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One thing I have been trialling during the first week back at school is deciding what hours I will be working today. Much like the corporate world has set 9-5 hours, I have been deciding what hours I need to work that day and stick to those religiously. Every morning begins by looking ahead at my class schedule and calender, scanning for any projects that I need to work on, and then deciding what hours I will be working today. This includes the time spent in lessons. I then make a note of these in my diary.
Whilst trialling this, I have found it to be a great improvement over last year. By sticking to specific work hours, I have experienced a number of benefits, including:
When you have set your work hours, and all you will allow yourself to do during those hours is work, you have higher levels of focus. This is because you aren’t trying to juggle cooking tea, sending someone an e-mail, chatting to seven people simultaneously on IM, all whilst writing a Phd level thesis.
If you know you only have to work until a certain time, you become more motivated as you know when it is going to end, thus, you think “I only have to work hard for another X minutes and then I can do something fun”.
You work the hours you want
By planning in advance, you aren’t working at horrible times (e.g. Saturday night when you would rather be with friends) in order to get an essay finished that needs to be handed in the next day. You get to chose your hours, and make them when they are convenient to you.
Better work-life balance
When you have set hours for working, you also find that you stick to set hours for your personal life. The two parts of your life don’t invade upon each other as often when following this method of working.
It’s amazing how much determination you can muster up to meet the time you don’t want to work past when it comes down to it!
How many hours do you think you spend on school-work a week? Share your answer with us in the comments section below.