So, I have been sitting in front of my laptop for the last few days, working on my thesis proposal, typing a word here, a phrase there (I am about 1/4 of a way through being finished …). I have been trying to think of ways to get myself into that super-fiend-work-mode that I find myself in when confronted with a hard deadline and being three steps behind. I am trying to avoid that ulcer inducing work mode (that got me this far, but still, I don’t think I can sustain it for my PhD), so i got to thinkin’ – what work rituals do I usually perform to get it going? I know that good conversations with colleagues always gets me motivated to work (however, the bus ride home usually takes a bit of wind out of my sails); sometimes going over my reading notes that I took to prepare for the particular project helps and I usually have to clean my office so all is neat and tidy (since my ideas are messy and all over the place). But what I would like to know is, what other rituals do people have to get themselves deep into work mode? I cannot imagine (or at least hope) that not everyone is naturally motivated and inspired 24/7 as needed – so please – share any tips or tricks you might have.