Monday, October 1, 2007

8 Hour Days--What I Learned About Myself

So it's been two weeks of my "work 8 hour days" goal and so far it's been going pretty good. I'm going to continue it this week, which should mean that it becomes a habit. We'll see. I do like being productive, but somehow eight hours does seem a bit much.
I mean...OK when I was a teacher, I would put in a good 8 hours of work. It was hard. But there was a bit of down-time. A bit of playing with the kids, a bit of after school chatting with teachers and so on. That makes actual work time a bit less...maybe 6-7 hours (and on Wednesdays I got to go home at 2.). Before that, I worked in technical support and my actual working time was almost zero. I'm not even joking when I say that I might have worked about one hour out of the nine hours that I was there (Alas, this company was acquired and eventually everyone was laid off, so don't ask for a job there...). Somehow, despite this, I was able to pull off the image that I was one of their best employees. Those were the days...
So it's actually quite hard for me to literally work a full 8 hours. Anyway, here are a few things I've learned about myself:

  • I work better by using time limits blocked out for different activities than I do by setting activity goals.
  • I can get a lot of work done in just an hour if I actually put my mind to it.
  • Brainstorming is quite effective. A few times, I've set aside some time for brainstorming and it makes the rest of the task much easier.
  • If I don't get an early start, it won't get done. It's funny how eight hours is eight hours whether you're talking 9-5 or 1-9. But there's just something about getting half the day's work done before noon that makes ya feel good. Two days I woke up unexpectedly late and by the time I had my breakfast and checked email and so on, it was past noon. These days were horribly unproductive for me.
  • Exercise at home is a great solution. I've had problems in the past where I can either focus on a serious exercise program and then the rest of my life falls out of whack and I become seriously unproductive. Or I can kick ass in the productivity department, and not at all feel like exercising. This past week I was able to balance by doing exercising at home. My husband and I are doing Power 90x. It's strange because the actual time spent working out is sometimes longer than if I went out for a jog and came home. But the feeling is somehow much different.

Well, those are the things I can think of so far. I'm going to try to keep it up because I do like feeling productive....