Does anyone want to check in here every day or at least every week day. I'm a part-time PhD student, about half way through, studying from home, and also self-employed mostly working from home too. I find it exceedingly difficult to have a productive day. It didn't used to be like this. I think I've gradually become quite isolated. This far into the PhD my normal friends have become uninterested in what's new with the PhD (short answer to that - not much). I'm also not really very well embedded into a student community, although I do go into university fairly regularly (once every week or two weeks).
It's my dream to wake up, write 750 words on 3pages.fr or whatever gimmicky 'get-me-started' self-diarising webpage/app I've most recently started depending on. Then by about 10am, feel my admin (aka all the millions of EMAILS) is done, my head is in the zone, and off I go writey-writey-write. then break in the afternoon to do a few hours of my self-employment work. Then couple of hours 5-7pm read through what I did in the morning, maybe note down some thoughts/edits for the next day's work. I think having an accountability buddy (or crowd) would get me started, keep me going, and give me someone to tell when I felt like I'd actually got somewhere.
Anyone else after the same thing? If so maybe reply below with what you're doing (or not doing) today. Today is the sort of day where it's got to 4:30pm and nothing is done. Really nothing. Okay here it is plain and simple:
What I've done today:
Moved my laptop, radio, and various other bits and bobs from the table to the sofa to the table again
Texted some friends
Pledge for the next 3 hours:
1hr email admin
1hr self-employment work
Do you think re-ordering your daily priorities, so that writing is first, and placing emails last might make a difference to your productivity?
I found that making writing the first priority really assisted with productivity. I won't be a regular buddy who posts on this thread as I'm really almost done and just waiting results, but I did use this forum for similar purposes over the long journey, and for the community and alternative perspective it provided at times, and it has been really helpful. I wish the same for you. Best wishes, P.
Hello self-employed student, and welcome to the forums!!
do you absolutely have to do 7 hours emails a week... and every day. with me i find I could easily check once everyday two days and spend max 20 minutes. Not saying I do that...i do find when i am procrastinating I will check my emails. but usually 10 mins once/max twice a day is all i need to do. is it related to your part time job? because i find i can ignore most emails. there's only a really small percentage that are important, when you are a student.
I think the suggestion to do them evening is also very good.
it seems like you have trouble getting started and from your posts it sound like you do an awful lot of 'getting ready' stuff before you even start. i know everyone has their own routines, but it seems like it might be worth your while prioritising the really important stuff. A good thing to do is to tidy your desk in evening and write a few notes/small list of what your going to do in morning. and then get started on the most important things first.
I usually try to limit myself coming on here, as its a bit of procrastination zone for me, so not up for being accountability buddy, unfortunately. But best of look with it!
You are experiencing what happens to most people when they work from home without anyone to answer to. Learning how to self motivate is massive challenge in itself. Honestly I think things like external interaction (forums, emails, socialising) should be the reward AFTER you have worked through your to do list for the day. As I said in the other post you are engaging in classic work avoidance tactics.
I think this varies for different people. I definitely have things I have to do before I can start any work. For example, today is a day when I have decided to work, but it's also a Saturday, so I've got a bunch of weekend chores to do first. So, after 4 loads of washing, cleaning the kitchen, general tidying and lunch, I'm only just opening my lap top now. But, I always check this forum before I start work, so that will kill some more time...
Yes, I guess it's avoidance tactics, but there's an end to it so at some point I have to start work.
It works out ok in the end, because if tomorrow was another work day, I would have fewer distractions so I would start work much earlier, probably around 11am.
Find what works for you and stick with it.
I work from home a couple of days a week, and personally I find going out somewhere to work really helps me to get work done. Within a short cycle of where I live there's a local library, costa, another coffee shop and a weatherspoons. All have free wifi. Spoons is particularly good because they do free coffee refills, and comfy settees. I think the guy in the coffee shop gets a bit sick of me, taking ages over a coffee then hanging around. But it works for me. Just find I work better that way. Throw in a swim at lunch time, apart from popping home for lunch, I can be out all day like a 9-5. Too many distractions at home.
Hi selfemployedstudent, I'd be interesting in following up the idea of an accountability buddy. Please message me if you're still looking for this. I know it's only a week til Christmas - but we could have a productive last week before some well-earned holidays!
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