My working from home schedule

Home office desk Since my last post on working from home a few people have asked me for a more specific breakdown of how I schedule my day. Obviously this varies a bit but here’s my vague timetable:

  • 0700: wake up unpleasantly early (as my spouse wakes up for work anyway so I may as well). Feed, walk, clean up after the dog (and myself).
  • 0745: read through my work, personal and open-source emails. Triage them and just do any quick (i.e. under 5m) tasks that arise from them.
  • ~0830: start programming or whatever I’m working on at the moment.
  • ~1130 (three days a week): go to the gym.
  • ~1300: get back from gym, feed lunch to dog (and myself, at my desk). Deal with anything that happened while I was at the gym.
  • ~1730: stop work when my spouse gets home. Feed dinner to myself (and dog).
  • 1900 (and weekends): go see friends, play computer games, work on open-source play bass, watch TV. If I’m sitting on my computer: periodically check/triage emails and quickly reply to anything urgent or that’s blocking other people.
  • 2300: go to sleep. I need 8 hours.

Puppy sleeping in the office

I guess the main takeaway from this: I don’t work too many hours. Different things work for different people but I find fewer distractions working from home so I don’t need to sacrifice huge amounts of time to be productive (not that I think you’re more productive if you work more hours; quite the opposite). If I’m not being productive right now I can relax properly: play computer games, my bass, take the dog for a walk, call a friend and just work a bit more another time.

This steady schedule means I end up eating, socialising and exercising properly as well as getting plenty of work done. If you’re struggling with balancing these things I encourage you to set a fairly rigid schedule (maybe even based on the above) and stick to it for a while. Turn off your computer, create a work-only account on your computer (and log out of it), stop your work email going to your phone: whatever you need to do to get happy, balanced and productive (in that order). Good luck!