Do you know how the most productive people always seem to be preaching about never working from bed? Trust me, I have plenty of grievances with this supposedly vital tip to pursuing your happiest, healthiest, and most efficient lifestyle. I mean, I can't even begin to count how many times I've gotten so warm and cozy and sleepy and put my head down for what I like to call a "five-minute nap" which never, and I stress never, ever ends up just being that.
For those of us lucky enough to work or perform tasks as quotidian enough as assignments from the comfort of our homes as opposed to "that" of a cubicle or library, we're straddling the fence between totally blessed and cursed. At first glance, the convenience of completing most, if not all of our responsibilities without having to put on proper pants sounds like a dream, but it's actually more likely to result in our own psychological disarray.
First of all, the stress of our many responsibilities can so easily bleed into our perception of what should be a relaxing atmosphere. This is not to say this only holds true if we happen to not really enjoy the work that we're doing–the pressure we feel to meet deadlines and our best work, no matter the subject, tends to melt into permanent association with the place in which we experience it. And I know what you're thinking, for us students, this is harder than ever to prevent. After a long day of classes and possibility, a shift or whatever else the day holds, going anywhere else but home to complete the night's homework is probably the last thing we want to do. It doesn't necessarily matter where we may be tackling a to-do list and likely enduring at least some amount of stress along with it, as long as there is a boundary placed between time and location for productivity and repose.
One of my professors swears by implementing a personal "totem," meaning a designated object to serve as a form of tangible separation from his work and relaxation/family/personal time. For him, it's a set of work keys that never enter his house. I'll be honest, I don't know the full extent of this sort of demarcation, and I'm sure there have been a few exceptions once he's been home for the day, as in answering urgent work-related emails if the circumstances deem it necessary. But I admire this ability to condition oneself to access each appropriate part of themselves that would otherwise be spread ridiculously thin without structured time for advancing one's personal life.
Now that I abide by certain productive habits, it's still very hard to live by these rules in pursuit of self-care and just turn them off whenever the time permits. Because for my always on, on, on, type of a brain, I'm looking to maximize my efforts in a limited amount of time no matter what I'm doing. And this, this is draining (to say the least).
As what I'd consider a relatively productive person, I can preach this all day and never once take my own advice. But setting these boundaries with yourself is really the only way any of us can achieve the optimal balance between progressing in our personal, educational, and professional lives and just taking a much-needed breather more often than you'd normally allow one.