Non-Routine Work from Home Routines

Like many people, 9 to 5, 8 to 4, or whatever, isn’t me. One of the things I loved about running my own business was that I never knew what I’d be doing next month.

Now, my schedule completely changes every four months. Each day of the week is always different. My natural rhythm, despite decades of trying to conform, has me sleeping until 9:00 am and awake till 1:00 am if at all possible. Plus, I hate sameness.

This makes the idea of maintaining my work routine at home nonsense. Below are my practices for working from home for the free-spirited. Some are the same as many guides to working from home, some directly oppose conventional wisdom.

1. Sleep till whenever1. One of the good things about COVID cloistering is that I get enough sleep. I’m definitely not setting the alarm for earlier than is natural for me to get up. Most people have a time they naturally get up. Go with – it may be your regular time anyway, either that or you weren’t getting enough sleep before. If you are get enough sleep, you will naturally go to bed at the same time each night. Awesome routine.

2. Keep doing enjoyable things in some semblance of B.C. (before Covid). I’m addicted to fitness. B.C. I did strength training classes three times a week. I still do strength training three days a week. I wrote out a routine, much like the instructor delivered, which takes 55 minutes and do it all. Otherwise, it’s tempting to wander off after 3 jumping jacks. I substitute 30 minutes of brisk rowing in the basement for 30 minutes of brisk walking.

3. Eat regularly and normally. That said, take advantage of being at home. I like oatmeal, so I have hot cereal in place of the muffin I had on the train on the way to work. Snacking is hard to avoid at home, but easier to resist if you aren’t hungry. I tell myself that after I eat salad for lunch, I can have chips later. Sometimes I don’t get around to the chips before dinner.

4. Mix work with family life. Sage advice is to get up from your desk at least once an hour. So, stir the stew and add the carrots. Or take one load of laundry out of the washer and put another one in. Enjoy being at home. I work on the couch, because I can be productive there. Ask family for their opinion on what you’re working on. They may have great ideas.

5. Shower etc. when it makes sense, not to begin the day. If I’m going to do a couple hours of work, then work out, following up with a shower makes sense. I make a conscious effort to take advantage of being at home, rather then trying to fool myself into thinking I’m ‘going’ to work.

6. Know what your work goals are. To put all this flex sleeping, exercising, and doing household chores into context, I decide the night before what work I need to get done the next day. As long as that happens, everything is good.

More conventional aspects of routine that makes sense to me:

1. Limit checking the news. I read the news and check the COVID epidemiologically data once a day, in the morning, laying in bed. B.C., I read the news and checked the weather laying in bed in the morning.

2. I reach out when there is a the need. To friends, business colleagues, medical professionals. It’s tough in here, for all of us in our own ways, but also in many common ways.

3. Wear WTF. Seriously, if the world is going to hell in hand-basket, I’m travelling in yoga pants.

4. Count blessings. Working from home relieves the stress of the commute and gives me more time. I am healthy. I have enough to eat, I have a job.


1Sorry, if you have an 8am call, you gotta get up before then. 

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