Burn Out and Boredom

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

My post is about burn out in learning physics, but could apply to many creative activities, for example in programming I've experienced the same thing.

So like a month ago maybe I started working through my college physics textbook (I took the course before but I was overloaded and ended up withdrawing from it; the good thing is that I have a fantastic physics textbook now, great for self study).

Before this last study session, a while ago I went through and did a bunch of problems from the textbook, so this time I didn't do too many problems and focused on understanding the theory. I focused on understanding where the formulas used for solving problems come from (i.e. I would do the derivations, trying to understand algebraically/intuitively why the formulas hold true, and I used the internet to help me find the build ups where necessary).

I got side tracked by a game called "Arx Fatalis", which I wholeheartedly recommend if you're into that kind of thing. And then I wanted the magical escape from reality to continue so I downloaded Fallout III. I'm almost done with that, so I will return to physics. It's really the only thing that brings me pleasure (STEM learning in general), besides my other hobby of game development and watching Dragon Ball Z Kai/Super every week. Also I will play Ultima Ascendant when that comes out, probably, but the kind of video game I can lose myself in only comes out every couple years or so. Anyway ...

Even without being side tracked by video games, I find it hard to motivate myself to do hard learning a lot of the time. I worked through the first 8 chapters of my physics textbook in just about a week (just doing the derivations for the formulas and skipping what I already knew).

How do you guys keep your mojo going? Is there still more fun physics to learn even after many years of this?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,273
808
I find it hard to motivate myself to do hard learning a lot of the time.
I think it is different for different people. For me, the first 10 minutes is the hardest. If I can force myself to be immersed in something for 10 minutes without being distracted, I find that I often can continue working for substantially longer. I find that being somewhere without access to a computer or phone helps.

IHow do you guys keep your mojo going? Is there still more fun physics to learn even after many years of this?
I am 57, and I still love reading about physics and maths. I have three "projects" on which I want to work to today, one of which is studying for fun the book "Mathematical Gauge Theory with applications to the Standard Model of Particle Physics" by Mark Hamilton (400 pages of abstract maths followed by 240 pages that "apply" this abstract math to particle physics). The other two projects are work-related, writing a small section of a paper for which my colleague has been asking, and learning material on quantum computing, so that I can stay ahead of the student that I am supervising in a self-directed learning (for the student and for me!) course.

All this stuff to do, and, here I am procrastinating on Physics Forums! Proof that I cannot ignore a computer that is in front of me!
 
  • #3
Bystander
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
5,173
1,176
being somewhere without access to a computer or phone helps.
"Hear, hear!"
 

Related Threads on Burn Out and Boredom

  • Last Post
Replies
22
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
3K
Replies
9
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
16
Views
7K
  • Last Post
6
Replies
134
Views
13K
  • Last Post
Replies
14
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
1K
Top