Commuting From Home

So I’m overall pretty stoked to be working from home. The reasons why I’m working from home are terrible, but I take my silver linings where I can.

I’m also a person who, in broad strokes, has difficulties with transitions. I like to be operating in a known context for any number of reasons but changing from one context to another is challenging to me.

I’ve known for a while that a bit of physical activity in my communiting helps with that. In good weather I prefer to ride my bike to my office, and even in the winter I do things like get off at earlier stops to walk a bit.

Commuting has been part of how I meet my baseline physical activity needs for several years, and it’s been my primary tool for that purpose for at least two as I’ve taken a break from running for a while and wasn’t making good use of my gym membership either.

To address my physical activity needs, I’ve been taking regular walks with the dog and doing considerably more daily flights of stairs. These are adequate in the short term until it’s warm enough for me to enjoy cycling again.

I hadn’t really considered my mental transition needs though. It’s been a bit of a challenge for the past week or so, but it is also something I’ve struggled with when I’d work from home for a day here and there historically.

A few days ago almost by accident, I opened my laptop in the morning while eating breakfast. This was a breach in the life/work firewall but no more so than reading work Slack in the evenings while noodling around on the computer anyway.

And that day was easier.

It was easier for several reasons, but today I devised the hypothesis that a transitionary period where I’m doing work outside of the basement might be the thing. It’s a soft transition and allows me to gradually shift focus the way I might during a commute. Instead of expecting myself to walk up the stairs and be entirely home focussed I can do otherwise.

I don’t know, as I get to this point and write it out it actually sounds bad. It sounds like a beachhead of boundary issues, not a gentle transition.

Drafting this post was today’s transition and I wonder if this sort of thing is a better task than actual work. Spending some time thinking and writing is a work brain activity but in a non-work context. Maybe that is the secret.

I’m not a hard line kind of person, but routines are crucial and good habits are the only reason I’m able to ever actually get anything done and ultimately the transition that I’m struggling with most is monumentally larger in scale than where I’m directing my attention in my day-to-day life but this is less a post about having all the solutions and more a return to the style of writing I enjoy the most, which is rambling, mostly pointless and tapers off instead of drawing conclusions.