I have finished my first "working season" at MIT. I got here on October 4. It's been an amazing and weird journey.
But I have to admit that at first I was a bad employee. I was really used to have somebody telling me what to do all the time. When I arrived at MIT that didn't happen. At all. I was given some "long term" tasks and that was it. I just had to do them.
Since no one was all over me checking my progress or asking me how I was doing on everything, I was waisting a lot (most) of my time. ESPNDeportes got a lot of visits from me. I started using Facebook on regular basis. Threadless didn't have enough T-shirts for me. Twitter was not "real time enough"...
But, with time, I started working and I can't say how grateful I am for this way of managing. I've learned to be much more productive on my own. To manage my time. To be much more responsible. But, I guess the best thing about this was that I learned that you just need to shut up, close all the meaningless things you have open and get shit done.
Sure, if you need help, ask. If what you're doing is wrong, try again. But you won't know something doesn't work if it's just an idea.
I became much more productive in everything. Not only MIT work stuff. Personal (disposable) things I wanted to try. Things I wanted to learn. Things I wanted to read (even my Instapaper queue went down. By a lot!).
So, just try it out. It may take more than a week to get used to it, but just try it. Close this post and every other distracting thing and do something.