I'm alive, friends! It's been a while because I've been juggling a new job, taking care of a big baby puppy and all other responsibilities that are really easy to neglect when you're actually busy during normal work hours. I feel really good and really exhausted at the same time, kind of like after you go for a nice run or (let's be real) a more likely picture - after you've had a good cry and you're eating delicious chocolate cake. No? Anyone? Anyway, it's been a weird month. It usually looks like me, grinning like an idiot as I clink away on my keyboard thinking, This is so great. I'm getting paid to write!
But then there are other moments of panic and eye twitches or sleepy evenings where I am completely drained from using my brain all day (hey-lo, not used to that). And then there are the times when I'm drained in a different way - the days when I finally get to vacuuming the house and then Zoey waltzes in covered in dirt and mud and I just want to cry because there's no way on God's green earth I could ever grow enough muscle strength to give her a bath by myself. It's difficult when Aaron's gone, especially when the cockroaches make an appearance or I need a good back massage because I've been hunched over my computer for eight hours. He's living it up in Denmark right now and I am so glad he gets to have this experience -- but I miss him so much. It's a six hour time difference and it's hard to go to sleep at night when I know if I just hold out until 2 a.m. he'll be up and ready to talk. And WHEW. It's just been a lot. But I don't want you to think it's been a horrible month, because it's really been quite wonderful. I've been trying to put myself out there and renew commitments with people in Houston because I know it's not a good idea to stay in every night, no matter how tired I am.
Anyway, all that to say: I've been here -- just a few steps behind. And you know what? I'm okay with a few steps behind for now. Especially with everything that's been going on around the nation. Sometimes you just need to chill out, cut some fresh flowers from the backyard and make a second pot of coffee.
So I'm only going on a month (almost) with my new schedule and I plan on adding to this list often, but here are a few things I'm learning so far with an eight to five job:
Keep moving: In every sense of the word, I've found that when I keep moving -- either physically or mentally -- my life is a lot easier. That means stretch those legs on my lunch break by taking Z for a walk instead of sitting at the computer for another hour. Getting up even to walk around the room for a few minutes is so important when you sit at a desk all day. You'll have a more productive day when you stay active. Also, outside breaks are refreshing and we need those reminders to look past the screen every now and then.
Timers make life a lot easier: Here is my ode to the timer -- Oh how you make my day more productive! Timers are crucial, especially in this stage where I'm trying to write faster and gauge how much time I need for certain projects. They're great for making a little game out of it and giving you an extra kick to the challenge. I don't know, maybe that's just me. I've found that implementing timers in my every day life -- not just work life -- makes everything easier. If I am dreading cleaning the kitchen, I simply tell myself, fifteen minutes on the timer. I've found that when I put a time limit on doing things that are challenging to get through, I am more committed and actually follow-through, getting a lot more done than I originally anticipated.
Cultivate a healthy life balance: It's easy to sink into the couch after a long day of work, but I've realized how essential it is to go out and invest in people and places. I am definitely not as extroverted as people think I am because I need the "me" time, but I still draw energy from other people and need that occasional "unwinding" time. It's crazy how staying out a little later than I probably should with friends makes me feel more rested the next day then if I stayed in. Maybe this isn't your experience, but I know that it's important to work at the other areas of our lives while we're working.
Those are just a few of the aha! moments I've had recently about working full-time, especially remotely. If you have some tips to add for a newbie like me and it's just burning in your mind (come on, you know it is), by all means, leave a comment and share the goods! I am weirdly interested in different work habits lately. xo