Hi Scholar Friends, I know it has been a while. I am deep in the midst of my qualifying exams and I am taking a break to write this important post. After finishing my coursework in the spring, I have officially moved onto the isolation component of my PhD. Everything I do from this point on is, well pretty much, on my own. My work space consists of a 9×9 room in my 500 square foot apartment, with no door and no windows. But it is a designated space, and I have the necessities. I have found working from home more difficult than I expected. I had worked from home before but never 7 days a week. Over the past few months I have figured out some strategies that have helped me in this journey. Below you will find some of my top 5 tips for working from home.
1. Create a space that represents and motivates you
This was very important to me and the first thing I did when I moved from Ottawa to Toronto. The three things that help me stay motivated are; having a minimal, clean space and comfortable space. The things I brought in that represent me are my daily journals, lots of plants, an essential oil diffuser and only the necessities to keep it as minimal and clean as possible. Luckily I already had a desk (still saving up for a standing desk) but I bought a new comfortable chair and cozy rug to make the space more bearable. Invest in this space, you are spending most your time here, and you are worth it. And make sure it represents you – whether that is minimal or full of your favourite things, as long as YOU love it.
2. Put away your technology
I keep my phone on my phone charger in my living room so I don’t get too distracted with instagram. When I really need to put my head down and get some deep work done, I exit my mailbox and messages from my computer. It makes a massive difference in my productivity and flow.
3. Use the pomodoro technique
For my OG followers, you are probably sick of me saying this by now but I love using the pomodoro technique. I have written all about this technique here . The two products that help me stick to this method are my productivity planner and my timer.
4. Take advantage of breaks
The pomodoro technique allows me to make the most out of my breaks – and actually take them! My breaks usually consist of making tea or coffee, fresh food, getting outside for a quick walk, moving on my yoga mat, or calling my family/friends. It may sound silly but I do set my timer for breaks too. It keeps me on schedule but also makes me feel a sense of relief that I don’t have to think about work for a designated period of time. And no, checking your e-mail is not a break, that is work!
5. Be grateful for the opportunity to work from home
Lastly, it is really easy for me to get in a negative mindset about feeling isolated at home. So I try and stay grateful for the opportunities that working from home provide me. I am able to work in comfortable clothes, sometimes with a blanket over me. I have easy access to fresh food and a kitchen. And I have the flexibility with my schedule to work out when I want or take small naps when needed. I have a lot to be grateful for and when I turn to gratitude I immediately enter into a positive space (physically and mentally).
What are your top tips when working from home?
Comment below! I would love to hear them.
Until next time,
P.S Don’t forget to use #ScholarCulture #ScholarSquad to keep me updated on your experiences as grad students.
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