Eating, sleeping, exercising – and writing scientifically

At first glance, these are three completely separate things. On closer inspection, however, many relationships are apparent.

Students who write longer scientific papers for the first time often complain about the heavy burden. Especially when writing is started during the lecture period, problems arise.

Part of this problem is certainly due to the novelty of the task, because there is no background knowledge and there is no routine in writing. Other problems have very common causes. Certainly, a night spent – be it due to a party or a deadline – hardly a young person from the train. It is different when the lack of sleep becomes the rule.

That healthy diet and exercise also contribute to mental performance is well known, but is often ignored or driven to the extreme according to the rule “much helps a lot” – without suspecting that the popular sporting “auspowern” can also adversely affect: Who running to total exhaustion, riding a bicycle, lifting weights or climbing mountains will hardly be able to work in a direct line. Also on too lush meals immediately before writing should be waived.

As with many things in life, scientific writing also depends on the right mixture, which depends on many factors: the right time of day (according to the biorhythm), a calm environment, the current motivation and ability to concentrate.

Students who are working on science for the first time should take enough time to explore their individual work preferences and thus create the optimal conditions to work undisturbed and purposefully. Neither is the bar of chocolate, which is nibbled on the side, a taboo, nor the coffee, tea or cocoa. Do not hesitate to experiment with different times: So it is for some early risers in fact the proverbial Morgenstund ‘, which has gold in the mouth and in which, apart from occasional chirping, work well. Others swear by long afternoons in which they achieve their scientific excellence.

Some need the seclusion of the library, whose quiet is broken only gently by the clear hawking or scraping of sharp pencils, others like to gather their ideas in the open air, in the city park, by the pond or in a cafe.

And so one comes to ponder whether everything is allowed not only in love and in war, but also in writing.

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