20:11

Phew! It’s officially April.

What a crazy month of March!

It has been a strange transitioning period for many who are now working from home, for those unable to see family and friends, and for those unable to buy basic necessities.

After my previous post about my company lock down, my manager asked me to work from home – not a standard 7.5 hours a day, but to keep on top of things by checking and replying to emails. While at first I saw it as an inconvenience to still have to work from home, I realised that I am much luckier than some of those around me. There are people who cannot make a living because of the nature of their work. They cannot open their shops or restaurants as they rely on social interaction. Some of my colleagues have been furloughed because their work cannot be done from home. While I feel ‘trapped’ because I am limited to where I can go outside, I know that I am blessed to have my health and still able to go on daily walks for exercise.

Getting into a routine – albeit not a strict one – has helped to keep myself in check. I still set a morning alarm to wake up and an evening alarm to remind myself to get ready for bed at a sensible time. Sometimes I get up and go at my alarm and sometimes I give myself some leeway. I make sure to get changed (if only into comfortable lounge clothing) so that I have some semblance of normal life, and to be more productive. I check my emails in the morning after I have breakfast and complete my work going into lunch time. I recently started going for my lunch time walks again (like I usually do on my office lunch breaks) and found I am more productive in the afternoon. For a couple of days my mornings and early afternoons would meld into one, as I quickly ate lunch then rushed back to my work in a bid to ‘finish early’. I realised that this was very unhealthy and was not the kind of working from home routine I wanted. Going for walks/runs helps me to clear my head, stretch my legs and stimulate my brain. It also gives me time to catch up with podcasts and zone out to music.

When I take a slightly longer lunch break I find I am more motivated to do my work in the afternoon, and am less distracted by other things. I try and finish up my work anywhere from 4pm to 6pm, sometimes opting for a longer day so I have a freer next day. Having less limitations is both a blessing and a curse. I find that I don’t clock watch because I know that everything is on my own schedule – if I focus, I can finish earlier. However I do find that I get distracted easily – phone, video calls, watching shows, snacks, reading the news.

It has been just over a week since I was in the office and my concept of time is lacking. The days flow into each other so easily! Without structure it is easy to lose control of yourself in a balance of work and leisure. Self discipline is key in times like these. I implore everyone to stay safe by staying at home, in a hope that things will return to normality soon!

22:09

After a little break away in the sun; I have returned to normality and my usual routine. While being on holiday is normally a time to rest and relax, I have found that my body has not recharged itself until I got back into my routine. The excitement of being on holiday and exploring a new country takes its toll. I found myself getting stressed with planning both before and during the holiday, and ended up waking a lot earlier than planned every day I was away. Amidst long days out and coupled with broken sleep I was left exhausted by the time I hopped on the plane home. Not long after take off I completely knocked out and fell asleep!

After being back to work for a week my body has finally gotten back into my usual sleeping routine. I have managed to get back into swimming after a little hiatus, and also changed my eating habits back from the late Spanish meal times. Change is good every now and again but it is always comforting to come back to a ‘normal’ lifestyle.

22:26

The first week back to work after a holiday is always the hardest. Add in staff illness, throw in a few projects, plus early starts and late finishes due to over time, and you will have one tired employee.

After what seemed like the longest week; I finally have some time to myself. During my working week my evenings are filled with: dinner, social media check, shower, lunch preparation and then an early night. It does not deviate much because this routine keeps me feeling the most refreshed for work the next day. This weekend will be spent recharging before another long week of work.

Current feeling: drained and aching.

21:03

Ever since I started my new job I have gotten a sense of fulfilment that I never felt at my previous job. At this place I feel like I fit in more as well as being much more productive. It also helps that I am good at the tasks set for me. I feel more accomplished and motivated each day; which is something that I did not feel at my previous position.

Working life is not so bad and the routine that comes with it is a pleasant change to irregular sleeping hours and lazy days of student life. This is only the beginning of my busy life and I feel more educated in the ways of the working world now that I have some experience. I hope to continue to be challenged in this arena and to develop myself as a person along the way.

23:38

Settling back into a normal routine after being on holiday has been difficult. The very idea of a routine doesn’t sit well with me. To have a fixed schedule every week is saddening. I like my days to be different and unique, which is why I try and find a new place to explore in Edinburgh every few days. This could be in the form of a new cafe which I have never tried, or a wooded area which I discover on one of my runs, or even a small boutique that I pass on my meanders in town.

These ‘discoveries’ that I make satisfy my need for exploration and fulfil my penchant for learning about new things. Hopefully my university work load will not be so heavy that I cannot explore in the coming months!