(Third in a series of blog posts written in response to this New Yorker article In Praise of Distraction)
Watching YouTube videos or use Facebook, Twitter or visit shopping sites is definitely a good way to relax and spend some time without thinking about mathematics. But to solve difficult math problems and learn difficult math while watching a funny video on YouTube can be a difficult challenge and I do not think is the proper way to do research, at least not for me.
The best thing that works for me is that when I try to learn math or to solve a problem I try to stay totally focused on this task. And when I'm not thinking in mathematics (which is hard to do) I try to use the time to just relax and leisure and this of course can include visiting the internet. So I try to follow the following rule: when I'm working and researching I just try to do this and keep me focused and when I´m not doing research I use my time to relax and fun and I just try to do this and not think about work. This way I think is the best way to take my time, at least works for me like that!
Posted by Julio