My actual lockdown routine – the weekday

A short while ago I posted a video in which I mentioned some of the elements of my daily ‘stay sane’ routine. Today, I am going to share quite a bit more detail with you. I am hoping to accomplish two goals while I share it:

  1. Burn an hour or two productively by writing this post
  2. Cheer you up and remind you that you are not alone in your struggles

You can watch the video here if you like. If you don’t keep scrolling.

My working day is probably the most settled in terms of an actual routine. It goes like this:

I unofficially wake up around 5.45am when my ginger cat decides that it’s time to disturb me by pawing (lovingly) at my face, opens the wardrobe door and starts pulling out the drawers or knocks down a plant or two from a shelf somewhere. I love him and his sister regardless of the morning shenanigans.

I then officially wake up at 6.30am and spend solid 30 minutes in bed scrolling through the news, tiktok, personal emails, Instagram and anything else I can find to delay actually starting my day. I cut that c*ap at 7am, roll out of bed, make said bed and send myself off to the bathroom to get ready. I clean my cats’ litter on the way there.

I emerge from the bathroom, clean and dressed around 7.25-7.30am and head down for breakfast. I am a miserable b*tch in the mornings so my boyfriend naturally avoids me, smart man. The cats don’t know any better, so we do a little ‘don’t step on me human’ dance in the kitchen while I make something to eat trying to avoid tripping over them. They have already eaten, but they just want to hang out.

I take my breakfast into the living room around 7.40am and consume it over the next 20 minutes while listening to BBC World Service headlines through Amazon Echo. I sometimes have an actual conversation with my boyfriend too, either about the news or some logistical matter to do with food or life in general.

I finish eating by 8.10am, take my crockery and cutlery into the kitchen and put them into the dishwasher. While I am at it, I make a second cup of tea, clean the kitchen and more often than not, start the dishwasher.

With my second cup of tea I sit on the sofa and ponder the world gloomily until about 8.30am, then I go back to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I am now awake and unexpectedly friendly. I switch my work laptop on.

I start actual work anywhere between 8.40 and 9am, from my dining room table. I will then occasionally rotate to the sofa or the floor because £10 Ikea chair I sit on is not exactly the perfect desk chair.

My work schedule is simple – 9.00-9.30am is for email, 9.30-11.00am is for project huddles, scrums and catch ups, 11.00am-12.30pm is for other meetings. I break for lunch at 12.30pm and return online at 1.30pm. I spend the hour either making and eating my lunch, or if already made, hopping out for a long walk away from local parks (don’t trust your neighbours to stick to social distancing when you enter the park, you’ll have to do it for yourself). Sometimes if the weather is bad, I do a spot of reading on the sofa instead. I try to squeeze in a 5 minute chat with my boyfriend too, just to make sure he forgets my morning ars*hole attitude and instead remembers that I am a loving, adorable human being, just not before 9am.

I try to avoid after-lunch work meetings and instead focus on answering emails, planning projects and general non-face to face work. And by face to face I mean video calls. I try to be done with the deliverables by 5.15pm and spend the last 15 minutes of my workday planning for tomorrow, checking what meetings I am needed for, recording my time for work completed and generally wrapping up for the day.

Once I am away from the computer for the day, I spend 15 or 20 minutes playing with the cats and chatting to the boyfriend. I then move onto making a light dinner. I tend to eat around 6.30pm right now. During my commute this would have been more like 7.30pm and I like the earlier time more.

Following the dinner, I either spend the evening watching YouTube or Netflix while the boyfriend plays Xbox, or we spend it together watching a show or a film. Occasionally I swap YouTube for doing some paid work such as completing surveys or writing freelance articles. I make an active effort to avoid alcohol during the week, my days aren’t quite as bad as to need to take the edge of them in any way.

If you are looking for any clues as to when I exercise aside from the lunchtime walk, good luck, I don’t. Unlike what social media is trying to have us believe, not everyone is made for indoor exercise. Honestly, I find it somewhat unbearable to exercise at home.

The evening is usually wrapped up by a shower around 9pm, another round of cleaning the cat’s litter, a spot of reading and bedtime around 10.30pm. I then spend 30 minutes in bed having a waking nightmare thinking about nothing and everything while my boyfriend snoozes peacefully next to me, before I fall asleep. Despite the 30-minute mind racer which I am now starting to actively banish, I sleep really quite well.

I’ll tell you about the weekend routine in the next article.

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