CSE 2022: Plan/ Strategy/ Daily Routine - ForumIAS

CSE 2022: Plan/ Strategy/ Daily Routine

This is an everything thread for all stuff 2022. You can post your daily goals, end-of-the-day updates, weekly targets or any weird thing you use to measure your progress. You can put into words & post the soul-sucking sadness that is threatening to devour you & your productivity. You can write what made your day & let others experience the happiness too, at least vicariously. This is a thread to pick each other up. This is a thread to keep each other accountable. This is a no-judgement zone.


“This is one more piece of advice I have for you: don't get impatient. Even if things are so tangled up you can't do anything, don't get desperate or blow a fuse and start yanking on one particular thread before it's ready to come undone. You have to realize it's going to be a long process and that you'll work on things slowly, one at a time.”

— Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

jack_Sparrow,curious_kidand126 otherslike this


Thanks for starting this thread, mate. 

In March, when the mains results came, I was quite shattered to be frank. I was fully expecting to clear the mains stage at least, and half expecting to get my name somewhere in the rank list, at least at the bottom. However, the result was on unexpected lines. When you devote so much of your time and energy to something, and it consistently gives you nothing in return, it’s draining. It took me all the strength in the world to stand back up on my feet again post my repeated failures at prelims in 2019. I found the strength I needed to do that from this platform. I found a mask I named Patootie. Yet, it is so much harder to find that the second time around, after you’ve been knocked down. This exam is ruthless, and it owes you no debt, no matter how much you think it does. 

So, when I failed mains last time, my immediate course of action was self preservation. I needed to find myself a job. I needed to find myself again. I know how clichè that sounds, because I also agree there is never one you. You keep changing, and your experiences keep moulding you into the person you are at any given point in time. I guess, I needed to find out who I was, outside the scope of this exam. I did not want to tell people I was preparing for an exam. I wanted to feel like anything but a failure, who took on more than he could chew. I wanted to feel worthy again. Of something. 

So, I found a job. I consider myself extremely lucky. And I have performed reasonably well at my job since. I like some of my work, and can live with most of it. It offers a good life. Yet, I am somehow drawn back to this platform and you people, over and over again. I can’t simply shake this off. 

When@whatonly and@AJ_ cleared the paper, I felt that joy in my heart and wondered how their lives would have been like at that very moment. When@MaeveWiley wrote a frustrated and heartfelt post today, I felt every bit of it too. When I read @D503’scomments, I somehow always feel connected with their experience. This community understands and feels, and somehow, I feel there’s a part of me that I can reveal here that one who is not intricately connected with the exam would never understand. 

At this point, for me, it is not even about the job for me. I want to clear the exam. It is as simple as that. It is an intensely personal struggle and it has been for at least the past 2 years. Good thing is, I finally feel that I can truly give my best again towards that goal. The time for austerity is done, now is the time for audacity. “Audacity of hope? “

I missed the mains cutoff by 5 marks.  When I was telling my mom about it over the phone, I broke down crying. I didn’t know that I felt that emotional about it any longer, given I hadn’t touched my books properly for over 9 months. Since I failed to clear mains, I was nowhere close to where I needed to be to get the service of my choice. However, I did feel robbed at that moment. I don’t know why, can’t put my finger on it. However, as time passed, I realised it was the best possible outcome. Maybe I did a few things right. I don’t know what they were and even if I did identify them, whether they would work again. Yet, somewhere in my marksheet, I’ve found my will to try again. 

This forum carried me the last time I was active on it. I’m just trying to stand up again, and I didn’t know where else to go. Thanks for this thread, mate. 2022. Maybe, just maybe. 

ssver2,Oasisand53 otherslike this


» show previous quotes

Calling it a day, too early today. Will watch some movie. This sudden news of upcoming result would take time to sink in. Won’t fake it, but i am as much nervous as much I am excited.

Reviewing now - meditation resumed, Stock Exchange missed, Jammu Kashmir considerably done. My love for the land has ensured i went too much in depth and not dimensions. Will correct it in coming days. Below average day overall.

Targets for March 17 (day 18)

1. No plans as of now, would post by night what all I did.

Good luck dostoen, may tomorrow be a good day !

PS - I will write two letters to self. One tonight, another tomorrow night. Will keep both of them confidential.

Today was not a good day. Flunked in Mains once again. Doing it consecutively is not ordinary. It’s extra ordinary. This entire cycle has been very much confusing for me. Clearing prelims effortlessly, flunking in mains with efforts. I shall work on changing orientation towards Mains, and it will take time. Will ensure good enough answer writing practise. Meanwhile, some of my best friends have cleared this stage, I am just so happy for them and family.

Reviewing now - watched some random stuff here and there, nothing concrete. Watched a movie just now - The Lunchbox, could relate very well.

Targets for March 18 (day 19)

1. No major targets as such - my father sahab has planned to take me somewhere on a short vacation, i am just very curious.

2. Will look towards psc mains, limited days are left, limited choices are left.

Haar nahi maanenge. A battle is lost, war still remains.

D503,dalphaand33 otherslike this

Hi guys!

The results came. Out again. 

This was my 3rd attempt. 3rd Mains. And 3rd straight setback at this stage. This one hurt the hardest though. 

Yesterday was spent in processing the pain and trying to introspect on the mistakes I made. There are a lot of things I need to work on. Some changes I need to make in my approach. Changes I'm confident of implementing because of the support system I'm lucky to have, especially here. 

I want to thank this community. This thread (and particularly the 2021 daily routine thread) are my favorite threads. I've made some great friends here, learned a lot from everyone and found motivation every day to work better. And now I hope this thread will help in keeping the desired level of discipline, consistency and intensity. 

It's time to get back to the grind now. This still hurts; but the only way to heal the pain is to be better and ensure a positive result next time. The next 6 months is do-or-die. 

Targets for today:

1) Polity 

2) Newspaper 

3) CA August 10 pages 

4) Maths PYQs 

5) TLP 

Have a great day! 

chamomile,ThePhenomand25 otherslike this

Came across a passage that resonated with me deeply and reminded me of this UPSC journey. 

"Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about.”

Haruki Murakami (in Kafka on the Shore) 

Loved reading this. Putting the book on my reading list. This reminded of a poem I keep going back to in difficult times.

Sharing it here: Kahlil Gibran, Fear

It is said that before entering the sea
a river trembles with fear.

She looks back at the path she has traveled,
from the peaks of the mountains,
the long winding road crossing forests and villages.

And in front of her,
she sees an ocean so vast,
that to enter
there seems nothing more than to disappear forever.

But there is no other way.
The river can not go back.

Nobody can go back.
To go back is impossible in existence.

The river needs to take the risk
of entering the ocean
because only then will fear disappear,
because that’s where the river will know
it’s not about disappearing into the ocean,

but of becoming the ocean. 

Apologies for the poor formatting. 
D503,chamomileand24 otherslike this
  1. SFG targets plus backlog of yesterday -- backlog remained as it is
  2. Newspaper -- done
  3. Current Affairs monthly Jan -- did not
  4. Clear as much backlog of newspaper notes as possible -- cleared some more
  5. Walk --skipped :/

Today's targets 17/02/2022 --

  1. Jan CA
  2. Newspaper, clearing some more backlog
  3. SFG syllabus
  4. Walk

D503,chamomileand24 otherslike this


D503,DMand24 otherslike this
  1. Take CSAT test --done
  2. SFG syllabus --done
  3. Newspaper --done [notes pending]

Today's targets 14/02/2022 --

  1. Test analysis, solve unattempted questions(practice more, improve speed)
  2. Newspaper
  3. SFG syllabus
  4. Clear newspaper pending notes