Hi again- Meredith here.
I know there must be a whack of people enjoying the day off today, but I’ll tell you this: none of those people are here right now.
I’m writing at Douglas library this afternoon – and I’ll admit it: I was a little hesitant to come up here today. It’s exam time, and that means the campus is crawling with stressed out students pounding back coffees. I figured the library would be stuffed to the brim and not a pleasant place to be, so I’ve been avoiding it.
But I was on-campus today and in search of a quiet place to write, so I decided to brave it.
And the news is good. Although the library is crowded, it is utterly silent! Though it’s often full of students who are seemingly working, they’re often plugged into their ear buds and are seemingly more interested in Facebook than Learningbooks.
Well, I think everyone is now earnestly hunkered down. I have found myself a little workspace and am feeding off some of the energy: not the anxious vibes, just the focused, productive stuff.
Because after taking the weekend off, I have plenty of work to do myself — and as much as I like the idea of working in cafes (and I do pull it off well some days), nothing beats a quiet library when you’re really trying to put words down on paper (or screen).
Actually, the Study Guides and Strategies website (http://www.studygs.net/attmot4.htm) has some really good ideas about getting focused and down to work. I figured they’d be useful for grad students, too – even if we don’t have to write exams (many of us are doing our thesis-writing at the moment, and need all the focusing-help we can get!).
A few tips from the site that I like:
-Take responsibility for yourself: recognize that in order to succeed you need to make decisions about your priorities, your time, and your resources.
-Put first things first: follow up on the priorities you have set for yourself, and don’t let others, or other interests, distract you from your goals
-Discover your key productivity periods and places: morning, afternoon or evening? (me? morning, for sure). Find spaces where you can be the most focused and productive (hello, library!)
I’m going to get back to my writing for a bit, then head to a friend’s for a quick dinner. After that, I’m off to the gym to help keep the stress at bay. Happy working, all!