March 5

A Data Day in the Life of

Today was going to be spent writing up a document for a pledge my workplace are signing up to, but yesterday evening I got the final bit of data I have been requesting since 1 November from a partner university. So I have an unexpected data day ahead… therefore, my plans are out the window.

Ergo, full volume white noise and a morning of spreadsheets.

a screenshot of asoftmurmur.com with white noise at 100%

a screenshot of asoftmurmur.com with white noise at 100%

When it’s 100% white noise time you know I mean business.

* I would like to emphasise that I enjoy data days – they are my favourite sort of day. I know, I’m weird like that.

March 3

A Study from Home Day in the Life

Yesterday’s post motivated me to do more diary/schedule-style posts. I think there’s something about sharing my day that makes me spend it better (or at least, shame me into being more practical). In my ideal life I’d post about cleaning the bathroom and doing a twenty mile cycle this morning, it didn’t happen today buuut it may happen another day.

10:00 I woke up later than usual, this is normal for me on a Wednesday as Tuesday is my first day back at work most weeks. And I have tutorials on Wednesdays throughout this semester (the times vary) so I often have a lot to think about on Tuesday evenings. I have my breakfast of toasted teacakes and a cup of tea.

10:20 After a quick breakfast I check my emails, calendar, student union website, and university blogs (both at Brighton and Canterbury). I play asoftmurmur.com in the background and make some books. I’m collecting them to send to my family tomorrow for world book day.

handmade books and stickers

handmade books and stickers

11:20 My partner has meetings thoughout the day, but I try to catch him during his morning break to chat about my course-related ideas. I’m also looking for a second job so I’ll discuss any outstanding applications and/or adverts I’ve found.

11:30 I look at my reading list and other services I follow like BrowZine, e-books for FE, and ePlatform. I review my research question until lunch.

12:50 Lunch time. I listen to some music on bandcamp.com – lately I’ve been playing a lot of Downtown Boys and Shabazz Palaces.

13:45 I play video games until my tutorial begins.

15:00 Today my tutorial has been replaced by training on BREAM.

16:20 I did manage a bit of bathroom cleaning – woo.

17:00 Early dinner.

17:50 Watch TV with my partner.

19:00 Phone a relative.

19:30 Watch more TV with my partner.

20:00 Get ready for bed.

March 2

A Work from Home Day in the Life

It has been a couple of years since I wrote A (Work) Day in the Life. I enjoyed looking back at it because I realise I was at peak productivity… or maybe I’m just conscious of my procrastination levels now. During my working from home, I let a lot of boundaries blur – and I am actively trying to be more structured in my day. However, I thought it would be useful to review my current habits (and that should hopefully encourage me to take better care of myself).

8:10 I normally wake up when my partner brings me a cup of tea and a smoothie. I used to have breakfast in the morning but for the past six or so months I panic in the morning. As a result, eating is tough – so I just sit up and stare into space as I attempt to clear my mind.

bedside

bedside table with toolbox, LED lamp, bluetooth speaker, smartwatch, diffuser and coasters.

8:20 On a good day I listen to Headspace or put my diffuser on. On a bad day I pick up my Chromebook and log into my work accounts.

8:30 I officially start work, so I look at my outstanding emails and do any chasing.

9:00 I look at local/national news for care-related stories or widening participation events. I collect them together so I can send a monthly digest to my contacts.

9:20 I normally start on my smaller tasks at this time; these are allocated to me in my fortnightly meetings with the Chair of the company I work at (as Chair, her role is also that of my line manager).

10:00 Break. It might be a little early for a break but sometimes I’ll have brunch and/or another cup of tea. I also leave my desk (or my bed, if I’m using my Chromebook in bed) and think about my work so far. I do this as I am very guilty of forgetting things when people don’t respond to my chasers! So I make a list of people I need to follow up with.

10:05 Plan/research for upcoming events (find out what training providers can offer, cost, availability, tech requirements…)

10:40 Read minutes and updates from meetings I attend – or have attended that week).

11:00 Check the email address associated with my workplace website.

11:15 Outstanding project work (when I’m stuck this time is usually spent researching what other widening participation teams do)

12:00 Writing on paper; brain dump time – this has duel purpose; to give my eyes a rest from the screen and to work through any challenges I encounter.

12:30 Lunch

13:30 Look at my workplace intranet, virtual learning environment, and use any specific databases (like the finance system, helpdesk, HR portal…)

14:10 More outstanding project work (though I try to do the funner tasks in the afternoon; like writing content for reports – as I love writing).

14:40 Another break

14:45 Website updates and social media viewing (to be honest, I need to get better at this!!!).

15:00 Update my calendar and to-do list

15:10 Backburner stuff or overspill time (I know this isn’t a great name) – do things I’ve been putting off due to higher priority tasks taking place, or a time to continue on high priority tasks that need a lot of my attention.

16:00 More writing on paper and/or reviewing my notes

16:40 Round-up and catch-up; as I try to wind down for hometime I try to end my outstanding tasks in a place that feels suitable and check in with some colleagues.

March 1

Storytelling workshop

This afternoon I took part in a storytelling workshop with Claud. It was great and I highly recommend following their blog. Claud sent myself and the other members of the group some materials to work with, one of which was a person-shaped paper cut-out. Our first activity was decorating our paper person. I made a dress with some socks, because stripes and colours make me happy. I also had some pink thread I use for sewing, which I couldn’t resist using as my hair. As we made the characters we spoke about other characters we like in movies and TV. I found out that there was a lot about Star Wars I remember as a child! I could recall that my favourite vehicle was the AT-AT. I’m looking forward to next week!

Paper person and stress zine

Paper person and stress zine

I also took part in an InsideOut workshop organised by Brighton Students’ Union this evening. The workshop was on stress and managing workloads. I decided to make a zine during the workshop rather than take notes in a plain notebook. Last year I started making zines in meetings rather than take notes; I’ve found it quite helpful because I realised when writing I just copy what the person has said but when I try to make a visual representation I spend more time on re/arranging my ideas.

February 20

Loosen up

In a seminar last year, one of our suggested activities was to purposely make a mistake. I made a lot of weaves that year. Many of them are misshapen because I like to use one continuous line of material. This month I tried a looser method; I cut multiple strips of material and weaved them without any anchoring knots.

I liked the finished result:

loose weave

loose weave

But then whenever I looked at it again I saw parts unravelling. And I couldn’t stop myself from knotting them all down. I did, however, attempt to do gentler knots.

And I feel that’s summed up this month for me. I’m slightly more relaxed that I usually am.