Today’s post comes from Sarah Wallwork. Sarah loves coffee, icecream, outdoor pursuits and has recently begun a PhD in pain neurobiology in Adelaide (a big country town in Australia).
When I was doing my honours 3-4 years ago, I found myself getting into a bad habit. Being an honours student, I had no desk or research office that I could sit down at to get work done. It was either going to the library (along with every other student at our university) or work from home. My bad habit was that I would get up and sit at the kitchen table and spend all day doing work in my pyjamas! My productivity would go up and down, and I would often find myself getting distracted by ‘jobs’ that needed doing around the house; in my pyjamas of course!! I had to put a stop to this.
I tried going to the library, but I could never find a computer, or if I took my own laptop in, I would be surrounded by noisy students and I struggled to get much done. So a friend (who was in a similar situation) and I started cafe hopping around our local city, and it worked a treat! We did it once to twice a week (otherwise it got too expensive) and we would choose a time that wasn’t lunch time (otherwise it would be too busy), but we found that around 9.30am or after 2.30pm were the best times. Each cafe ‘session’ we would venture to a new cafe, get out our laptops, and work away. We’d get the minor distractions of people coming and going, or the occasional gossip from the table next door, but for the most part, we found that it was our most productive hours.
Now that I’ve started my PhD I have a desk in an office with other research students. I find that I can be productive there; and I haven’t worn my pyjamas yet!! The office can get rather loud at times and can be a distracting place (we have a table tennis table in our communal area), and I still find myself escaping off to a cafe on my own at least once a week. If I NEED to get something done, there’s no better place for me than a local cafe. These days I don’t tend to cafe-hop as much, I have my regular places, and I find it works for me. It won’t necessarily work for everyone, but it’s also a great excuse to ‘try’ all the different baristas around town!!
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