Thursday, March 18, 2004
I had a test today in my optimization class; it was one of those tests where they give you 3 hours of work to do in 1.5 hours. My strategy for this time-constrained type of test is simple: don't go to the bathroom beforehand. It sounds strange but it works, at least for me. Why does it work? The need to pee gives me an artificially high sense of urgency, forcing me to focus on the task at hand and how to achieve it in the minimum time possible. I'm a pretty smart fellow, and I have a tough time making myself worried about any test because I pretty much always do well, but I also work better and more quickly under pressure. So I use my natural body functions to manipulate myself into the desired state of mind. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but for me it works quite well.