Tuesday, September 30, 2008


On the three days I commute into the office I find myself stuck in a routine in which I hardly deviate from.

5:30 - Alarm goes off
5:40 - Take a shower
6:00 - Wake up M, let the dogs out
6:15 - Eat Breakfast
6:30 - Clean up breakfast, make lunch
6:45 - Iron clothes for the day, make my tea and put it in my travel cup
7:00 - Wake up daughter, Drive to work

7:00 - 8:30/8:45 - the brainless commute. Right now I have a book to listen to so it'a a bit brainless than usual.

This is so much of routine that I go through the motions of it without really thinking. It's automatic.

If something throws me off my routine - Alarm doesn't go off for some reason, dogs throw up before I leave the house, the milk went bad and now I have to figure what to eat for breakfast, I get a bit panicky!

Silly isn't it?

I don't punch a clock so if I am 5 or even 10 minutes late no one will yell at me. No one will even notice really - my boss comes in later than I do normally and my office is off the beaten path so most people don't even see me back here.

Still - I don't like to be off my routine. It's unsettling to me.

And it's only on those 3 days that I go into the office. On the days I work from home I'm a lot more relaxed, less structured in my daily routine. Sometimes I wake up later, I don't always take a shower as soon as I get up. Maybe I'll even wait until after breakfast. Maybe I'll go out and get a cup off coffee, maybe I'll make it at home.

The big difference for me between working in the office and working at home is that I will put more hours in and actually feel more productive at home than I do in the office. I start earlier, I take far fewer breaks, I work through lunch or take a quick lunch, I work later. I have distractions at home, but when I'm in the office I want so much to be out of here I go for long walks at lunch time. I stare out my window and get lost in my thoughts.

Occasionally the dogs will bother me, my daughter may come and talk to me or the odd poor telemarketer calls and gets a rather rude and terse response for daring to try and sell me something. (sorry, I know people are trying to make a living, but I do not like telemarketing campaigns - of any kind)

All in all though, I think I get the same amount of work done.

Not sure what the routine part has to do with anything. It was probably designed by my brain so I wouldn't be late for work when I did have a time clock to punch. Or created from years of sharing bathrooms with people with different schedules to make sure I had my "quiet morning time". I'm not really a morning person until after I've showered and have been fed. Before that if you attempt to talk to me you will get a glare and some uncoherent grunts and groans.

One other routine I have when I am here in the office. Lunch time: 1:00 I stop whatever it is I am doing. Prepare my salad and then eat lunch and take time to catch up on my blog reading.

Definitely my favorite part of the day!


The Village Carpenter said...

Are you a "J" on the Myers-Briggs?

Shazza said...

Is that synonymous with anal?

Vic Hubbard said...

I'm the same way, Shazza. Just about everything I have to do all the time is set up in a routine. If a small part of the routine is broken, the process now has to be thought about, which usually puts me behind and stresses me out!! Plus, the morning routine is on complete auto-pilot. If I screw that up, it can really flip my day.

the only daughter said...

hmmm..I'm on a routine insomuch as I need to get out of the house between 7 and 7:15, depending on which bus / train I intend to take and whether or not it is raining or snowing.

The rest is basically a crap shoot. Sure, there are must dos but one or the other doesn't have to be first, second or so on.

I've never worked from home but I have the sense that I'd be much more productive "at the office" as there are waaaaay too many distractions at home, probably.

It'd be cool to give it a try though. I wish I could.

Presbyfruit said...

I wish I could try it too. I'd love to take a quick nap every afternoon, which is kind of hard in an office.

Vic Hubbard said...

Yeah Presby!! I'm a napper, too. Why can't I just take a 20 minute nap? I get so much more done on the weekends, because I get to nap. If I take more than 30 minutes though, I'm out of it for about an hour afterwards.

dive said...

Sheesh! Commuting …
I'm like you, Shazza, except that my morning routine is worked out to the second as I have to be up at 4:40AM and my journey to work takes three and a half hours door to door.
I get most of my blog writing done in little notebooks on the train and then type it up later.
After many years of seven hours a day commuting hell, they now allow me two days a week working from home, like you. And yes, I find I am much more productive. I wake up at my normal time but can listen to the news and take a bath instead of a shower. I can have breakfast (a real novelty) and start work at six, long before the email crap starts coming in when the office opens up. I can watch a movie at lunchtime, cook a proper meal and still have hours more time to myself. Working from home keeps me relatively sane.

Shazza said...

Vic - we are kindreds of souls!

OD - I thought working from home would be distracting too; and it was at first. But my office is in the basement and once I get into a groove I lose all sense of time.

Presby - Don't tell anyone, but I have taken power naps on occasion!

Dive - Dude, my commute cannot even begin to compare to yours. I don't know how you do it.