Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Changes in Lassitude, Changes in Attitude

 

Isolation hasn’t been too bad down here. Monroe County, FL, is (last time I checked) still in the low single digits for COVID-19 victims. A couple of the cases can be directly attributed to people from up north who decided to escape their domiciles in high-risk areas and fled to the Keys already infected. Awesome. Thanks.

On Friday, 27 March, Monroe County is establishing a no-entry rule. If you don’t live or work down here, you’ll be turned around. If you work down here but don’t live here, you’ll have to undergo a nominal screening and then be allowed to pass. It’s not, I assess, to overly protect from infection, although I’m sure that’s part of it. We have been blessedly light in that regard. Instead, it’s the people from the greater Miami area coming down here to load up on supplies after their Miami environs have been sucked dry. On a daily basis, the toilet paper preppers, the red meat ransackers, and the fresh produce pillagers descend upon us like locusts and strip the grocery stores bare. Long-suffering smiles of welcome are wearing a bit thin.

My whole work-from-home gig is in tread-water mode — not because there’s no work to do, but because there are a raft of decisions that need to be made by higher before I can do it.

Without the structure of my workplace (and waiting to have a whole lot more to do), I’m slowly beginning to impose order on my day. Wake-up time is immutable. Every day it’s a race between the dogs and me to get up first, mostly for the pleasure of rousing the other still sleeping carbon life forms from their slumber (none of said life forms try this silliness with the Lovely and Talented Mrs. Mongo; survival instinct runs strong in the house). Also unchanging is the wake-up work-out/dog-walking routine.

Whoever wakes up first, the dogs start politicking to go out ASAP while I throw clothes and shoes on. Then I gently foot-scoot the dogs out of the way of the front door, walk out to my wee little 3×6 workout mat (actually, a piece of industrial rubber flooring from Home Depot) and rip out one, maybe two sun salutations. I’m more of a “root the pose” guy than I am a “flow through the poses” guy. Water flows, Mongo not so much. After that, I hit my first 10-20-30.

Ten pull-ups, 20 push-ups, 30 Hindu squats. After iteration one, I take Leia (the most ADHD German Shepherd Dog evah) on her walk. Get back, throw her in the house, and knock out another 10-20-30. Then I walk Conrad, the Cannonball Pit. Finish with him, put him up and hit the 3rd 10-20-30. The first yoga and 10-20-30 are to give the sun the time to at least think about starting to rise. The dogs do better (i.e., get their business done quicker) if there’s light. And it gives me the chance to start thinking about being able to walk. Also, lest it sound like I’m trying to sell tickets as a beau-hunk stud muffin nifty rad exerciser, please know that I can no longer do regular vertical pull-ups. For a while, I could make do using gymnast rings, so that my grips let me work around my trashed shoulder(s). Now it’s more like pull-ups with a TRX strap, heels on the ground, start position at about 30 degrees.

After that, though, I’m on my own. I’m trying to do some writing. Trying to do at least an hour a day of Spanish-language training. (More difficult, once they close the traffic from Miami. Heh.) Definitely staying in robust contact with my home unit and international peers. I’ve got three WhatsApp feeds that keep me in touch with the other planners and international participants. Being such a tech dynamo, I had no idea until just recently that pictures from WhatsApp are downloaded to my phone. Let’s just say that some of my down-range brethren send stuff regularly that the Lovely and Talented Mrs. Mongo would find blatantly unacceptable.

“But, Honey, this pic was pushed to me from the deepest, darkest region of the Amazon River basin” would not be considered a viable defense for a capital offense. So I get to spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning inappropriate material out of my phone. I started doing this after I told my beautiful bride what I’d be fiddling with on the phone. Last thing I need is to get busted out while huddling nervously over the phone. “Me? Nothing, honey. Just, uh, checking my phone…” Yeah. Since she has my passwords and PINs for everything, that could have catastrophic effects.

I know a whole lot of Ricochetti who are a whole lot smarter than I work from home. So as a newb, I’m asking: what are the techniques you use to impose order on your Homefront workday? Timed schedule vs. in-order tasks/accomplishments? Drive through per task or move on once it gets to be onerous? Inquiring minds want to know. Well, I do, anyway.

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  1. GrannyDude Member

    I don’t know, Boss. That sounds pretty good already.

    My schedule is as follows: 

    Wake up. 

    Watch blearily as husband extracts himself from bed, puts something on, and makes agreeable noises to the dogs and daughter

    Fret pointlessly about whatever.

    Get cheered up by the sound of the coffee grinder.

    Wait until said husband (or sometimes daughter) brings me my coffee.

    Fret a bit more while waiting. Vow to get some exercise.

    Once the coffee has arrived, I sit up—in a position that would cause my physical therapist to blanche—and check the news and whatnot on my phone.

    Dash off a quick, provocative e-mail to liberal relatives, with lots of references to Wuhan Hoo-Hah. 

    Around 9 am, declare that I really ought to get up and at ’em. 

    Around 10am arise and get dressed. Eat something.

    Recall that I am committed to the production of faux-surgical masks. Repair to my studio.

    3 p.m. appear in the kitchen, inquiring as to whether anyone else has had lunch? Eat some cheese and an apple. Grab a beer for later.

    5 p.m. Drink beer. stitching on faux-surgical masks starts to get a little wonky.

    7 p.m. appear in the kitchen to find husband and daughter making some incredible meal while Top Chef blares on the telly.

    7:02 pm watch “Elementary” with husband and daughter. Critique all police actions as inaccurate and/or an obvious violation of the 4th amendment which will get the case thrown out of court.

    8:30 loudly assert that I should really take a bath.

    10 pm take a bath

    10:30 pm get into bed, still dressed, because I want to read

    11;30 pm wake up and stagger to the bathroom to brush my teeth. While brushing, I vow to myself that tomorrow, I will exercise. 

    11:45 sleep. 

    lather, rinse, repeat.

    It actually doesn’t sound that crazy, now that I’ve written it down…

     

    • #1
    • March 25, 2020, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  2. Doug Watt Moderator
    1. Get out of the rack at 0630 hours.
    2.  Make coffee.
    3.  Check Ricochet.
    4. Exercise
    5. Lie down on the couch till the thought of exercising passes.
    • #2
    • March 25, 2020, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  3. RightAngles Member

    When I first started working from home, I was confused and directionless for a while. I mean all of a sudden I didn’t seem to have a reason to get dressed or wear makeup, so I went around the house in sweatpants for a few months, once in a while stepping into my studio to draw, then getting distracted and wandering around the house some more, not sure what I was supposed to be doing. I finally realized since nobody was there to tell me what to do. it was up to me to make myself do it. I started getting up and acting like I had to go to work (because I did, even if my commute was from the bedroom down the hall to my home studio). I followed the same routine I had before. Take a shower, put on makeup, dry my hair, put on clothes, and I don’t mean sweatpants, and go to the office.

    It made me feel more organized, and it made me institute an actual workday schedule.

    • #3
    • March 25, 2020, at 2:41 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  4. Nick H Coolidge

    Boss Mongo: What are the techniques you use to impose order on your Homefront workday?

    What is this “order” you speak of? I vaguely recall something like that when I worked from home in the past, but now that everyone is home with me it’s more of an attempt to be the rock in the stream and let the chaos flow around me. Probably because I’m doing my job + tech support for my wife as she tries to keep connected with her students + helping with the home schooling for the twins. 

    • #4
    • March 25, 2020, at 2:57 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. RightAngles Member

    Another pitfall: Sometimes you have to make yourself stop working. It’s hard, especially for me since my work is fun and I’d do it for free (don’t tell them that), and because you’re always kind of there. I mean the office is right there in front of you. It isn’t like you leave the workplace and put it behind you and take a train home. It’s just always there, and you think, Oh I just had this idea so I think I’ll just draw it real quick, and the next thing you know it’s 10pm and you never stopped working all day.

    • #5
    • March 25, 2020, at 3:07 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Sometimes you have to make yourself stop working.

    I’ll be on the lookout that pitfall.

    • #6
    • March 25, 2020, at 3:13 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Judge Mental Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Another pitfall: Sometimes you have to make yourself stop working. It’s hard, especially for me since my work is fun and I’d do it for free (don’t tell them that), and because you’re always kind of there. I mean the office is right there in front of you. It isn’t like you leave the workplace and put it behind you and take a train home. It’s just always there, and you think, Oh I just had this idea so I think I’ll just draw it real quick, and the next thing you know it’s 10pm and you never stopped working all day.

    I didn’t even have a separate office. I worked sitting in my comfy chair in font of the TV. And yeah, if I was awake I was liable to be working. But I don’t know about this whole showering every day thing.

    Maybe I’m not the best model to follow.

    • #7
    • March 25, 2020, at 3:18 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve still been going in to work at my day job every day.

    And since the show I was rehearsing got cancelled the same day my gym had to close, the plan was to use my newfound time at home each night to deep clean the apartment and clear a space to do that “stretch and squat” kinda stuff you mentioned.

    But I decided instead to give myself at least one week to mourn . . . (my show, my savings, my shuttered local bodega), so there have been a lot of cocktail hours here on the east coast that started at 5pm Pacific.

    Gotta get serious now and start putting these extra evening hours to better use, because I’ll be very annoyed with me, if my apartment’s still a mess when this whole thing is over.

     

    • #8
    • March 25, 2020, at 4:30 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. John H. Inactive
    John H. Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve been working from home for years and while it did take some adjusting-to, I do have a routine and it is inflexible. Get up at 5:20 AM; bacon and eggs; in the saddle for a 9.3-mile ride; at the laptop from 7:30 to 4; then another ride, of 10.6 miles. Then a sundowner! Or two. 

    • #9
    • March 25, 2020, at 5:19 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wow.

    I’d volunteer to run the Deathstar solo, if they’d give me a horse to ride to work.

    • #10
    • March 25, 2020, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. Scott Rarden Member

    Did an extended stretch of working from home a few years ago.

    1. Do not put your home office in the bedroom. Even if you don’t really have a good space for it. DO NOT DO IT. I know that should be a no brainer, but there are dumbheads like me who don’t have brains, and end up having to look for a job in an office so you can keep putting food on the table.
    2. Do not put your home office in the kitchen. Even if you don’t really have a good space for it. DO NOT DO IT. Yes, I am, as mentioned before, a complete idiot. I expect to need a forklift to get out of here after this current work from home is lifted.

    Some of use are just better people when we have someone yelling at us to exercise. Hats off to retired Lieutenant Colonel Allen West for spending way too much time kicking my ass decades ago until he got tired of it and booted me out of ROTC – when he said it hurt him more than it hurt me, I’m sure that was true. And some of use are just better people when we are working in an office where someone could pop in unexpectedly and ask you what the hell you are working on.

    It’s good to know your strengths and weaknesses. I’ll let you figure out which ones I’ve got a better handle on.

    • #11
    • March 25, 2020, at 5:40 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  12. kelsurprise, drama queen Member
    kelsurprise, drama queen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Scott Rarden (View Comment):

    • Do not put your home office in the bedroom.
    • Do not put your home office in the kitchen.

    I live in a studio apartment. It’s basically a very large bedroom . . . with a kitchen on one wall.

    I think I’ll just keep going in to the office.

    • #12
    • March 25, 2020, at 5:48 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  13. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    @scottrarden, good advice. I’ve got a room that is unused by anyone but me, with a pretty fair office set up. I don’t have a desk, but am making pretty good use of a pub table.

    Scott Rarden (View Comment):
    Hats off to retired Lieutenant Colonel Allen West for spending way too much time kicking my ass decades ago until he got tired of it and booted me out of ROTC – when he said it hurt him more than it hurt me, I’m sure that was true.

    I never got to do a ROTC gig, but my line was usually, “This is going to hurt you way more than it does me. The Army’s a game; it’s called ‘you lose.'”

    Or, another favorite:

    I’m a touchy-feely kind of leader. That means I touch, you feel.

    (Uh, meant in a ballistic sort of way, not an icky sort of way)

    • #13
    • March 25, 2020, at 6:36 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  14. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    I’m a touchy-feely kind of leader. That means I touch, you feel.

    (Uh, meant in a ballistic sort of way, not an icky sort of way)

    You’re already on report.

    • #14
    • March 25, 2020, at 6:51 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. Scott Rarden Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    @scottrarden, good advice. I’ve got a room that is unused by anyone but me, with a pretty fair office set up. I don’t have a desk, but am making pretty good use of a pub table.

    Scott Rarden (View Comment):
    Hats off to retired Lieutenant Colonel Allen West for spending way too much time kicking my ass decades ago until he got tired of it and booted me out of ROTC – when he said it hurt him more than it hurt me, I’m sure that was true.

    I never got to do a ROTC gig, but my line was usually, “This is going to hurt you way more than it does me. The Army’s a game; it’s called ‘you lose.’”

    Or, another favorite:

    I’m a touchy-feely kind of leader. That means I touch, you feel.

    (Uh, meant in a ballistic sort of way, not an icky sort of way)

    Being college students and some off-beat version of almost civilians, they weren’t really allowed to go ballistic on us in that sense. But they still somehow got their point across. There was one pint-sized skinny master sergeant who scared the heck out of me. If he looked at me I suddenly found a new burst of energy and enthusiasm in the hopes that he would look at someone else. I think that was really the key point in ROTC for those of us low speed high drag individuals – don’t want to fly too high and get volunteered for stuff, but don’t want to drop too low and get noticed that way either. Always keep someone in between you and the bear.

    Just cause you didn’t learn the right lessons doesn’t mean you didn’t learn any lessons! :)

    • #15
    • March 25, 2020, at 7:24 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    I had a home office for years . Most important of all were deadlines for various tasks. 

    • #16
    • March 25, 2020, at 8:08 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. RightAngles Member

    kelsurprise, drama queen (View Comment):

    … there have been a lot of cocktail hours here on the east coast that started at 5pm Pacific.

    It’s like my dad always said: “Well, the sun is over the yardarm SOMEWHERE in the world.”

    • #17
    • March 25, 2020, at 9:33 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    kelsurprise, drama queen (View Comment):

    … there have been a lot of cocktail hours here on the east coast that started at 5pm Pacific.

    It’s like my dad always said: “Well, the sun is over the yardarm SOMEWHERE in the world.”

    My grandfather had a sign saying “Somewhere in the world, the sun is just under the yardarm” with a mast, yardarm, and a setting sun over his bar. I inherited it.

    • #18
    • March 26, 2020, at 4:29 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Percival (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    kelsurprise, drama queen (View Comment):

    … there have been a lot of cocktail hours here on the east coast that started at 5pm Pacific.

    It’s like my dad always said: “Well, the sun is over the yardarm SOMEWHERE in the world.”

    My grandfather had a sign saying “Somewhere in the world, the sun is just under the yardarm” with a mast, yardarm, and a setting sun over his bar. I inherited it.

    Somehow, I’m channeling Sam Elliot’s voice: Beer. It’s what’s for breakfast.

    • #19
    • March 26, 2020, at 5:59 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. Al French of Damascus Moderator

    kelsurprise, drama queen (View Comment):

    I’ve still been going in to work at my day job every day.

    And since the show I was rehearsing got cancelled the same day my gym had to close, the plan was to use my newfound time at home each night to deep clean the apartment and clear a space to do that “stretch and squat” kinda stuff you mentioned.

    But I decided instead to give myself at least one week to mourn . . . (my show, my savings, my shuttered local bodega), so there have been a lot of cocktail hours here on the east coast that started at 5pm Pacific.

    Gotta get serious now and start putting these extra evening hours to better use, because I’ll be very annoyed with me, if my apartment’s still a mess when this whole thing is over.

     

    • #20
    • March 26, 2020, at 12:42 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  21. MeandurΦ Member
    MeandurΦ Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kelsurprise, drama queen (View Comment):

    Scott Rarden (View Comment):

    • Do not put your home office in the bedroom.
    • Do not put your home office in the kitchen.

    I live in a studio apartment. It’s basically a very large bedroom . . . with a kitchen on one wall.

    I think I’ll just keep going in to the office.

    Bathroom.

    • #21
    • March 26, 2020, at 3:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. MeandurΦ Member
    MeandurΦ Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve worked from home for years as well. Having a separate room is essential.

    Wife works from home as well. For that you need separate phones as well, and hi speed internet.

    • #22
    • March 26, 2020, at 3:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes