Given that we are all studying via distance learning this is an important question. We don’t have the luxury of libraries or free periods. When I was working I tried to fit in doing my background reading where I could: on my commute, at lunch & even on long dull conference calls. Then on the weekends I’d hole up in my apartment (ignoring my poor husband) and try to work through topics or prep for seminars. I am sure that this is familiar to you all – though you are probably more of a diligent employee and didn’t spend meetings sketching out essay outlines on the back of handouts. I was so time poor that any location would do.
Now that I am home full-time I find myself more concerned with constructing an environment with least amount of distractions. What I had noticed is that I am more productive when I work in cafes but it isn’t really practical to work for long stretches in my local Starbucks so I’ve been working to recreate the atmosphere at home:
- Shower & get dressed – this probably sounds like a basic but when you are working from home it’s tempting to stay in your pjs but I find getting ready as if I was going out puts me in the right frame of mind
- Turn off the laptop’s wifi – the internet is the great tool and time suck; so I keep it turned off whilst I work through some tasks
- Create specific task list – I use to have open ended study goals when I was at home and I’d find that I would get lost, as opposed to when I’d go to a cafe with a specific task list because I would need to bring the right materials with me
- Change locations – I only have a 700 sq ft apartment so it is not as if I have lots of places to go, but I like to do my serious studying at a table, and then save sitting on the sofa for the “light” stuff like reading through articles. Funny story I have a desk in the bedroom but for some reason it feels more lonely to study in there than in the living even though I am home alone
- Put on the radio – okay I don’t actually have a radio but on a separate device I stream Pandora and make sure it is at the opposite side of the flat so that I can’t get up change channels or fast forwarding through songs
So that is where I am studying, and what I am doing to create the optimum environment. What are you doing? Any tricks for greater productivity you’d like to share?