Work and Play - Balance for Efficiency

 It's Friday! Time to relax soon.

Have you tried different lengths of work days? The advantage of studying (and doctoral student  work partly) is that you can set your schedule freely. When I was studying for the bachelor degree, I discovered that studying each and every single day was the most efficient way to spend time. However, I had a bat habit of playing games that distracted. Once in awhile I gave them up for reading to exams - and then started again. Now, I have prohibited those kinds of games that run even when you're not playing. (So, I might spend time with games like Civilization -phone and computer- Carcassonne -phone and a board game- and little big planet - PS 3 and PS4).

When doing the masters degree, I found out that I cannot continue like that very long. I had no  many hobbies, I mostly studied. Thus, I started to go to gym three times a week and to have one day off once in week or two. This increased the amount learned while focusing to study. 

The morning at campus. The spring is really here!
During the first year in PhD program, I needed to study six days a week. I convinced myself that if I could learn even a bit more on Sundays - it would be enough. That was a crazy year. If I could change something, I would have done like my mom suggested: Just take some more days time off, go to somewhere far away, and then return with more energy. It would also have paid off to move to Helsinki for the first year but then again the home department offered a lot of mental support for passing the courses. Additionally, I should have kept the weekends for leisure (but I admit that Mon-Fri wasn't nearly enough for passing the core courses of FDPE not at least when you don't live in Helsinki). This weekend, I'll spend on leisure. Watch some episodes of Doctor Who, go to gym, study for Italian exam (it is a hobby even though I don't fancy exams) and hopefully start the book of international relations. 

When I left the office, I wrote down the tasks that I'll continue on Monday: edit the texts that has the deadline on Tuesday and run the checks of the code that my supervisor and I coded today. Btw, the mistake I was pointing out was real. It should be fixed now but we changed the point of view of the data so much that I really need to check many times before I can be sure that I understand it and that the rest of the code fit with this. 

Two days ago, Guardian published an article of how PhD is similar to marathon. Catrin Owen describes how important the balancing is. The gain from the article is that life is long and you shouldn't run too fast at the start so that you can run long distance and do it with good time. Yet, Catrin Owen is only one example of marathoner that does a PhD. Additionally, my colleague is one example and then there is Liz Homan. She also has a blog, Gone digital.

Have a nice weekend! 


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