Working Hard Or Hardly Working?

With my supervisors out of the office this week, I was tasked with completing several projects on my own from home. While this may sound great to some, however, I find that when I’m outside of the office and doing this on my own time, I have less motivation to get them done. I was told to research several children’s books to be adapted into a play, to research previous productions of several plays, to explore the themes of Frankenstein, and to write up a short paper on what I learned seeing a production from its conception to the finished product. Without a strict deadline to complete these tasks, though, I had far less motivation, and I struggled to manage my time. Working from home also meant no commute during rush hour, which meant sleeping in an extra 40 minutes each morning. 40 minutes, of course, turned into a bit longer when I realized that I had no one to report to.

By the second day, though, I realized that while I wasn’t working from the office, I was still working. It took a lot of willpower for me to get out of bed and out of the apartment, because I knew that if I stayed I’d keep getting distracted and nothing would ever get done. I found a cozy corner in Starbucks and hunkered down, and while my productivity still wasn’t where it should have been, it was definitely better than the day before.

By Wednesday I had a routine, which made staying motivated and on track easier, and I also started setting myself goals. If I finish research on Coriolanus I can eat my croissant. When I find two more books I can go take a little walk. These really seemed to help me in lieu of a deadline, by carrying on this way for the rest of the week I was able to complete everything my boss had set out for me, plus I was able to squeeze in a visit to the Ark, a local children’s theater which my boss had been encouraging me to visit for weeks.

This week was definitely a learning curve for me, but I feel that I have come out of it more able to set myself deadlines and manage my time, and also with a little trick to keep myself motivated and on task, in case I have to work from home again in the future.