeps popping into mind though.  Goals.  There's no end to how much attention or details I could memorize with it.  And if there is a future use, I'm sure I'm glossing over details right now.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline mjames

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #10 on: January 02, 2017, 08:25:12 PM »
This is was pretty much me for my lab course last semester! God the lab manual was so boring, dull, and annoying. The reports were tedious and absolutely stupid. I hated reading it, I hated doing the work...i hated everything about it. Especially the experiments. I guess the only motivation I had was err, if I didn't pass I'd fail my major? lol

I honestly wish undergraduate schools had the option for majors in theoretical physics, not physics in general. Physics experiments so faaar are soooooooooooo boring, and I still have like 4 more required lab courses to do. KILL ME.

I should have gone for mathematics. No labs. No experiments. Just...math.

Offline georgey

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #11 on: January 03, 2017, 02:16:29 AM »
This is was pretty much me for my lab course last semester! God the lab manual was so boring, dull, and annoying. The reports were tedious and absolutely stupid. I hated reading it, I hated doing the work...i hated everything about it. Especially the experiments. I guess the only motivation I had was err, if I didn't pass I'd fail my major? lol

I honestly wish undergraduate schools had the option for majors in theoretical physics, not physics in general. Physics experiments so faaar are soooooooooooo boring, and I still have like 4 more required lab courses to do. KILL ME.

I should have gone for mathematics. No labs. No experiments. Just...math.

I can relate to this.  When I went back to school for a math degree, I took Physics 1 for Physics majors just for fun so I thought (it was not required).  I did great on the first test but I withdrew from the course shortly after the test because I did not like doing labs.  I know a few people and also heard of some well-known mathematicians that went into math because they did not like doing labs.  Every subject will have some aspects that are boring though.  My guess is labs become a lot more interesting in the later lab courses.

Offline mjames

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #12 on: January 03, 2017, 07:17:53 AM »
I can relate to this.  When I went back to school for a math degree, I took Physics 1 for Physics majors just for fun so I thought (it was not required).  I did great on the first test but I withdrew from the course shortly after the test because I did not like doing labs.  I know a few people and also heard of some well-known mathematicians that went into math because they did not like doing labs.  Every subject will have some aspects that are boring though.  My guess is labs become a lot more interesting in the later lab courses.

Yeah but it's all worth going through though. The co-requisite courses were electrostatics and a bit of electromagnetism, and another lecture course in intro to thermodynamics and special relativity (i have no idea why they bloody merged these two topics together...budget cuts perhaps). So many of the topics covered in these two classes gave me multiple orgasms throughout the semester. I guess they make up for the crappy a$$ lab course!

So I guess for Bob this might be a good reason to power through boring cr@p, the more advanced and interesting topics make it all worth it imo. Similar to piano playing lol

Offline Bob

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #13 on: January 03, 2017, 11:31:58 AM »
I'm thinking it can be useful to tolerate more.  I just haven't run into it for a long time.  I do remember it from the past though.  Part it might be not being in control.  Most things I do now have a purpose.  No purpose, no action.  Add something that doesn't quite have a purpose or doesn't match the priority of other things and it's a little annoying too.  Add in knowing some of it is just training material author's idea of what they think they're supposed to create.... I could tell some of it was not put together by someone with any teaching background.  Horrible, irrelvent pre and post test garbage.  But there are other materials I can use.

Thanks for the ideas.  I'm thinking I'll dig back into it again soon....

The useful angle is that it's just shoving info into the mind.  That's still in music.  I remember the same effect in studying music, even practicing -- It's that feeling when you don't want to go through any more of something.  In music I remember something like it with a very detailed music history prof or with analyzing 20th century music, tone rows, etc.  So in part I'm thinking if I improve the ability to work through dry, apparently pointless (although it's not, it's just not the most relevant info) info, that can translate over to music.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline georgey

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #14 on: January 03, 2017, 05:19:24 PM »
Yeah but it's all worth going through though. The co-requisite courses were electrostatics and a bit of electromagnetism, and another lecture course in intro to thermodynamics and special relativity (i have no idea why they bloody merged these two topics together...budget cuts perhaps). So many of the topics covered in these two classes gave me multiple orgasms throughout the semester. I guess they make up for the crappy a$$ lab course!

So I guess for Bob this might be a good reason to power through boring cr@p, the more advanced and interesting topics make it all worth it imo. Similar to piano playing lol

Glad to hear you are determined to power through! My brother wanted to be a Physicist.  Labs were his achilles heel if I remember.  He became a medical technician for 15 years then a computer programmer for the last 15 years.  He still loves physics and has a library of books he looks at.  His favorite was electromagnetism and Fourier analysis.  There is a lot of tough math there.  A lot of rewards to those that can power through the labs!

Offline georgey

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #15 on: January 03, 2017, 05:39:09 PM »
I'm thinking it can be useful to tolerate more.  I just haven't run into it for a long time.  I do remember it from the past though.  Part it might be not being in control.  Most things I do now have a purpose.  No purpose, no action.  Add something that doesn't quite have a purpose or doesn't match the priority of other things and it's a little annoying too.  Add in knowing some of it is just training material author's idea of what they think they're supposed to create.... I could tell some of it was not put together by someone with any teaching background.  Horrible, irrelvent pre and post test garbage.  But there are other materials I can use.


Knowing the purpose can help.   Good news is even if you can't see the purpose, your mind and body should toughen up and be able to tolerate more boring stuff over time.  Start with small amounts and increase over time. Perseverance!

Offline visitor

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Re: Advice/ideas on making it through mindnumbly dry info?
«Reply #16 on: January 04, 2017, 12:56:53 AM »
Lots of breaks i suppose. Find something interesting and reward yourself with that for getting through small chunks