about working from home on Mondays – it certainly helps me ease into the week. (Here’s the first post, so you can catch up!)
Today, I thought it would be fun to share a little slice of my own routine. As I mentioned in last week’s post, I try to have a few days each week where I’m out meeting people or running errands, and then I try to preserve a few days just for working at my computer. There’s something about the idea of having a whole 8 hours (or 12, as the case may be) ahead of me to plow through my to-do list.
So this is my routine on days I stay home and make good friends with my computer.
7:15am / Wake up. Michael usually gets up to go coach early morning training with some of his school kids, so when his honking alarm goes off, I’m usually awake for the day. This is a whole lot easier now that the sun is up before 8! I let myself wake up slowly, checking social media or email on my phone before getting out of bed.
8am / Get dressed, make the bed, wash whatever dishes are in the sink, put away clothes and shoes, switch out the laundry. The key here, for me, is getting dressed in real clothes, and making the bed. If I don’t do either of those, it doesn’t make for a productive day. I’m not the kind of person who can stay in pajamas or yoga pants to work all day. Given, if I’m staying home and not seeing anyone, I just wear jeans and sneakers and a cosy sweater, but it’s still clothes!
8:30am / Make breakfast and a pot of coffee. I go through phases where I’ll eat the same thing for breakfast for weeks. At the moment, I’m hooked on those very trendy 2-ingredient pancakes, so I might make up a batch of those while doing the dishes or tidying the recycling.
8:45am / Eat breakfast and catch up on my favorite blogs or answer Twitter, Facebook or blog comments. During the day, I don’t leave any of those open on my computer. I’m a multi-tab girl, but those tabs just suck me in! So I only check in on Twitter or Facebook if I’m sharing a blog post or I hear an alert on my phone.
9am / Tackle the inbox. I try to keep my inbox with fewer than 50 emails in it at all times. If I have more than 50, I lose them to a second page and there’s very little chance I’ll ever get to them. I use Gmail and have about a billion folders. I’m paranoid about deleting emails, so I file everything I might need to reference later, and I don’t file anything until it’s been dealt with. I start by answering the short emails, and add longer emails to my to-do list.
11am / Start in on the to-do list. I am a list-making addict. I use inexpensive spiral bound notebooks from the grocery store, because I can’t bring myself to mess up pretty notebooks, and because they’re light for toting around everywhere. Each evening, I make a list for the next day (and usually add to it throughout the day), and in the morning I start going through it.
1pm / Lunch break. I’ll usually have either a smoothie and some nuts, or a potato with whatever vegetables are in the fridge. I also take a break from “work” and read something in the Irish Times or one of my favorite blogs. Around this time, I usually hear from my Dad on Gchat. It’s morning in Maine and we catch up before he starts his day.
1:30pm / Back to work. By this point, I’ve usually knocked the faster things off my to-do list and I’m starting to dig in to the things that take more time and undivided attention, like this blog post! By now, here’s some of what I’ve knocked off my to-do list:
- emailed class descriptions for a new set of wedding DIY classes I’m teaching
- blogged about my newest DIY classes, and did all the necessary linking on social media
- wrote up and emailed ideas for a shoot I’m working on to the company’s PR department
- scheduled a few interviews for a freelance piece I’m working on
And here’s some of what I have left for this afternoon:
- set up the rest of the interviews for the freelance piece, and send on some preliminary questions to the interviewees
- edit tomorrow’s Creative Lives podcast
- brainstorm some wedding DIY posts for One Fab Day
- finish my latest Marriage Snapshot for Snippet & Ink
- finish this post to share with all of you!
2:30pm / Michael sometimes gets a lunch break in the middle of the afternoon, so I take a break and hear how his day is going.
3pm / Keep plugging away. I try to knock most of the big things off my to-do list or at least move them to tomorrow’s to-do list!
5:30pm / Get dinner going. I make dinner about three times during the week. Luckily Michael doesn’t mind leftovers on the other nights. During basketball season, he might be gone until after 9pm, so I’m in charge of dinner. During the summer, when we’re usually grilling, he’s in charge. I eat when I’m hungry, Michael eats when he gets home.
7pm / Go for a run. Some days I go running first thing in the morning – like days when it’s sunny or not windy and I want to take advantage of the weather. But most days I wait until the evening. One of the great things about my neighborhood is there’s a long running/cycling path that stretches along the seafront from the city. It’s great for running and it’s lit by street lamps at night time.
8pm / Shower, do more dishes (I long for a dishwasher), do more laundry, check emails. Since I work with Americans as well as Irish businesses, I don’t feel I can really shut off when they’re still working. I try to keep an eye on my inbox and check in with Twitter or Instagram or Facebook.
9pm / Read, watch, relax. By 9, I’m usually winding down. I have an ever-growing stack of newspapers and magazines I’m anxious to get through, so I flip through one of those. The only thing I can ever find to watch on our TV is the Food Network, so I turn that on until Michael gets home and inevitably turns the channel to something sporty. I also make sure I have the next day’s to-do list ready to go for the morning. I find it a lot easier to get to sleep if I know I’m not forgetting what tomorrow’s important tasks will be.
11pm / Bedtime. We put the cat out for the night and switch off the heat, then I usually read for a few minutes, chat with Michael about what we’re doing the next day, and fall asleep.
So that’s my general routine when I don’t have meetings or appointments or errands to run. It varies, of course, but usually looks basically like that. It took a few weeks to really find this routine and I’m sure it will change a little in the coming weeks and months.
So now I’m really curious, what does your day look like when you’re working from home? Do you have a routine? Things that have to get done before you can start work? I’d love to hear what works for you and what doesn’t!