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Pre-pandemic, I used to do research in a lab environment. The disadvantage with the lab environment is that I focus only on applied work due to continuous monitoring.

Now, during the pandemic, I spend a lot of time on pure theoretical stuff such as reading standard text books, since there is less stress on me to generate results and doing applied work for a short amount of time.

But, the issue is that when I study continuously, I get easily bored. As a result, I am unable to study for a significant part of the day. I do not opt for music or movies. So, I do not get any alternative to spend time.

I am interested to know: how do researchers generally spend time apart from research work?

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I can't speak for other researchers, but I always have a few different projects going at once, and I sometimes switch between them when I feel like I need a change. I don't really get bored easily, but in times when I feel like I am getting "blocked" and my ideas are not progressing well, I go for a walk. One big advantage of this ---over say, music or movies--- is that you still get to relax and take your mind off things, but since you are not distracted by anything noisy, you will usually find yourself mulling over your work, and this can lead to ideas for progression or just reset the problem in your mind in a clear way.

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