Yesterday afternoon I had difficulties concentrating. Instead of being mad at myself and disappointed, I've decided to try to look for the possible causes of yesterday's reading failure (while my back-up is running and Scopus seems to be down).
So I've been sitting here and staring at the screen and contemplating all possible reasons why yesterday turned out the way it did, and, more importantly, what I could do about that.
1. I wasn't really reading exciting new material.
In fact, I was reading a PhD thesis. The material of this thesis was published in journal papers in the subsequent years, and I've had already read all these papers. All I had to do is to go and search for some more details in the thesis, which was heavy on concentration-intensity.
2. Reading an entire day is hard on me
I know this, but somehow I fail to plan accordingly. Reading an entire day gives me the vast amount of time of "an entire day" and somehow puts me off. I work much better when I divide the morning into reading and the afternoon into lab preparation.
3. Lack of breaks
Yesterday, after lunch, I didn't see any person nor talked to anyone nor had a break with the others. Bad idea, as simple as that.
4. My body
I was feeling painful and unfit yesterday. I did go to the gym in the evening, but my muscles (if any) were not collaborating at all.
The lesson I've learned from this is that I mainly should plan better and divide my time into smaller chunks so I can get a little more variation in my day.