Its been so long since I wrote an original blog piece, honestly I’ve just been so busy I’ve not had the time. A lot has been going on, including being right in the middle of a global pandemic, which doesn’t make things the easiest.
In September of last year (wow last year already!) I started studying (yes again!). I started my PhD in Psychology. So, since September I have been working from home. Honestly, its not something I enjoy.
I’ve had to be stricter with myself, setting up a completely new routine (one which has been disrupted several times since September). I posted something about this just after Christmas, because it is difficult to set up a routine after having time off (even though it was a lovely Christmas and I needed the rest!).
I spent most of my MSc at university, where it was quiet, distraction free and I had support. Now I’m at home, in my room, full of distractions and I’m still waiting for my support to be set up.
It’s a whole different studying experience, one I’m really struggling to adjust to. I’m becoming overwhelmed faster, taking way too many breaks, and finding it so difficult to focus. I know many Auties prefer working from home, I mean, less social interaction, that’s definitely a positive, and you can pretty much wear whatever you like. PJ’s to work? Sure. Although for me, I really don’t like it.
I have a deadline next month, which is fast approaching, and I’m somewhat behind. The pressure is adding to the anxiety, yet I can’t seem to get anything done. I’m productive, but not in the right way.
I keep seeing the same positive quotes and motivational words, about how self-care is a priority, to be kind to yourself in the pandemic, not to put too much pressure on yourself, but the truth is I don’t have the time to waste. I can’t just stop and have a bath, watch a movie or go for a run (unless its before 9am).
So, you ask, what am I doing to cope? To effectively manage my time? I’m trying, I promise.
I’ve set myself a small colourful visual schedule, with minimal tasks. Little tasks which are achievable. I’ve broken my work down into smaller chunks so it’s more manageable.
I’ve also set myself breaks. Well, actually, when I finish one cup of tea I go and make another – it counts as a movement break, a few minutes away from my screen – I’ve found this really helpful!
I also schedule in some form of exercise. If I’m running, I go before I start work. But otherwise I take half an hour to go for a short walk or use the indoor bike. Just something to get me moving, time away from the pressures of work. I find sitting in one spot for long periods uncomfortable, so taking short movement breaks works wonders.
I’ve also scheduled in mealtimes, to ensure I actually eat. I also keep water on my desk and set alarms to drink every half hour – otherwise I’d forget. Hyper focus takes over on the rare occasion and I forget to eat/drink.
If you have any of your own tips I’d love to hear them!
Working from home is a challenge, and it takes time to adjust. Its finding a routine that works for you. I’m getting there with mine slowly, I just need to be more disciplined and try to focus more.
The full post and tips can be found over on Instagram @ Actually Aspling.
Now its back to work I go. I guess writing this is classed as a break? Anyway, its been nice to get back to blogging, its something a bit different to writing research reports that’s for sure!
Until next time!