working in this madness

yikes, let me tell you, working in this climate is challenging!
I am so distracted all the time, and without access to libraries (eek!) I'm having to rely entirely on the 30 books I dragged home and anything that is online (which is actually quite a lot, but I really dislike reading online...). I feel time disappears, and before I know it its 6pm and I've only done 2 of the things I intended on doing. But alas, we need to be kind to ourselves and recognise our degrees are being done in *very* exceptional circumstances. So anything is an achievement!
Saying this, as would be expected, few alterations have been made to my workload and there is still a lot. So I've been experimenting with how best to go about it, and how to stay productive when you have the whole day and so much distraction.

(i've taken a selfie in my fake library every single day this week; first one features my cliched quarantine hair cut lol)

routine: this has taken at least 4 weeks to master, but I think I'm getting there. I like to get up early and bash out as much as possible in the morning, when I'm most productive. I also like how this means I can break up my hours, with a shower, breakfast or coffee. It also makes the afternoons nicer, and means I can feel more relaxed about procrastinating. Find what works for you, experiment.

get dressed! ! ! getting dressed, showering, wearing my rings all help me feel put together, even when I'm solely oscillating from my desk to my bed

if you can, separate your work and play space–luckily my brother's old room has been transformed into my faux library so I can leave my work in there and shut the door when I'm done. If this isn't possible for you, set aside a space you use solely for work (e.g. your desk/end of the kitchen table) and try not to use it for anything else

work out when your state sanctioned exercise is most beneficial ! I used to think I couldn't function without a walk in the morning, turns out I can! As long as I'm up early and don't faff around feeling sorry for myself, I work best in the morning. My walk feels such a treat at 5pm when the day is done.

timetable - i'm a control freak so I like to know what I'm doing when. For me, it helps keep on top of everything, and means I can see when I need to start essays or particular readings.

leave ur phone in another room - its too easy to be distracted and if I don't have it, I don't pine after it! It's also a nice 10 min break replaying to messages when ur session is up.

recreate online work spaces - we're emulating the library, silent hours of working that hold others accountable !

have days off - in term time, I'm not really afforded a day off (and I also don't particularly pine for one), but the monotony of this, and the lack of future and fun things to break it up, means I am going to need some diversity–i'm thinking Sundays off, I haven't tried this yet but stay tuned

don't become addicted - work has always been my coping mechanism and in so many ways its a lifeline of normality in this chaos - but I also know it'll become too easy to overwork because there aren't any structural deadlines in the day. Hopefully a timetable will help with this, but I'm also trying to stay mindful of when enough is enough 

fit in nice things - I find my day becomes kind of fluid and rather than doing structural nice things I just sort of exist. So I am trying to build in actual time to read, knit, bake, walk etc.

stay in touch ! I know one thing I am going to struggle with massively is missing my friends, popping out of the library to gossip in the crypt, walking home in the evening, knowing i've got a pub-trip as a reward - these things can't happen right now, but they can be emulated virtually, and it does give something to look forward to.

find other people who are working - no one in my house is really working at the moment (my parents can't work from home) so it can be s.o. easy to sit around chatting after lunch or go for a walk in the morning, but it can also be difficult to feel like you're having to leave the fun. Talking to people who are also working (me!) can be so helpful nd remind you we're in it together.

My, its hard! It's kind of crazy that amongst this chaos we're still expected to pick up books and bash out essays, but i'd also feel inexplicably lost if I didn't have it, so swings and roundabouts. Just do your best, don't beat yourself up if it goes wrong, take time off - do what you need. I found a quote that I have since lost about reminding yourself you are working at home in a crisis. It's true, take it easy.
I probably won't be so optimistic in 2 weeks when term starts (yikes) and the essays start piling in. Alas, we move. Stay strong, loves – how are you staying productive (if you need to be)??


  1. I am completely unable to find my routine, I think I need to be more firm with myself in the mornings and jsut get up, but I fucking looove lazy mornings. But they are not productive in the slightest . work is very difficult tho, I feel ya. currently procrastinatin and reading blog posts, but now... now after reading this, I try and work :)