Week 95: Tidying up

Research has been moving forward little by little. I’ve been revising Chapter 2. The reviews I have worked on for the past four months were initially just a section, but as I discussed it with my supervisors, we extended it to further relevant scopes and added references, and it has become a chapter.

I am very happy about working on the topic, which is truly a pleasure. But I’ve spent so much time tackling it, I desperately hope that this won’t turn out to be wasted time for my thesis.

 

Completed a 30-day project to Minimalism

A month ago, after finishing my conference presentation, I initiated a 30-day project to become a minimalist, using a printable guide created by Sadia (Pick Up Limes). I wanted to tidy up not just my desk, drawers, and house stuff, but also everything, my chapters, and myself!

While I did incorporate the Japanese concept of tidying up Dan Sha Ri, proposed by Hideko Yamashita, into my daily living, I have been eyeing a more operational and structured checklist of tidying (my previous post on Dan Sha Ri). Sadia’s guide starts with tidying up clothing: bags, clothes, shoes and accessories, which wasn’t that difficult because I’ve developed a habit of clearing them once a month. Additionally, the space in my wardrobe is very limited. The first seven days were smooth!

The most difficult part was my drawers. They were crammed with research papers, notebooks, and loads of stationery. They were really messy, or even hopeless. This was something I would like to improve because these are an integral part of my home office.

It would probably be important to go back to some basic questions, such as: what sort of home office environment would I like to be in?

I spend 14 hours a day at my desk, writing, reading and editing. For me, a vital aspect of being productive and successful when working at home is premised on a decluttered desk that has minimal stuff. It means that I can concentrate on one or two really important things intensely for a short period, and avoid being distracted during the day. I like putting 99% of the stationery supplies into the drawers. So I focused on grouping the text materials and allocating them into each drawer; this took a week.

Household and kitchen items weren’t difficult. Our cupboard and pantry offer plenty of space, but we removed some mugs, placemats I hadn’t used for two years, and spices. I liked Day 25 (photos) and Day 27 (sentimental items). I spent two days sorting photos into digital files. We are going to keep our stuffed animal collection!

How much unnecessary stuff did I remove eventually? Not that much; probably four or five bags of old clothes, dried-out pens, unneeded magazines, manuals and kitchen items over the 30 days.

I find Sadia’s video on being a minimalist to be very inspiring, and I absolutely love it. Being comfortable in a working space and home is paramount to the attainment of maximum productivity, which is something that can definitely be increased.

 

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Sunday tea break, Matcha!

 

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My achievements in week 95

  • Submitted a piece of coursework for the teaching programme.
  • Attended a session on presenting the thesis (university regulations, organising a chapter, several attention points from examiners’ viewpoints).
  • Completed a 30-day project to become a minimalist.

Goals for week 96

  • Proofread my draft more than three times.
  • Submit my third revision of Chapter 2 to my supervisors.

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A PhD student researching verbal communication in Patient-Centred Care.