How to survive and even thrive working from home

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Not Just Another ‘My Working-From-Home Routine’ Blog

Look at us! Living through a global pandemic. Incredible! I can say with absolute certainty that this was not, I repeat not, on my list of 2020 New Year’s resolutions! But here we are: living, surviving, and thriving (maybe).

Initially, when the lockdown began, my routine was all over the place. It was chaos! My sleep schedule was non-existent, my exercise routine collapsed, and the nutritional value of my diet plummeted. Of course, I blame coronavirus for all of this. I had my life together before all this kicked off!

Over time, I eventually got used to this new rhythm of life: national lockdown, limited access to the outdoors, and food shops becoming a monumental highlight in my week.  I have now found some stability in my daily routine, which I can only imagine is keeping me sane in these *buzzword alert* unprecedented times.

Morning

I normally wake up around 6 am for a home workout. I’ve had to get creative with my ‘gym equipment’. I am using a tool bag, filled with all the tools and other objects for some more weight, and a laundry basket, filled with a bag of soil used for my plants. They are far from ideal, but somehow, they do the job.

The workday begins every day at 9 am with a video call with the rest of the team. At first, I was really annoyed with this forced start to the day because there is no way to hide from it. We’re all at home, and we’re all working, we’re all on that call…every…single…working…day. However, it quickly began an important piece of structure in my day. It forces me to get out of bed, it forces me to get out of my pyjamas, and it forces me to look somewhat presentable. All things I am grateful for!

I spend most of the morning working on solutions for clients. Right now, that is mostly working on our Intelligent Forecasting Platform, which allows us to unlock the hidden potential in our clients data using the latest machine learning algorithms.

At 10:30 am on the dot, an alarm will go off on my phone reminding me to take a break. I really needed to set an alarm on my phone because I find it way too easy to just work non-stop, through lunch, and even after-hours. It’s too much! I normally use this break to write in my journal, which helps me clear my head, and water my plants, which I am definitely overdoing right now. I’m sorry plants!

After I finish drowning my plants for the day, I finish the morning with more work on deliverables. I like to mix things up during the day to keep things spicy so I would work on some outputs for new clients. Surprisingly, the global pandemic has not slowed down the work Oakland is winning. If anything, it has sped it up! Because of this, there is plenty of new work to stick my teeth into.

At midday, another alarm goes off, signalling time for lunch. Due to the recent changes in government guidelines, I like to spend my lunches outside. It allows me much needed time outside the flat, time away from my flatmate, and time away from screens. Who knew that we could spend too much time looking at screens?

Afternoon

Once I get back from lunch, I will start the afternoon with some business development. This normally involves working on technical blogs, articles, and presentations. Due to everyone working from home, we have upped our game in terms of giving virtual presentations. Virtual presentations are great for reaching larger audiences, particularly when we can’t gather in person, but they don’t allow you to read (or even see) the room. It’s a different form of knowledge transfer that we are all adapting to.

Then, at 3 pm, yet another alarm goes off. This is the final break for the day. I use this time to read something not related to work, which helps me clear my head and re-focus, and probably clean my room. It doesn’t need to be cleaned but it’s something to do!

For the rest of the working day, I like to focus on learning and development. This is time for me to develop technical and non-technical skills. Currently, I am working towards an AWS certification in Machine Learning. Shout out to everyone who can stay motivated to study for an exam during a global pandemic. We are going to get through all of this!

Finally, at 5 pm, the last and final alarm goes off! I’m getting better at closing the laptop at 5 but sometimes it’s tough, especially when you’re in the zone and the work is just flowing. Speaking of flowing, I need to water my plants!

This is my daily routine working from home. It is constantly changing but has enough structure to keep me sane while also preventing me from burning out. Of course, there is no playbook on how to deliver top quality work while living through a global pandemic but hopefully, through sharing our routines and tips we have discovered, we can all help each other find ways to live, survive, and even thrive.

Kevin Minors, Data Scientist

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