I have decided the solution is to do more short blog posts, so I can capture more ideas and feel less pressure to write essays. Or maybe try Tumblr. I see the point of it now.
In other news, I woke up early this morning and set aside several hours to work on research in a coffee shop. So far I have successfully cleaned out my inbox, discovered Luis von Ahn's blog, email-debated to a granularity of 1 degree the appropriate setting for the heat in our apartment with my roommate, and read several New York Times articles.
I think I'm going to have to implement some advisor-moderated deadlines so I'm scared into doing work.