-Wave-'s blog

By -Wave-, 5 years ago, In English,

I don't really have this problem in Codeforces, where the rounds only last two hours, but I find that during longer contests (say, 4 hours), I tend to lose focus at the end. I start to think more about how I'm doing ("oh god, I'll never be able to solve this in time") than on solving. That means that I do almost nothing during the last hour or so.

Do you have any tips on how to work on this?

 
 
 
 
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5 years ago, # |
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Here are a couple of tips: 1. Take a short 5-10 minute break during the middle of a long contest. You can take a stroll, drink some water, or eat something. 2. If you are stuck on solving a problem, try coding up a the best solution you have so far. Sometimes, coding a naive solution will give you ideas.

I'm not really sure how to stop thinking about performance, as sometimes I am worried as well. Best advice I can give you is to not worry so much and just enjoy solving the problems.

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5 years ago, # |
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What you're describing sounds like ego depletion. If this is the case, you can try eating large amounts of sweets (or other food which contains easy-to-digest glucose) before/during the contest (see e.g. this). In my case, it helps a lot during longer contests, like Challenge-24.

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    5 years ago, # ^ |
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    I will definitely try eating large amounts of sweets ;)

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      5 years ago, # ^ |
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      You have no reason to feel guilty of eating too much now eh? :P

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5 years ago, # |
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One of solutions for me is to listen music during contest to distract and get relaxed. Of course, in most cases it isn't a good idea for team contests:) And also you may not be a fan of music.

Possible way to build confidence is following trick — open standings, look at list of people/teams who solved given task, find most low-rated/low-skilled among them and say to yourself — those guys managed to solve it; of course, then I should be able to do it too, it should not be that hard.

And also it is a good idea to not think about your performance, like tonynater said:)