Well, I'm a month into my new increased schedule and I thought I'd have a reflection on how it is going.
I'm surprised how smoothly the new routine has fitted into my life. I'm not having any problems arranging my work and I have noticed several improvements as well as noted a few areas where my homelife is having to adapt.
Firstly, my initial fears that I wouldn't be able to switch off on my days off has proved unfounded. After the first few weeks of constantly checking emails and forums I have settled down and can switch off. Not only has it not increased my mania but I've had a few days where I'm not hypomanic (unusual for me as I'm I have high functioning bipolar disorder so hypomania is a prominent feature of my life). Obviously, due to the nature of OU tutoring I do have to sometimes teach or speak to students during my downtime but I am balancing this well.
Some things have actually improved. When I only worked 13 hours a week teaching 2 modules I always found marking weeks hit and miss as they took up 12-15 hours of time and did not slot naturally into my life, leading to prevarication. But now I work 26 hours I can schedule these better and have days available for marking; for the first time have actually managed to mark straight away after the submission date. This improved scheduling is very important as, obviously, I also have far more marking to do but I do feel more efficient. We will see how this progresses as marking and teaching increases.
The impact on my home life is interesting. Being an early bird, I'm making an effort to sit down to work before my night owl husband leaves for his work. This gives me a visible presence as a working person which can be missing from home working and I'm noticing him acknowledging this in his attitude at home. He's also leaving earlier for work rather than rolling in late and staying late (he owns his own business)!
My children are old enough not to disrupt me at work too much but dinner has definitely got later and less fancier (I love cooking). But I still have days off to get things done.
So, all in all a positive change. I looked at it again in a month to see if 4 lots of marking have changed my opinion!