During my PhD studies I never structured my day like office work from 9 am to 5 pm. My typical working day was 9 am to 9 pm seven days a week, but that included quick glossary shopping and cooking a meal. I worked wherever I liked (home, campus, Starbucks, even on a train) and whenever I wanted to (after dinner, and even in the middle of the night). As a student, this lifestyle worked.
On 1st September 2020, my postdoctoral life started.
I had decided to set my own clear ‘guideline’ to maintain regular work hours each day. I visualised small blocks of tasks in my working schedule of 9 am to 5 pm, in order to be more disciplined and to get used to the new normal of working full time from home. My online calendar records all the small blocks of what I did or will do during working hours.
This week, I experienced this new arrangement, concentrating on the fixed timetable, and calling it a day at five o’clock, which means no work after five, unlike during my years of study. I was surprised at how productive the days were – it was more effective than working for longer hours.