Archives for posts with tag: life

I want to piggyback off Angela’s post from last week because I really like what she wrote about and I think it’s important. The two of us have very different schedules and yet I believe that budgeting our time is equally important to us both! For example, I know that I’m a little bit of a procrastinator when it comes to some things, so if I’m honest with myself and know that I will be easily distracted before or during my completion of a task, that makes me able to schedule my time more accurately. I tend to be optimistic right before leaving work or on the train home: I’m going to go home, do laundry, fold it, put it away, cook dinner from scratch, get some work done, etc. And then when I finally trudge through the door about an hour later, I’ve overwhelmed myself to the point where I don’t do anything.

It is so important to be realistic about your own expectations for yourself for the day, week, and month ahead if you plan your tasks. Am I really going to accomplish a long to-do list at work only to go home and accomplish another long to-do list? Probably not. That doesn’t mean that I can’t accomplish some of those items on my list during the week and complete the tasks over the course of a few days, though! Personally, the time that I feel the least productive and driven is the second I walk in the door from work. I don’t know if it’s because I’m finally home and I can relax or what, but I know that when I come home all I can do is make dinner and eat it. And really, that’s fair–I am allowed to feel a bit drained and to need some alone time after my day. Being honest with myself about how I know I’m going to feel will help me decide what I can accomplish later in the evening.

I’m glad that Angela wrote about her schedule, making time for her own personal projects, and how it’s okay to take the time to figure out a schedule that works best for her. It’s so true! If we can’t be honest with ourselves about we spend our time, how can we possibly plan anything?

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I took Friday and yesterday off and it was glorious! Unfortunately, it was back to reality this morning with a hefty email inbox. After I did my initial triage to make sure that nothing was on fire (I joke but sometimes I get emails that make it sound like the world is ending!), I decided to tackle tasks that I didn’t really want to do right away head-on. It made a huge difference.

A lot of the time, I’m fine with complete time-consuming, challenging tasks first because it feel so good to finish them and have lighter tasks for the rest of the day. I do tend to put off tasks that require involving a lot of people and a lot of communication, especially when I’m trying to get my bearings after a day or two off. This morning, I decided that wasn’t going to happen. And you know what? Everything turned out fine–I received responses quickly and they required little to no follow-up on my part.

Sometimes, I believe I unconsciously make a big deal out of a task that does not require a lot of stress. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I believe that I consistently internalize a lot of my stress and I wonder how much of it is unwarranted. It really is not a big deal to send out an email or two with questions to several people first thing in the morning–sometimes, it actually is easier than waiting until later in the day. And if I had waited, I probably would have had it hanging over my head and maybe causing me a little extra anxiety that is completely useless.

I want to pledge, right here and now, to stop putting off tasks just because I don’t feel like it right at that moment. I have to stop punishing myself because, in effect, that’s what I’m doing by layering on all this extra stress.

What about you? Do you find yourself procrastinating for no reason at work or school? Do you feel better just getting something done instead of putting it off?

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Last week was one of those crazy busy, can’t-even-take-a-minute-to-breathe weeks. From the moment I checked my email on Monday morning until I left the office on Friday afternoon, I was doing something. That wasn’t a typical week for me because most of what I was working on were unexpected issues that popped up and I had little time for my own day to day activities that keep my two journals going. In the past 2 years that I’ve been here (2 years?! I can’t believe it!), I’ve come up with a few things that I try to do so that, when I do have weeks like last one, I don’t fall behind on my regular work.

One of the best things I’ve ever forced myseld to do is to spend a set amount of time every day working on my “regular” work. For me, this means that I set aside 30 minutes to an hour every day to work on article proofs and/or copyediting review. This is the kind of work that keeps manuscripts and articles flowing through the production process and I’m responsible for making sure I have fairly low turnaround times for these tasks. It might seem like a burden to interrupt whatever I’m doing to switch to another task for a short period of time, but I can’t tell you how much this has helped me. I actually create an Outlook calendar event for myself where I’m marked as “Busy” and I spend that block of time doing what I need to do to keep my publications on track. This might sound silly, but this even calms me down a bit if everything else I’m working on is stressing me out. Coypediting review and article proofs are the bread and butter of my job–it’s what has essentially been the same from my last job to this one. It’s not that I can do these tasks “blindfolded,” but they are familiar and I typically know how to handle almost every situation that crops up while I’m working on them.

If I spend that chunk of time working, then I feel immensely accomplished at the end of the day. Not only did I handle all of the random things that came up, but I was still able to keep my day to day work on track as well. I feel a little bit like a superhero on those days :).

What do you do when you are in situations where your “regular” work is interrupted by emergencies, problems, or just stuff?

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This week, my office moved to an open floor plan. We’ve known about it for awhile and I’ve had mixed feelings (more on the negative side than the positive, I have to admit). I enjoy my privacy at work and having my own space. We have lockers with space for a little bit of our stuff and we packed up our boxes on Friday. We moved to a different floor (temporarily until we move back to our permanent floor in December) on Monday and coming in that morning was more than a little stressful. Once I got settled, though, and spent yesterday and today figuring out where I want to sit and how I want to operate, I’m starting to think it’s not so bad.

The office is so much more open and with all of that junk away from the windows, so much lighter. We have a big beautiful new kitchen with better coffee and vending machines, refrigerators, and seating. Our old kitchen was extremely small with no space to sit, so this is a major plus. We have big, new monitors and standing desks. There’s a button on the desk that raises and lowers it and if my legs get stiff, I can stand and work for awhile. We also have “focus rooms”–one person rooms that you can work in if you need quiet and privacy for awhile.

The only drawback is that I have to unpack my stuff every morning and pack it all up at the end of the day. And I have to carry all of that stuff with me, unless I want to put it in my locker. I do have things in my locker, but it’s more of a pain than a convenience to go to it every day. Once everything settles down (probably after this first week), I think I’ll get into the groove of things.

So far, I give the open floor plan a B, with potential! What about you, readers? Have any of you worked in or do any of you work in an open floor plan office? What do you think?

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