When I was in University, I got a job working for the ADAM project. That is the Adult Development and Memory project. Essentially, seniors came in and did a bunch of tests, then three years later they came back and then three years later again until.. . . well, they could not come back for many reasons.
As you can imagine, the study was a long one, and started many years before I got there. Before modern things like bubble sheets – you know those things you used with multiple choice exams? Well, as it was thought that perhaps switching from writing answers on a sheet to filling in little bubbles would possibly skew results (ie, a senior may not be able to understand these new fan dangled bubble sheets or not have the dexterity to fill them in correctly). So, they needed some undergraduates to sit and fill out the bubble sheets to allow for the data to be analyzed faster and more effectively. (Say, cheaper than paying an undergrad full-time at minimum wage).
So, that is what I spent an entire summer doing – bubble sheeting. Filling in bubbles with lead. It was pretty boring. Until I realized that if I memorized the data (ie, question 1 What is your gender, I knew that A= Male and B = Female, no need to look it up), I could go really fast. So fast in fact, that I could do bubbling sheeting twice as fast as anyone else. I would take 8 hours worth of work home, watch TV while completing it in 4 hours. That was a good summer.
I was mentioned in a published psychology paper too – all for my bubble sheeting speed and accuracy. It looks like the project is ended now, but I hope that over the span of the study it gave some insight on how the human brain ages and processes information over time.
I find mundane repetitive tasks a challenge. How can I do it faster and better?
When I had to review and determine the action required for over 150 reports at work, I took it as a personal challenge on how quickly I could get it done. I got into it on Friday, but had to leave before I could really get it done. It was bugging me. Alot. I needed to complete the work and quickly.
February 11th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary: So much did it bug me that I took BC’s first Family Day to go to the office and complete the work.