For me, one of the hardest parts about working in academia is the constantly changing and often sporadic schedule. Three times a year your daily routine is transformed (sometimes dramatically). As someone who loves her routines, this has been especially hard for me. And this semester in particular has been rough!
I am naturally a morning person, but this semester I have all evening classes. On top of that, all of my official on-campus responsibilities fall on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, leaving me completely free Thursdays and Fridays. Now I know what you are thinking, I am complaining about having Thursdays and Fridays off. But I don’t really have these days off (I have PLENTY of work to do), I just don’t have formal classes. So the beginning of my week is madness (on Tuesdays I have 8 straight hours of classes) and the end of my week is open.
Two months into this schedule and I am still struggling to find my rhythm! I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water the first half of the week and struggling to stay motivated the second half (I am tired and burnt out). I have also fallen off of the gym wagon, which means I am sleeping less (ugh).
Last week, I decided enough was enough and I needed to make some changes and manage my time better. I need to prioritize exercising, sleeping, and drinking more water. I need to stop procrastinating on Thursdays because I am tired. It only makes me repeat the cycle by adding more work on to my already busy days! In order to make Thursdays more productive, I decided to change up my routine and create a new habit.
To save money on gas, I have been working from home Thursdays and Fridays. But I find being home all day drives me crazy and I struggle to be productive (you know Pinterest, blogging, etc.)! I never understood why people brought their laptops to Starbucks to work, but now I totally get it. The past two weeks, I have made it a point to get out of the house Thursday mornings and head to a local coffee shop to work. Adding this little routine into my schedule has reinvigorated me (I am still not loving this semester’s schedule, but I am beginning to see the light). Getting away forces me to concentrate and I can get so much done in just a few short hours!
There are two local spots in particular I love to go to, Buddy Brew and the Oxford Exchange. Both are local (I hate chains) and very charming. Buddy Brew roasts all of their coffee in-house and had this great hipster vibe, while the Oxford Exchange has a posh British feel (how much do you love the pictures over the staircase?) and even serves high tea (scones help me study).
I think routines are so important and sometimes a simple tweak is all you need. Now, I just need to get back into the gym!
How do you handle a crazy schedule?