A Month of ? And a New Schedule

Schedule IconUnfortunately, for reasons that I can’t explain, I can’t explain what my official “month project” was for January.

So instead, I’ll explain something else that I did in January: I changed my work schedule. That may not sound exciting, but it significantly improved my quality of life.

I’ve been working from home for years, and with the exception of occasional meetings or emergencies, I have complete freedom over when I work.  I’ve never kept a strict work schedule. In the mornings I’d wake up naturally (no alarm), roll out of bed, roll over to my computer, and start working. I’d then work full-time hours, but they’d be stretched over the entire day – from when I woke up until I went to bed, with many long breaks. And I’d usually work 6 days a week.

On a suggestion from someone else, I decided to start working more typical hours. What I started doing on Jan 1 and am still doing most of the time, is working Monday to Friday from about 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, with a total of 1 hour for breaks & lunch.

Now my work and “life” are less intermingled with each other. As a result, I’m working more effectively, as longer periods of distraction-free and break-free work help me to maintain focus and momentum.  I’m not working less hours, just better hours.

And my non-work life is better too. Because of my previously sloppy schedule, I didn’t used to have enough of the extended periods of non-work time needed to really enjoy it or use it well. Now I do. And when I’m not working I rarely feel guilty for not working, as I often did before.

Although I thought fixed work hours might make me feel imprisoned, I actually feel more free.

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