I was nominated by Eric to write about my typical day, and I haven’t blogged in a while, so it seems like a good way to get myself writing again!
I’ve been working remotely for almost 8 years, so I didn’t have a dramatic switch this past year due to the pandemic. The biggest change has been working entirely from home, instead of being able to work from cafes, which I desperately miss. I used to break up my day by getting breakfast or lunch out a few times a week, and now I’m hunkered down at home all day. Doldrum city. The good thing is, since moving to Philly in November, I have my own office to work from instead of sharing one with my spouse. I can be as loud and annoying as I want (within reason).
ADHD makes this kind of interesting, since I have pretty much no constraints in my life and therefore no schedule to adhere to. But here’s a general summary.
This is the kind of stuff I’ll rotate through all day:
- Check various social media accounts (mostly twitter), because I am an addict and get sucked into scrolling forever.
- Check both work and social Slacks.
- Check for any new Automattic internal p2 posts on WordPress.com that are relevant to me.
- Glance at my email, which thankfully isn’t very active.
- Read newsletters and articles I’ve been putting off for
days weeks monthseternity.
I’m a night owl. I don’t usually wake up until 9, or even later. (Lately, it’s been trending towards later. February sucks.)
Literally this past week I’ve started journaling first thing in the morning — two pages hand-written on an old lined notebook I’d otherwise have no other use for, since I’m DOT GRID 4 LYFE. I’ve literally only been doing it for three days, so we’ll see if I can keep up that habit. I’m doing it as part of reading The Artist’s Way.
Once I manage to drag myself out of bed and start my day, I’ll grab some cold brew I prepared previously from my fridge. If I didn’t have the foresight to brew my own coffee, I’ll hop over to the cafe down the street to pick up a cold brew and some sort of food. If I did have the foresight to make coffee and I’m eating at home, there’s probably a 50% chance I’ll succeed at actually preparing breakfast before starting work.
Start work. Maybe succeed at eating breakfast, if I have it. I spend the first portion of my day catching up — on email, on Slack, on Github and Trac, on p2. This doesn’t usually take a full hour. I might reply to some conversations I missed, since I work for an international company, and folks are chatting at all hours across the globe.
On Thursdays, I have a 10am design critique with my squad. We’ll present work, get and give feedback, and help unstick problems.
Most folks would end this next on a specific hour mark denoting lunch, but I’ll eat lunch anywhere between… 1 and 3:30. If I failed at eating breakfast before 11, I might also attempt to force myself to make something between 11 and noon. Everything’s pretty wibbly. I’m not great at being a functioning human. I tend to get “stuck.”
I usually start my design work around this time, or whenever I’ve finished catching up and chatting about anything I need. Most of this takes place in Figma, though this past week I’ve been working on some WordPress core patches using SVN. I’m still using Coda 2 as my editor. I don’t code a lot.
I’ll also have the majority of the meetings I attend weekly within this time slot, though thankfully, I don’t have many meetings throughout the week.
I try to finish work between 6 and 7. I have music lessons at 5:45 on Wednesdays, so I’ll try to end my day by then — but I might end up working again after my lesson, depending on my workload.
I don’t have a hard stop to my day. Sometimes there’s a natural stop; I’ll finish up a task or a mockup and there’s no point in starting something new that late in the day. Other times, I need to drag myself away from an unfinished design. That’s the hardest time to stop. I could work all night if I’m in the right headspace. I’d gotten really good at containing my work day between my sabbatical and the start of the pandemic, but my work/life balance has been slipping since I’ve been trapped inside all year.
Depending on when I finish up work, I’ll either relax for a little while and play some videogames for a bit or work on some music, or I’ll jump straight into cooking dinner. I cook the majority of our dinners, since my spouse is more of a baker or project-cooking person. I can whip up food from whatever we have hanging around, usually. We pick up a subscription from our neighborhood butcher every other week, and also get fresh vegetables and fruit delivered from a local, not-quite-CSA box, Philly Foodworks. (It’s the Philly equivalent of Boston Organics, which we used for years when we lived in Boston.)
If my spouse and I are both exhausted, which is more often than we’d like, we’ll order delivery. We’re still trying to figure out our go-to places in Philly. Most of the time we end up eating dinner on our couch while we watch something. We’re currently working through an older season of Top Chef.
After dinner, we either switch to watching a plot-driven show, or split off to do hobbies. I’ll play more videogames or work on music more, do some art, or mindlessly doom scroll. I used to be a voracious reader, but my ability to focus on reading since the pandemic started has been completely shot. I miss being able to devour books. I miss being able to go out and have dinner or some drinks. My spouse and I are once again going to try having a date night each week. We used to get drinks after my drum lessons every Wednesday. Once the pandemic started, we tried doing date nights at home for a while, but those fizzled out.
I’m just always so exhausted these days.
We’ll usually head upstairs somewhere around midnight. My spouse falls asleep first; I’ll stay up and watch some TV quietly until I can’t keep my eyes open. I’ve always been bad at sleeping, but I’ve been extra bad this past year. If I look at my phone, I’ll doom scroll for hours. If I lay in silence and try to sleep, I’ll start thinking about things and won’t be able to shut off my brain. I literally have to exhaust myself through overstimulation.
It’s been a rough year. Here’s hoping we can all get vaccinated soon.