Day 4: Closed Libraries and Work Mojo

Today I felt like I really needed to create a new routine that would make by brain embrace the concept of work better in the morning. So I embraced my inner Finn, grabbed as much sisu as I could, and decided to pretend to have a commute. I walked to the nearby Sibelius monument, and it became really evident just how much of Finland has shut down.

For starters, Finns (in general) love the great outdoors, and there’s always loads of people walking or jogging in the parks. Not today. I was practically alone – which was nice, not going to lie, but was also very eery.

I also live close to Töölö Library, and all the libraries owned by the Helsinki administration (I have no idea what the right term is…) have been closed. Which is really sad, because the Finns also have a reputation for sharing everything. Libraries here don’t just lend out books – you can share all kinds of tools with the community. At Oodi library you can even rent out 3D printers, and I had my eye on renting a sewing machine for a few hours, so the closure of the public libraries was really sad to actually see…

When I was walking home I also noticed a new sign outside the pharmacy I live above. It says that if you’ve been diagnosed with the coronavirus you now have to call the pharmacy from the pavement, and someone will come to you (to reduce the risk of customers being infected). It’s really starting to hit home just how serious the situation is here, and it’s getting quite scary that this might last for several months…

In god news, I felt much more like I was in ‘work-mode’ when I got back. I got back to reading this really good introduction to the Neo-Assyrian royal inscriptions by Eckart Frahm. It’s definitely going to be useful when I start teaching an Akkadian class next Spring!

I also found an article about how to work from home well, and one of the tips was to make sure that your work space is for WORK, and not for anything else. So I’m making sure I eat my meals somewhere other than my desk (rather difficult in an open-plan flat…).

Another thing they mentioned was timing and keeping track of how long you spend on work. So I set up a clockify account, and now I’m using it to be aware of how much I’m procrastinating. I will say, being aware of it is guilting me into work, so it’s definitely working!

One REALLY nice thing about working from home is that I can have freshly-cooked, essentially free, lunches. I have a stir-fried chicken sandwich (Sacha got a piece, don’t worry!), and it felt like such a luxury in comparison to my normal stone-cold packed lunches I bring in…

Sacha helped to supervise

The afternoon was spent working on my PhD, and getting it ready to be submitted (again) later in the year. I think I’m making progress, but Sacha was able to help supervise and motivate as I worked!

I couldn’t help but spend one of my procrastination periods sorting out my desk. I’ve been trying just to get on with work, but I find that if the workspace doesn’t quite work, then it throws me off. So I completely cleared it, and FINALLY started to make proper use of these Kallax shelves!

I’ve started seeing something strange on the social media crafting groups I’m on – people have starting to make their own masks. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I can see that they’re not single-use, so yay for the environment; they take pressure off the supply for medical staff and those at risk; but I really don’t feel ok about the hygiene of it. I don’t know, I’m likely to be overly cautious about this.

My last thing is that I’m struggling to find the motivation and willpower to do exercise at home… Hopefully I’ll figure something out soon…

Talk to you tomorrow, and stay safe!

Ellie

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