Monday, March 30, 2015

Managing the 15 hour work day

We all have days when we have to work much longer hours than we'd like.  In my case, Mondays and Thursdays this quarter are going to be roughly 15 hour days for me.  Some of those days I'll be able to work from home for a few hours in the morning - so I will only have to spend 12 hours or so in the office.  Some days it will be all 15.

So, how do I make this work?  Well, obviously, step 1 if you are working mom is to make sure you have a good team to provide childcare!  And for 15 hours, it's a team.  :)  I'm still working on this one - wish me luck in finding a babysitter willing to work 6-11pm on a weeknight...

But what else? 
  • Not only is my day going to be 15 hours long, but for the last 3 hours, I need to be super high-energy and running around in front of a classroom, keeping students who have worked all day too from falling asleep while I teach them.  SO, for me, step 1 is comfortable shoes.  I think I can wear tall skinny heels with the best of them (well, the best of them in Boston anyway, OC does have a different scale), but for 15 hours? Nope.
  • Step 2 is taking a blogging break mid-afternoon.  :)  No one can be efficient for a full 15 hours.  I think the key is to recognize that and give yourself truly restful discrete breaks.  For me, 15 minutes of a true break and 45 minutes of truly working is just as refreshing as 1 hour of sort-of working sort-of not, and is much more efficient. 
  • Step 3 is getting the commute right. When you're working these types of hours, even 5 extra minutes can feel awful.  I drove in along PCH - a little slower, but beautiful and relaxing.  I took the extra time to park super close to the building, which I normally wouldn't do, because I know that at 10:30 pm it will be a relief to have a short (and safe and well-lit) walk to my car.  And tonight I will drive home on the absolute fastest route - I took one quarter to experiment and figure out exactly what that is. 
  • Step 4 is getting the caffeine use right!  :)  I need to make sure I drink a little to give me that great energy to truly work and concentrate and run around at 10pm, but not drink too much caffeine that I'll be wired at 11pm.  This one - it's probably going to take me a few tries to get right.  After all, I'm new to caffeine.  Wish me luck.
SO, this is my 15-hour-workday outfit #1.  Expect a whole series of them on Mondays and Thursdays for the next few months.  And expect Tuesdays and Fridays to be "the day after the 15-hour workday" outfits...  This might not be my most stylish quarter ever.  But it will probably be my most practical.

(Suit: J-crew factory, shirt: Banana republic, Fit note: The sleeve lengths on this shirt and jacket are perfect - this is exactly what you want if you are suit- or shirt-shopping and going for a classic suiting look, necklace: Target, belt: J-crew factory, Shoes: Style and Co. purchased from Macy's.  Chunky-heeled oxfords are one of my favorite categories of shoes for work - they are so comfortable - no pinching or rubbing or slipping - but still look professional. They do not look as good as some of those more painful shoes of course, but good enough for me for days like today.)

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