Been doing a lot of online collaboration lately.
With particularly tough problems, it's easy to start to burn out even even after only 70 to 90 minutes of work...
...so we noticed that, and started implementing 10 minute breaks. I've got a couple music playlists that go 10 minutes exactly, I put one on, and when it ends get back into work.
It's working really well. If you find yourself grinding at the computer, try it out. If you're collaborating via Skype, definitely try it out. It's been a boon to productivity and quality of life.
One of my favorite foods is oatmeal. It's a complex carb with a high amount of fiber, so you feel full all morning after eating it. It's dirt cheap. It's incredibly easy to make - you stir some boiling water into it. Thus, you can make it even without a full kitchen, like if you're in a hotel. The taste is kind of bland, nothing special, but you get used to it pretty quickly. If you want to spice it up more, any kind of fruit mixes well into it. If you're training, you can stir in flax seed for higher calories and protein, and then it takes on roughly the taste and texture of soft pretzels.
I love the stuff. I eat it whenever I can, which is pretty often. However, there's one downside of oatmeal - it's brutal to clean if you let it dry on a plate.
It's trivially easy to clean if you clean it while it's hot. Run a sponge over it once, or even just rinse a few times with very hot water. But after the stuff dries, it becomes a nightmare to scrape off.
I try to clean up immediately after breakfast, but sometimes I read, or write, or work on spec'ing something out with breakfast, and I might get lost in thought.
The time needed to clean up the oatmeal goes up drastically the longer you let pass. Clean up right after eating? 20 seconds or so. Three hours later? A few minutes. And if you let a whole day pass? You're going to be scrubbing that bowl in the sink for 10+ minutes.
I used to dislike to work. I saw how most people lived their lives, slogging through work that they hated, and I was determined not to fall into that trap. I made the mistake of generalizing, lumping all work together in the same bucket.
Since then, things have changed. In terms of monumental personal life changes, becoming a hard worker is the most recent one I've undergone. About a year ago, for reasons I touched on in this post, I decided that it was imperative for me to become a hard worker. I didn't do it because I had suddenly fallen in love with work, but rather because I had began to feel as though I was behind. And believe me, it wasn't love at first sight.
To fall in love with hard work, you must understand why it's necessary. When I was young I was told that sugar was bad, but I never understood exactly why it was bad, so I kept eating it. Only when I learned how it chemically affected my body did I finally give it up. The same is true of work-- if you don't know why you have to work hard and love it, you'll probably never actually do it.
Work is your gift to the world. That sounds corny, but it's true. And believe me, you owe the world a gift or two. Think of all of the various things that millions of people around the world have done for you to enjoy the life you have. They made up languages, invented stuff, procreated at the exact right times to create your ancestry, and managed to not kill each other in the process. We're lucky to be here, and the high standard of living we all enjoy now is only because of those who came before us. Some, like Einstein, had huge impact, but even people you don't notice, like the janitors, are making your life better.