Arjun was back in town for the weekend. As we were hanging out and talking about psychology, Arjun brought up the idea of rituals as preparation for work. Thinking about it, there are a bunch of reasons to have some kind of unchanging ritual that you can do prior to beginning work. One is commitment, once you begin the ritual, you're committed to doing it. Rituals also calm your emotions while getting your rat brain in synch with your higher order cognition (maybe). Calming your emotions also calms your body, and puts your body in a state more conducive to analytical thought.

Arjun also brought up the idea of goal substitution (which just indicates that I need to take some psych). An example is you have a term paper due, and instead you clean your room. You're substituting a more comfortable goal for a less comfortable one. As soon as he said this, I realized that I do this all the time. Sigh. ;)