Hi I am in 10th standard. Sometimes I am very mathematically productive, I can solve complex problems, visualize graphs very easily. Just yesterday I realized how matrices are visualized properly as linear transformations. But I am not always this productive. Sometimes I can't even solve simple problems but if I wait for half a day the solution seems very simple. I feel like sometimes I am forcing myself to do math. Does this happen to everyone? How to be more mathematics productive.

  • $\begingroup$ This will probably be closed as off topic, but this is perfectly normal, even for graduate students. Math isn't always easy, and it takes time and practice to grasp the meaning of new constructs. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2017 at 7:50
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    $\begingroup$ This does not happen to you alone, don't worry. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2017 at 7:51
  • $\begingroup$ If you don't feel like working on math you could browse and skim mathematial texts to feed your brain new material to munch on. Not actively read and force yourself to understand everything. Then later because of some event or stimulus your brain will likely be triggered by a connection to something you have read and you will feel an urge to check out what you read and to make more thorough sense of it. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2017 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ I just would like to add a short answer: there is no answer. Improving your productivity is all about yourself. A lot of people has websites full of tips for productivity, and I tried to follow some of them, without much success. (Example). I also asked people for tips, obtainining discording advice. Basically, one guy says "white" and the other says "black". Everybody has their own way of working and it is up to themselves to improve their productivity. External advice has limited effectiveness. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2017 at 17:55

2 Answers 2


1)Motivate yourself by reading some stuff from history of mathematics. You are going to read about mathematics without studying maths.This will "warm you up". Sometimes it will give you the energy you desire.

2)Motivate yourself by thinking something like this:
"I do not want to study now. I have no idea how to solve this problem.But I am going to study even now-something most of people wouldn't do-and I will go half a step closer to the solution of the problem."

This shows to yourself that it is not necessary to begin studying because you will solve a particular problem, but because you gain even just by looking an empty paper rather than playing video games.


I'd recommend listening your body and taking time with math (it's not a competition, there's no need to hurry necessarily, unless you can of course). Have time separately allocated for math and other things.

I used to obsess with "productivity" until I noted that humans are psychophysical creatures. That means that basically your head and your body are related to each other. An example could be that you can only concentrate on studying abstract stuff as long as your physicality allows for it. If you get too stressed or tired, then doing mathematics becomes more difficult, you have more problems concentrating and "feeling" intuition. But if you're relaxed and stress-free, these things may come much more easily. The same task may be performed in a fraction of time, when you're in the right state, compared to being in an unsuitable state.

I also used to have huge study problems when I used to be addicted to making music and playing computer games. I always thought about making music or playing computer games instead of doing math, but since I've lost interest in computer games (I think they're waste of time compared to time spent on math) and I only work on music on my "free time". So getting rid of addictions and everything else that burdens your thought might give you more space to think about mathematics.


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