Working from Home

As a Phd student, I can work from home pretty much all the time except when I need to be teaching or fulfilling module requirements. In honesty, apart from doing what I love– research and studying, the “work from home” factor was the most attractive reason for doing a Phd at this stage in my life.


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In fact, one of the senior lecturers I had gone to consult with on my research proposal sometime back mentioned that a Phd was something that she felt, could be managed around her young kids unlike an office-bound, 9-5 job. After the kids are tucked into bed for the night, you can continue your work–whether or not you have it in you to stay awake. And boy, it is difficult. As I’m on a break now, the last few months have been very difficult for me to do these “second shifts” aka staying up after my daughter sleeps. Usually second shifts are easier to adhere to when a deadline looms. Which brings me to this post by Phd Life/ University of Warwick , how it is really is (for some, and for me), to work from home.

What “working at home” is like

5:00 – wake up, eat breakfast (usually yogurt or tumeric/ acai bowl) and do some reading for research
6:30 – prepare breakfast (bread rolls/ cook rice/ miso soup) for my daughter and husband
7:00 – start to wake my daughter up. pack her bag for kindy. lay out her clothes and breakfast. Turn on Japanese TV (live streaming)
7:30 – 7:45 – put on make-up, change clothes, my daughter finally rouses from bed at this time
8:30 – school bus comes for pick-up
8:30 – 8:45 – check social feeds
8:45 – 9:30 – clean up home/ laundry
9:30 – 11:00 – Gym – and Sauna
11:00 – Grocery shopping/ run errands
11:30 – 11:45 – arrive home/ prepare lunch
11:45 – 3:00 – eat lunch, research/ write
3:00 – 3:30 – clean up home again, prepare for my daughter’s return
3:30 – pick -up from Kindy’s school bus
3:30 – 6:30 – cook/ laundry/ spend time with my daughter
6:30 – bath-time
7:00- 8:30 dinner/ spend time playing with my daughter or doing a spot of “homeschooling”/ reading books
8:30- prepare for bedtime together
9:30 – my daughter finally falls asleep
9:30 – 11:00- work/ housework
11:30 – bedtime

Ok, the above-mentioned, is more like a wish-list of how I’d like my day to be. In reality, it is very much like this. Click for the reality account below

5:00 – planned to wake up but seldom do so
7:20 – prepare breakfast – usually consists of last night’s leftovers plus something else I put together in my sleepy stupor
7:40 – start to wake my daughter up. pack her bag for kindy. lay out her clothes and breakfast. Turn on Japanese TV (live streaming)
8:00- 8:20- put on eyeliner, change clothes, my daughter finally rouses from bed at this time and eats breakfast
8:30 – school bus comes for pick-up
8:30 – 9:30 – check social feeds
9:30 – 11:00- clean up home/ laundry + waste time on internet
11:00 – 12:30- Gym and Sauna
12:30 – Grocery shopping/ run errands
1:30 – arrive home/ prepare lunch
1:30 – 3:00 – eat lunch, research/ write
3:30 – pick -up from Kindy’s school bus
3:30 – 6:30 – cook/ laundry/ spend time with my daughter
6:30 – bath-time
7:00- 8:30 dinner/ spend time playing with my daughter or doing a spot of “homeschooling”/ reading books
8:30- prepare for bedtime together
9:00 – go to the bedroom
10:30 – daughter falls asleep and so do I

So if you scrutinise my schedule, the work from home portion is bugger all but… ONE AND A HALF HOURS!? God, I hope my supervisor doesn’t read this. But in the ideal version of my schedule (the first one), research time is around four and a half hours. Much better but not really what I had envisioned working from home would be like.

In all honesty, I need to revisit time management for days when I’m not at the University. I have a feeling that there are sacrifice days whereby I can’t have a wholesome plan of working out/ keeping the house spotless/ and doing research. Maybe some of you mums can, and I’d definitely love to hear from you. But for me right now, this is just hard.

 

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