koji berry

koji berry

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Less stupid mistakes, please!

I just realized I made a stupid mistake. A professor emailed me to arrange a Skype interview for a postdoc position, and in answering him I misspelled his name. Very, very stupid. He has not answered my email, hopefully due to the number of appointment he needs to arrange. Hopefully he is forgiving.

But I was really nervous yesterday and wanted to beat myself. Sometimes I just lost my focus and making these small yet annoying mistakes. However, I remember that that is not very good for my self-esteem, so I cleaned the house instead. Today I decided to look in the internet if there is a way to reduce such stupid mistakes.

And I found this article. Basically, Mulainthan and Shafir suggested that we sometimes forget that we are doing activities that need huge "bandwidth" that we don't have enough space in our brain to remember that we need to bring the keys before leaving the house. Realizing this can help us to prepare and prevent doing the same stupid mistakes in the future.

Here are the mistake-reducing steps they suggested:
1. Realize it's not you.
2. Understand when you are "drunk" (i.e. have used all your bandwidth)
3. Plan your mistakes in advance.
4. Identify your repeaters - yes, we tend to repeat the same mistakes!
5. Revamp your calendar - or throw it out.

Interested? Just read the whole explanation in the original article.

Update 22/1/14: I received a letter saying that I am rejected. I refused to blame myself.

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