Shifting Hours

I’ve been bad at blogging lately.

For a while, I was complaining that I was frequently bored at work and had nothing to do. And while that is, unfortunately, still often true, I do have a pretty huge deadline for a project I’ve been putting a ton of time into looming on Tuesday. Things are mostly done, and I’m not too worried, but looming deadlines on group projects mean a lot of meetings, and this project is definitely not an exception.

The good news is I really like meetings because they a) give me an opportunity to get to know other people, b) pretty much always help me learn something new, and c) are generally where I get opportunities to volunteer for work and then am less bored because I have things to do.

The bad news is the people I’ve been in these meetings with are in a variety of time zones, which means a lot of late meetings for people like me for are in EST.

When I first started my manager told me I could choose my own hours. Because I wanted to try my hand at being a morning person, and wanted to make sure that I had time to run after work before it got dark, I decided to aim to get to the office between 7:15 and 7:45 am most days, which (because I don’t take a lunch) means I generally get to leave between 3:15 and 3:45 pm.

However, with all of these meetings with people in other time zones, the past two weeks I’ve had several days where I’ve had to stay later. I’ve had 4:00 pm meetings two or three times per week, one or two 5:00 pm meetings, and even one 6:00 pm meeting as well as a quick status check I had to be available for at 9:00 pm. Because I’ve set the stage for being at work early in the morning, and I like having that time (before anyone else gets to the office) to get through my email and get any quiet, reading or thinking tasks done, I don’t want to adjust my schedule to start later. And that means really long work days.

While I do have the ability to flex my time, so a ten-hour work day on Monday and Tuesday means I can have two six-hour work days on Wednesday and Thursday, it’s still pretty rough to be at work for ten hours straight. And when I get home from that long of a day, I struggle to motivate myself to do things I would otherwise normally do – like go for a run. Especially now that Daylight Savings Time happened and it’s not uncommon for it to be dark when I get home.

Then in addition to that, I just have overall less time. If I get home at 6:00 pm instead of 4:00 pm, even if I don’t go for a run, I generally spend about 30-45 minutes hanging out with my cats, checking my email, and doing other basic tasks. Then there’s another hour or more for making and eating dinner, and another hour or so after that working on getting through my nutrition certification course. So by the time I finish all of these things, it’s 9:30 pm and I’m already starting to get tired. Because working long days also means I’m a lot more tired, even if I sleep.

Then I spend another 45 minutes or so planning my breakfast, lunch, and snack options for the following day to make sure I don’t go over my calorie limit but can still eat like six times a day, because being bored at work means I convince myself I’m hungry and want to eat more often, and by the time I’ve planned and prepared the next day’s food it’s essentially time to go to bed.

Ultimately this is just a really extensive list of excuses why I haven’t been blogging much lately. But it’s also a reflection on the fact that, if I continue having a lot of projects with people in different time zones, I may have to consider switching up my hours (not ideal) or will have to get better at motivating myself to get stuff done after a long day (not easy).

And don’t worry – today will be a day of three blog posts and then I will be all caught up on the ones that I’ve missed. So they may be coming late, but they’re still coming! Because adult. (And accountability!)

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