2006-10-18 23:45 in /life/telecommuting
Switching to full-time telecommuting is a big change; in physical setup, in daily rhythms, and in personal interactions. I imagine it will take a while to really get good at it. I’m learning some lessons, though.
Lesson 1: Your RSA token is one of your most important possessions. Know where it is at all times.
I’ve gotten into the habit of just leaving my laptop connected to the VPN most of the time, so I don’t have to constantly dig out my token. But, on Monday morning it had disappeared on me. I could still access my email without it and, of course, make phone calls and IM, but it was still pretty crippling. Of course, clever geeks can work around just about any security system, but it did take until mid-afternoon to arrange a sufficient chain of accounts and SSH tunnels to do it. Overall, maybe not worth the trouble, since IT Support was able to overnight me a new token that arrived early the next morning. At any rate, that new token now lives on my keyring.
I read with interest this discussion on working from home effectively. I realized from the start that I needed to have a fairly fixed schedule, both because of the expectations of my coworkers and the requirements of a family. I’ve been trying to follow something like this:
8:00-9:00 Get up, shower, breakfast
9:00-9:15 Start work, scan email for anything critical
11:30-12:00 Process email
12:00-13:00 Lunch (with family)
13:00-14:00 Read (internet), write, make phone calls
16:30-17:00 Process email
17:00-18:00 Take little one to park
18:00-21:00 Dinner, family time
21:00-22:00 Put little one to bed
22:00-midnight Household tasks, personal projects, read (books)
midnight Go to bed
So far, I’ve been least successful at getting the little one to the park every day, and honestly that one probably needs to be rethought. There’s very few other kids at the park after 5, and after the time change it’ll be getting dark by then anyway. Also, now that it’s started to rain frequently, planning to play outside at a fixed time is something of a doomed enterprise. Possibly once we get her in a pre-school again this will be a moot point if she gets enough outside play there.
The other conspicious absence is exercise. I’m still trying to figure that out. I haven’t been to a yoga class since moving. Amrita is the major Anusara studio in town, but they’re on the other side of the river and if you look at their schedule, it’s a real morning place. The thought of trying to make a 7AM class, when most of the classes at my level are scheduled, is a little daunting. There’s another studio just a couple blocks away that recently started having some Anusara classes, but they are at a pretty basic level. I want to get some more aerobic exercise as well, but I haven’t figured out where to fit that in either. Do I get up earlier, or do I figure out some way to get that exercise at night?