work habits

26Aug07

I am such a lazy bum. I went straight from undergrad to graduate school and I still behave as though I am an undergrad in terms of my hours. This of course causes many problems.

The first issue is that I am NOT a morning person. I probably never will be, but while I don’t really see the need to wake up at 5 AM ever (unless I’m flying somewhere), I should be able to get up around 8, even 9. But I wake up every single morning between 10:30 and 11. This is more of a problem when I’m on archival research trips since archives generally open around 9 and close around 5. But the fact that I wake up so late is only compounded by the fact that I cannot get going quickly. I may wake up between 1030 and 11 but I often don’t get out of bed until 1130 and usually I need at least an hour or an hour ande a half before I’m leaving the house. So here in London, I’m leaving my house between 12:15 and 12:30, getting to the archives around 1, and, since they usually close at 5, well that’s a good three hours of work that’s getting done. My graduate student friends at the archives all get there around 9 and 10, work until closing, and one of them goes home and reads through all the digital photos he’s taken. Seriously?? Now I don’t do digital photos (yet); that’s a topic for another post. But I only read through my documents occasionally at night. So while some people are putting out maybe 8-10 hours of work a day here, at most I’m doing about 5, and 5 is pretty rare, I think.

So I’ve been asking myself why I haven’t transitioned to an adult schedule because I’m not living the casual life of a college student, drinking and partying. My life outside of school could not be any more dull. I think part of it is just that: I have nothing (and nobody) in my life. I live in a dorm room (it’s slightly better than that, but you get the idea) so I’m not coming back to a place that I want to spend a nice relaxing evening in. I’m not really cooking dinner. I don’t generally go home until midnight, at which point, I usually need at least 2 hours to decompress and relax before I go to sleep. I think, at least, that if I loved where I lived and felt like it was my home and if I could work there, I wouldn’t be going to bed so late. But as it is now, my room is just where I sleep. I’m not productive there, I’m not happy there, and I’m not really trying to go back there any earlier than I have to. I also don’t have anything (hobbies, obligations, relationship) that would force me to organize my time in a way that is satisfying and also forces me to be more productive. There are a lot of people who work in the library until it closes at midnight and I have to say, virtually none of them have partners living with them in princeton. The people in relationships get their work done effectively and go home whereas we single graduate students are languishing in the library not working hugely productively. Anyway, that reflects my own frustrations with being single BUT it is part of why I am still on the schedule of a college student.

In sum, I need to wake up earlier, get going quicker, take less long to feel capable of going to bed, and go to bed earlier.

any suggestions??

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3 Responses to “work habits”

  1. I just started getting up earlier but I teach at 8am MWF. It really is awesome to get up early and get stuff done so that by the time other students show up- you’ve already done more than they will do all day.
    Of course, today I slept in and have done basically nothing…..I guess it is a slow process!

  2. 2 thefrogprincess

    Dancingfish, our school year doesn’t start for a few weeks but I am going to be TA-ing for the first time this semester and I’m hoping that that will force me to wake up earlier more consistently. But I think it’s going to take a while. Last night i forced myself to go to bed earlier and I woke up earlier but then I sat around for far too long and left at the same late night. I’m such a lost cause.

  3. I wish I had some good advice, but I still struggle with waking up early too ;-). The only thing that has helped me, while I was working 9-5 during the summer, was to get on a schedule. I was much more content this summer when I knew when I would be waking up and when I would be going to bed.


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