Me at Work

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

May 17, 2011

Eating lunch.

Image by alexis22578 via Flickr

This post is for Kristina who commented that she would like to see a more elaborate post of me at work.This post will represent a mix of both the hoped for norm (now currently served twice a week) and the norm.

Wake up at 4:15am, make the husbands lunch. Wish the husband off well, make coffee, make mine and Levi‘s lunch. This time usually takes between 30 minutes and an hour depending on how much puttering on the Internet I do.

At 5:00am wake up Levi, turn the TV on, set out banana for his breakfast. Ask him if he’d like a banana or yogurt. Get workout bag prepped with towel, flip flops, make up bag, and wrinkle-proof work clothes. Get Levi’s going-to-school bag ready with a few extra changes of clothes and his lunch. Prep my lunch bag that also doubles as snacks-for-Levi-in-the-car bag. If you have any hints on some chewy but not noisy kids bars (from Azure), please let me know.

At 5:30pm check on kiddo, try again to wake him up. This time leaving on the light, giving him more kisses. On good days he would have woken up on his own at 4:45am. Jump in shower.

Notice I haven’t had my coffee or my breakfast. I like to have eggs at this stage and pack oatmeal in brown sugar with raisins for work, for after the work out.Hopefully Levi has gotten up whilst I was showering.

Leave the house between 6:30am and 6:45am. This is a flexible time with the best time leaving the house, thus far in this new pattern, being 6:47am. We take the northern route to avoid most traffic. As long as there hasn’t been any land slides or train derailments, it’s a good ride. Fewer cars means less stress, means a more manageable ride to work.

Between 7:00am and 7:15am, drop off kiddo at school. Put his items away: water bottle on table, sheet and blanket and rabbit in cubby, coat and bag on hook, lunch in kitchen, kiddo in the drop-off-the-kids-before-school-really-starts classroom.

Arrive at work, signal arrival to co-worker/gym-accountability partner. Work out for an hour and 15 minutes including getting ready for work.

Arrive to work. Drink coffee portioned out in adult-sized sippy cup otherwise known as a travel mug. Remove items from bag. Planner to the left, files up and right or left, pending need. Tuck bags under desk, remove oatmeal and food items that need to be refrigerated. Make oatmeal, return to desk. Log onto computer.

Open planner, change date. If it’s a Monday, mark next Monday three-weeks out with clear page finder. Assess appointments, make task list. Check coworker calendars. Check email. Browse through email for missing tasks.

Work Snapshot

Work Snapshot. A snapshot of how my "virtual" work space normally looks.

Begin day.

The day includes an assortment of things like getting items done on the task list which includes writing, making appointments, arranging events, data entry, mailing, making copies, sitting in meetings. I’ll peck away at my task list, get interrupted, adjust the task list, and go on. I keep a lot of things in my head (input strength), although I certainly have my limits. It’s great that there is a lot of cross-meetings to help keep people on top of things. Occasionally, I even remind people of where they need to be.

If it’s Tuesday, we’ll have Lunch Club, where a group of people agree to make a meal a week for those who participate. This is a good social time and allows some fun food creativity. After lunch, I resume the task list.

I never used to be so task oriented. It started several years ago, really back in high school, and morphed into its current form through trial and error and being introduced to Franklin Covey. They have a good handle on what works and some nice tips on how to frame your day. Encouraging, the whole way, to plan your day so you control the controllables and set yourself to manage interruptions gracefully.

When the day is done, I put everything away, restart the computer, and pack up my bags. I collect the kiddo, which takes about 20 minutes, and then we head home, usually going back the way we came. He will ask for an assortment of snacks which will either be answered with here are your two choices or I’m sorry I don’t have anything else.

End the portion of the day where it’s “Me at work.” Now begins the “Me at home” where the next tasks include making dinner, doing laundry, reading and putting the kiddo to bed.

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  1. Olivia

    GEEEEEZZZZEeeEEEE… you said you were waking up god awfully early… wow! That IS early! Holy cow! Good on you!

    • Michelle

      I really dislike waking up at that time. 5am is like sleeping in!!! And, that’s crazy talk! I made Peter’s lunch last night, and will in a moment, so I can sleep in until 5:30am tomorrow (and today). 🙂

  2. Laura

    You wake up at 4:15!! What time do you go to bed? Early, I hope. I don’t usually wake up until 7:00 or 7:30 on workdays. When I have an early flight and have to wake up at 5, I feel ill and out of it the rest of the day. And, whenever I’ve tried to exercise before 9:30, my heart races and my muscles are stiff. I don’t know how you do it!

    • Michelle

      Given a choice, I prefer to wake up at 5am. Or 8:30am, like today when no alarms were set. Well that was the get out of bed time, not the wake up time. But, yes, on days when Peter rides his bike into work, I get up at 4:15am. I don’t go to bed early enough (I *should go to bed no later than 10pm those nights), so it’s not a good relationship. Me and getting up that early. AND, I *love* working out before work. It just frames my day so well. BUT Levi hasn’t been getting up early enough, and I’m loathe to force him to wake up because mornings are MUCH better when he wakes up on his own. So, that day was a snapshot, and it’s a constant … balance.

  3. Kristina

    I’m finally catching up on yer blog, thanks for this! I’m sure you’ve thought of this, but could you gain some time (for whatever) by eliminating your pre-workout shower? Not that its any of my business….

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