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So as you probably already guessed, I decided to go with Chinese first.

There really was no other reason than "I've been thinking about it for ages". When I think about it then I have to admit it's probably the least helpful language for me to learn at this point. Then again, who said learning should be driven by necessity?

Maybe it's different in other places but when I look around me then most of the time people don't learn just for the fun of it. Sure, they often have fun while learning but they only seem to start learning when something becomes useful. And I have to admit, I went through a period like that as well. Unfortunately though it also took away part of my enjoyment related to learning. Sure, whatever I learned was helpful and the process was fun but it was often at an inconvenient moment. Because of that the learning also created additional stress and I stopped enjoying it.

About a year ago I started learning things just for the heck of it again though and I'm now actually enjoying it again. Sure, being able to say:"I want to read a book now" in Chinese is probably not very helpful but then, who cares? It's not like I have to be able to have a conversation with somebody tomorrow. I can just slowly work my way through the material.

The Problems With Half-Working


My mind has been scrambled the last couple days. I don't know why, it came on very suddenly. I've made massive strides over the two weeks before - I accomplished about six months worth of work over two weeks. I felt on top of the world. I wasn't even very tired afterwards, I felt good, ready to go.

Then yesterday, just bzzt - nothing. Foggy, almost like confusion. Couldn't focus at all. Strange. I said, y'know what? I haven't had a day off in a while, I'm just going to take the day off. Went and sat at a cafe and listened to some audio for about four hours, walked around and saw the city, went and had a massage, and then sat and ate fruit. Spend like 10 hours in a row just thinking and relaxing, which is good, I don't take full days off very often. I had some good ideas when I was out at the cafe and took some extensive notes, so I got some production out of it too without even trying to.

Now, I wish I could say, "And then I was recharged, and today I was awesome!" But no, I woke up in a fog again. Damn this. I track my time and have some routines to keep me running well, but I was foggy despite it, unable to focus really. Suck, what is this?

I was working, but it was half-working. Now, half-working is a big problem in my opinion. Half-working tires you out as much or more than real full working, but you get about 5% as much stuff done. Yes, 5%. Good work requires something like focus. It doesn't necessarily require the highest levels of focus and flow (though that stuff is very good), but it requires working through the mentally difficult parts when they come up. The worst part about half-work is you cruise through the easy enough stuff, then stumble on a difficult part.

This is doubly bad, because when you come back to your work, you're staring the hardest part in the face. This sucks, you need to kind of regroup and double down to get re-started while staring a difficult or complex part of work in the face. But again, I was in that mental fog and so I start half-working on it, and then I wander off again. And I try to come back to the work, but then - bam, there's this hard problem staring me right in the face, that I already failed to conquer twice.

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