Looking at math and life

I look at life the way most people look at math, and I look at math the way most people look at life.

Most people look at math as formulas to be memorized, rules to obey, procedures to be followed. There are right ways to do things and wrong ways to do things. All the rules and memorization are to prevent you from making mistakes.

That’s how I approached life. I see it all as rules of behavior. I try to figure them out and memorize them. I use logic, rather than common sense, to decide what to do in a new situation. If I’ve been in a similar situation, I try to use the previous solution. I try to do the right things, but I keep making mistakes.

Math, on the other hand, I view as a logical, complete system, where every step derives from other steps. At the base are a set of fundamental concepts that I understand implicitly. I don’t worry about whether my answer or technique is correct. I understand the system, so solutions seem obvious to me. I don’t memorize mathematical rules, I instinctively know them.

I think that’s how other people view life. It seems that others have a good idea of the whole system, the big picture. When they have a new situation, they can think through the alternatives. Those alternatives and the solutions seem obvious to them. Most people don’t memorize social rules, they implicitly know them.

What about you? Do you approach math and life as rules or complete systems? Tell me in the comments.

Neurodiverse Character Sheets

Let’s make neurodiverse character sheets. A list of the specific characteristics we have, as if we were characters in a role playing game.

Let’s start with our super powers: Easily Hyperfocuses, or Vibrant Fantasy World Instead of saying that sounds overwhelm us, let’s call it Heightened Senses: Hearing. The opposite would be Subdued Senses: Hearing (aka Sound Resistance).

Then let’s count the cool abilities our neurodiversity gives us: Extraordinary Ability: Computer Programming, or Extraordinary Memory for Facts. Some things may positive or negative: Not Offended by Bluntness, or Only Hears the Literal.

Then we can also list the things we have trouble with, after all the abilities: Difficulty With Body Language, or Can’t Concentrate on Boring Things (is that really a disadvantage?)

The point is when we look at ourselves as characters on a character sheet, we see our abilities and disabilities as tangible items that we can isolate and talk about. But more importantly, we focus on the combination of attributes that make us unique.

The Pomodoro Technique

I’ve been using the Pomodoro Technique and the results are outstanding. I had heard of the Pomodoro Technique. Twenty-five minutes of work, five minute break. Seemed pretty simple.

But it’s so much more than that. It’s given me a new relationship with time. I can talk about, “I’ll do a Pomodoro for that”, or “that took two Pomodoros”. I’ve gotten so much more done.

At home, I’m doing more housework. Twenty five minutes is enough time to get a lot done, and is short enough that I don’t feel worn out. Without a great deal of effort, I am now getting more chores done and doing them more completely.

At work I’m doing more tasks and the frequent breaks keeps me out of rabbit holes. And at days end, I have a record of what I worked on all day.

With the Pomodoro Technique, I have more available productive time, and I better visualise time, as a sequence of Pomodoros.