How do you work best?

This post is a bit of a reflection on my own working practices. I’ve been thinking on it for a number of reasons. Partly because I am staying at boyfriend’s house for some of the Easter break so I am using a very different workspace, but most prominently because the course has required a lot of group work, and I feel my work ethic can be a bit different.

Group work throws together people who might work very differently. You might get people who start everything early, or leave it to the day before the deadline; those who get on with assignments in a particular order, working on one thing at a time, or have loads on the go.

Personally, I prefer having only one thing I’m working on, but obviously that’s not always possible. Blocking time is a great idea. For example, working on one thing in morning, something different in afternoon, and something else in evening (though personally I don’t like working in evening). That way you can get on with many things, but you are still dedicating a set block of time to one individual task. This also is good because you have set yourself the tasks beforehand, by allocating the time. Therefore, you know what you need to get done, and as a result it’s a lot more achievable than an abstract list floating around in your mind!

I think the thing that is most unusual for a student is that I do most of, and my best work, in the morning. My routine right now, if I don’t have anywhere to be, is to get up in the morning, work for a couple of hours, and then shower and start the day proper. obviously this is very specific to studying at university, on a course that doesn’t have many contact hours! However, I feel there is some cross-over to the work-world, as I know now to get important things, that need attention to detail and hard work, done in the morning, when I’m at my best.

A problem with this way of working, however, is if I don’t get started early on, it can be difficult to get myself motivated to begin. I guess here blocking can be useful again, as I might write off the morning block, but I can tell myself, “ok, just start work in the after-lunch block”.

I’d be interested to hear how you work best, and especially if my routine is at odds with the work habits of other library school students.

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