Week Two: Finding a Groove?

A (Very Tasty) Chimichanga from Burritos in Yardley, PA

Last week, I wrote how I felt like I was drinking from the firehose. That has let up a little bit, but still more on the learning/re-learning/refreshing side of things than not at this point. I felt I was able to actually make some good concrete progress and contribution, though, so that’s nice. I also felt I had some time to breathe and enjoy my new situation.

My buddy/ex-direct-report-at-TelTech, Nikola, inspired me to start simply journaling how I spend my time. He used to send us invoices with detail accounting for what seemed like every waking minute of his day. I am not quite to that level of detail, but rather than trying to bend different tools to my will, I figured I’d just try this simple method for a while. It’s good to see in black and white how you’re spending your time — useful for reflecting on how to better spend it and useful for reminding me what I did for techins/Fogbugz case logging.

So last week I was trying Escape. I uninstalled it because I felt it wasn’t giving much useful info, and it has a few annoying bugs. I haven’t been disciplined in using FocusList so much. Jury is still out on that, mainly as a Pomodoro timer. Am I already losing focus/discipline?? :D I don’t think so.

One thing that is super nice about working at home is that you can toggle off to take care of some home things that might otherwise pile up for the weekend, and it’s easier to take time off to go to a doctor appointment. On Wednesday I had a review session of the vision tests for Tommy (Boy #3). I just worked up till I had to leave, then worked some more when I came back — no drama or extra drive time decisions involved. Thursday morning, I spent an hour running another Ethernet cable before starting work. No big deal. That’s really nice — real work-life harmony.

I worked from Panera for a couple hours one day this week after mass, but for the most part just been working in my home office. Also, on Thursday, I was able to be here while Verizon came and fixed up my internet connection. I gots the need for speed!

I ended up tethering my phone while the internet was down and just worked on the couch while he worked on the equipment/diagnostics. Again, no drama, no feelings of guilt/I-really-ought-to-be-at-work, because I was at work. This is the kind of stuff I wish for everyone.

I have been reminded of Christopher Alexander’s The Timeless Way of Building (an amazing theoretical book on Design — highly recommend it). In it, he talks about an ancient community pattern that we have lost is living at/near our work. I found that resonated with me, and now I am seeing how it is valuable.

Maybe as things continue to evolve with technology, we may yet see more of a return to that pattern. Unfortunately, I think we’ll first have to deal with the fallout from the impending uptick in automation as artificial intelligence and robotics advance by leaps and bounds. I know we’ll adapt; I just hope we do it quickly and towards a better way of life for all concerned.