From a brilliant commenter at the latest post* at "100 Reasons Not to Go To Grad School," regarding the problem of unstructured time during grad school (which can leave you either never working or constantly working). Regarding the work schedule in grad school under unlimited unstructured time:
"Step 1: allow your unstructured time to run wild like a mustang
Step 2: suffer from an incredibly acute and debilitating panic attack
Step 3: regain composure long enough to get some stuff done
Step 4: REPEAT"
"Anonymous" who left the comment ... if by some small chance you also read here, you are a genius.
Readers: this is unbelievably true, and exactly what it feels like to work in grad school. You will slack off for a few days, then suffer through an insane bout of guilt, panic, and likely a crying attack or two where you will beat yourself up for being the worst grad student ever. Then you'll steel your resolve, sit down, and get a couple things done. And will pat yourself on the back.
And the next week, you'll take one evening off to catch up on reruns of your favorite show, and the cycle will repeat itself.
This is normal for grad studenting ... but not normal for real life. Just an FYI.
*If you are reading here and have not bookmarked the "100 Reasons" blog, do so immediately. And when you have time, read through the archives.