I’ve heard the excuse “Don’t have enough time” from a lot of people. The thing is we make time, we are only young once why not push ourselves to the max. We never know how long we have in this life, i’d rather say to myself I did all that I could have, all that I can within the choices I made, than say to myself I was a victim of my circumstance.
We never have enough time. We make time for the things we believe to be important!
I, of course, wrote the DVI-to-CRS software, which also required some tricky font caching (the algorithm for which is the basis of my only published paper, which was actually written by my co-author, guess who?). Those were some intense days of working together, getting it all to work. The CRS was in a cramped basement room, and I had to load and unload each sheet of photographic paper in the darkness, and feed it into the triple-bath developer. Any bug could be potentially in my code or Knuth’s firmware, and as I mentioned, debugging wasn’t easy. After a number of very long days, I came in one morning, and came into Knuth’s office just as he was arriving and handing a stack of legal paper to his secretary. “Here’s a paper I wrote, please type it in,” he told her. I was floored. We’d been working night and day; did he write the paper in his sleep?
It is not uncommon that, in the middle of an important project, you need to work extra hard. But Knuth, despite working all day to make his code work, still spent an unknown amount of time writing papers (maybe during sleep…), so he wouldn’t compromise his scientific output. It just reminds me that to be really good, it is not enough to have good ideas. You also need to work hard.
Next time you feel overwhelmed by your projects, think about this.