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.