So last year I started working from home. So did everyone right? Well I started before you, because I got a new job and I started totally remote in January.
I had this idea that I would do a load of experiments on how to effectively work from home, but then the world sort of fell apart and I just got on with 2020.
I have spent the last year kind of winging it. I have had no plan, no schedule, no organisation at all. This has been kinda fine, but has its downsides. I've been without an alarm, getting up when the kid does, hanging out til wife gets up then going to work when I feel like it. Mornings have been super relaxed and great, and I don't think I've had much of a productivity problem, but there are definitely some downsides. I don't seem to have the level of freedom I expected with working remote, and I think it's because I have such an unproductive start to the day that as time moves on then I end up having to ditch any plans I had to do work instead. Not that I had big plans, but like take an hour to play with the kid or go for lunch at the cafe down the road, even boring stuff like taking 10 mins here and there to tidy the office or put the laundry away have got beyond me.
I have decided to run a series of experiments where I make a small but significant change to my routine to see if I can make myself more productive/happier/whatever seems important at the time.
So my January experiment shall be to get up and start work at a set time. That time will be 8am. This means I can then work til about 4:30 and have an hour off somewhere in the middle. This is obviously a loose guideline, I am not the sort of person who can stick to a serious schedule with a break dead on 12:30 for exactly 1 hour. There will be some leeway.. but the main point of the experiment is to front-load the day with more useful time so I can make more of my afternoons, whatever that may entail.
I like this new plan. I'm not sure it's actually made me more productive at work but I feel better about my days now. This is a keeper.
So what with everyone being at home All. The Time. we've all had to do a bit of compromising with our daily routines. It's been long enough that the kiddo understands that I can't play on work days, so it's got easier but my big problem now is food.
I don't eat breakfast, I only have coffee. I get hungry around 10:30, but that's when we have standup so I can't have a snack til about 11 usually. The others eat breakfast, then have lunch around 12 - 12:30.
If I eat a snack at 11 then I am rarely ready for lunch at 12, but I have it anyway so I can hang out with the other two, but if I don't have a snack at 11 I get hangry. It also feels like that time between the end of standup and lunch is kind of wasted, it's not long enough to really get into something useful, especially if standup leads to chats or if making a snack leads to chats...
So this new experiment is that I will not have lunch with the fam, but have a late breakfast/early lunch at my desk whenever I am ready. Then after they've eaten, wife and I will swap and I will take a proper hour off to go and play with the kid (and she can have a break from him!).
- I will eat fewer non-required meals!
- I get that pre-lunch hour back to be useful
- The time I do take off is spent more happily (I imagine it will be an hour of Lego a day, which is super)
- Wife gets a chance to recharge for the afternoon