HOW I'M CHANGING MY WORKING DAY (Part 1)
And why traditional working days might not serve you.
Hey there, dear readers!
How are we? Keeping well and happy I hope? This is the last newsletter of January and, eternal optimist that I am, are you starting to see the signs of Spring lately like me? Whilst driving the other day, I noticed a clump of snowdrops on a grass verge on the side of the road. Okay, it’s early, but they’ll soon be followed by cheery daffodils and tulips too. But enough of the horticulture….
In this issue I want to talk about the changes I’ve made to my working day.
Now, if you’re like me, the traditional routine of office based work life will be embedded with you from when we first started work. A case of sitting at your desk at 9.00am and working through until 5.00pm (or much later, in some instances). And nobody thought any different to this.
The pandemic helped to hasten a bit of revolution that started a few years before the pandemic hit. If you’ve read any of my previous newsletters or seen any of my 45 Not Out social postings, you’ll know that I work as a freelancer (to pay the bills) and as such, work a lot from home. And with the exception of certain work contracts where I’ve worked in clients’ offices, have worked mainly from home. Now that’s far more widespread than it ever was, due to lockdown.
Until recently, I’ve always tried to follow the traditional office hours routine (9-5) when I’m working from home. The thing with this, is that come 2.00ish, I get a bit antsy and my concentration goes quite a bit. And for years I’ve made myself sit there and carry on with work and feel miserable until the clock hit 5.00pm.
So, a few months ago I experimented with trying things a little differently. I allowed myself to take a couple of hours off to do something totally different, and then return to work around 4.00pm and work until later. Yes I lost the odd hour in my working day, but often I felt fresh enough to make that up the following day by starting earlier - about 8.00ish - and continue giving myself time off in the middle of my day.
And do you know what, I felt much more motivated, creative and productive. However, I still do feel very guilty about switching the computer off about 2.00pm, but I know that if I do something worthwhile (usually some form of exercise - my gym has never been used as much!) I’ll feel much, much better when I’m back at my desk at 4.00pm.
There’s a huge caveat with this. I know, as a freelancer, I have the luxury of being able to organise my working day to suit me. And I understand that home workers who are employed have to fit into a traditional office routine and be available for meetings etc. But, it might be the case where you have a bit of stretch in your day to allow you to take a 20 min walk or even, like me, slot in a sneaky visit to the gym.
And if you do, I’d strongly advise you to try it occasionally. It doesn’t have to be anything exercise related - it could just be a mooch around the local shops etc.
There’s also something else in my working day that I’ve been experimenting with too in terms of what I expect to achieve each day. It is closely linked to the routine I outline above, but it’s a bit more involved, so I’ll go into that in next week’s newsletter.
So, a tad short and sweet for this week, but I hope it helps or at least given you food for thought etc.
As ever, I’m extremely grateful for the number of subscribers on here and their loyalty. I think I’ve only lost about 3 subscribers over the years I’ve been writing the newsletter. If you’d like to more part of the 45 Not Out community of fab, fab women, then the best place to find more is the 45 Not Out Facebook page which you can find here . There’s currently about 220 fab, fab women in the group and there’s power in numbers, so if you fancy joining a group of women who think like you and truly aren’t ready to give up yet, then go the group and ask to be included. We’d love to have you.
That’ll be a wrap from me then. I hope you have a great rest of the week and a fab weekend, when it arrives.
Stay safe & well till next time