January 4, 2021

Interstitial Journal: First Day Back at Work

Yesterday I wrote about how I’m attempting to start a whole load of new habits in one go, but that I was nervous about whether they would stick once I was back at work.

I planned out a target day’ to make sure I’d be able to fit in the main habits I am trying to adopt as well as a full day of work. This was the plan:

  • 06:30 Wake up, do Tabata
  • 07:00 Make breakfast, do morning chores. Process emails.
  • 07:30 Write
  • 09:00 Start work
  • 11:30 Break for lunch. Take a walk. Listen to audiobook
  • 13:00 More work
  • 15:00 Break. Life admin. Read the internet / watch YouTube
  • 15:30 More work
  • 18:30 Make dinner. Eat dinner. Relax / watch TV
  • 19:30 Write
  • 21:00 Read, wind down
  • 22:00 Bed

I have never really successfully time-blocked my day like this before, but I actually really enjoyed it! I spent way less time procrastinating, I felt I had clear goals to accomplish in each block, I got my work done more efficiently, and I made progress on my personal goals/habits.

I didn’t stick to the plan exactly - but I was prepared for this. I knew I’d be tempted to throw out the whole thing once I deviated, so I consciously told myself it was ok to go off track and that I should just get back on as soon as possible, and document it in my interstitial journal so that I can get better calibrated at how long things take.

The main thing I miscalculated was how long I’d need to process my emails in the morning. I ended up not doing the morning writing session and instead spent the whole time getting my inbox and Asana tasks in order. In hindsight, I should have realized it would take longer than usual due to coming back after a break. Otherwise, I’m pretty pleased with how it went.

Here is my interstitial journal, lightly edited, demonstrating how I actually spent my day:

  • 07:04 Just finished Tabata, now doing emails. Tried sock bun in hair overnight - curls came out quite well, hopefully better with practice.
  • 07:52 Just finished processing emails
  • 08:10 Now planning my week in Asana / Google Calendar
  • 08:57 Got dressed, ate breakfast - peanut butter and grapes on toast. Tried to put articles into Read Later in Notion but looks like all my other ones have disappeared?! Need to investigate.
  • 09:50 Finished call with [redacted]. Responded to some emails. Quick break before cyber deep dive
  • 11:03 Just finished cyber deep dive. Some afternoon meetings have been taken down so I can stick to my walk and lunch schedule after all. Got half an hour now to get through some Asana tasks. Turns out Notion was down for everyone, phew!
  • 11:14 Just finished putting update in agenda doc for [redacted] meeting
  • 11:19 Just got back to [redacted] about mentorship
  • 11:27 Sent the AI summit invite to comms. Going to quickly check personal emails then have lunch / walk
  • 12:51 Just got back from walk. Listened to podcast. Bought groceries. Got fancy coffee from Starbucks
  • 13:05 Been looking at savory chicken soup’ flavor protein powder. Would that be good? Starting work again now.
  • 14:57 Just finished work block. Rearranged all recurring meetings so that I have 3pm onwards for deep work each day.
  • 15:02 On break. Took Beyond meatballs out to defrost. Opened amazon parcels. Hair dye arrived!
  • 15:38 Finished break. Ordered the savory protein powder. Watched some YouTube.
  • 16:15 Just finished reading some articles and drafting monthly email update
  • 17:26 Finished 1-1 with [redacted]. Going to start cooking dinner.
  • 18:40 Finished dinner. Watched Upload - quite good, like Black Mirror. Now going to tidy and relax
  • 18:52 Going to dye hair
  • 19:19 Just finished putting hair dye in. Now I wait. Going to work on my 100 tips” piece
  • 19:45 Going to wash out hair dye. Should leave it for longer really but I am impatient today
  • 20:32 It’s quite orange
  • 20:52 Too tired to finish 100 tips” piece. Looking through notes for other writing ideas. Ugh all feel overwhelming. Maybe I should just write about feeling tired and overwhelmed. Oh I could write about how the first day back at work went
  • 21:57 Finished blog post. Going to publish it, then bed.