• Question: How do you find time to do fun activities outside of work?

    Asked by Isoken360 to Stewart, Miriam, Marton, Laura, Kathryn, David on 9 Nov 2018. This question was also asked by Adrian.
    • Photo: David Ho

      David Ho answered on 9 Nov 2018:


      I try to balance my work and my spare time as well as I can. I’m lucky in that I don’t have set hours I need to be in the office, I just have to get my work done. So some days I come into the office early and leave early and get the afternoon free to do whatever I want! I think it’s very important to make time for other things — I find I actually get less productive when I work all of the time

    • Photo: Kathryn Coldham

      Kathryn Coldham answered on 9 Nov 2018:


      Great question!

      I think a great way is to use to do lists and set short-term goals. Sometimes there are many different tasks to do at once, so it helps to focus on one at a time and only move onto the next task once you have completely finished the first.

      Also, I think it’s important to not fall into the trap of over-working as that is unhealthy. So, if you set yourself a specific time for the work to be completed by, it helps as you will be more productive in aiming to finish the task before that time.

      It is important to do fun activities outside of your working hours as you will come back to your work refreshed and will be happier 🙂

    • Photo: Marton Olbei

      Marton Olbei answered on 9 Nov 2018:


      As strange as it sounds, you have to set time aside and plan for fun activities. It’s easy to get stuck in a mindset where all you think about is work, but I think it’s not very good for you in the long run

    • Photo: Miriam Hogg

      Miriam Hogg answered on 9 Nov 2018:


      I try to only do work for a certain amount of time in the day, once I go home I don’t work! (unless I absolutely have to, which is rare).

      I have to make sure I get stuff done during the day because once i’m home its time for games, reading and anything else I want to do.

      It has worked fine so far, but when I get near the end of my PhD I may have to work in the evenings as I will be writing up all my work! If I plan ahead I should be able to do that without ruining too much of my free time.

    • Photo: Laura Kent

      Laura Kent answered on 10 Nov 2018:


      Its tough to find that perfect work life balance but for me it was a matter of deciding what my priorities were. I also make sure I stick to a daily routine during the week so that I will definitely have time for everything. To-do lists also help me loads to make sure I get things done when I am at work so that they arent on my mind – I even have a colour coding system for different projects!

    • Photo: Stewart Martin-Haugh

      Stewart Martin-Haugh answered on 10 Nov 2018:


      When I first started research I would find it really frustrating if I didn’t find the solution to a problem that day. After a while though, I found that I would just switch off once I left work. Often, approaching the problem fresh in the morning made the difference and I could solve it.

      If you’re not working in the evenings and weekends you can make time for fun. There have definitely been times when I’ve had to work a lot, but I try to balance that out with more relaxed time. And I make sure not to take any work/check any emails etc on holiday.

      Things I do for fun: play the piano, go walking, go to concerts, see my friends. Try to say yes to things if I can!

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