Daniel Lemire's blog

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The secret to intellectual productivity

One thought on “The secret to intellectual productivity”

  1. While reading your whole post, I could not help but exclaim “exactly!” out loud. I just deposited a 215 page thesis last Monday—on blogs actually—which I’ll defend next Tuesday—nothing like having it fresh in my mind. So I know what you are writing about first hand.

    What really resonated was the line “Feeling overwhelmed makes you stupid”. There were moments during this process where I literally thought I wasn’t competent enough to pull this off. Part of that is the self-doubt that most individuals who aren’t megalomaniacs deal with when faced with a huge challenge. But mostly, it’s because I was overwhelmed. I was looking for that major inspiration that would be the spine of my thesis. What I realized was that I needed to just deal with little bits and the spine would build itself, then I would readjust it.

    What is interesting is that as someone who works in instructional design, I use this technique often as to not overwhelm learners – I’m not sure if you are familiar with it but it’s called chunking. The idea is to break down the content in bite sized pieces to reduce cognitive load and facilitate the learning process.

    Thanks for sharing this. It helped to reflect on what I just went through.