Help me become a superhumanly efficient CEO type
May 11, 2020 10:12 PM   Subscribe

Help me draw up a reasonable freelance work from home weekly schedule?

I have been running my own one-woman online business for many years and there weren't any externally imposed deadlines beyond shipping out my customers' orders on time. However, due to the virus, my non-essential business is currently legally mandated to be closed because my city is under lockdown so I have become essentially jobless.

Since I still need to make ends meet, I just accepted a long-term freelance position which allows me to work from home (because commuting via public transport is truly scary right now and there are all sorts of restrictions about being out in public due to the lockdown).

If you read my previous Ask, I live with an essential worker and I have been the one doing all the housework because of my then jobless state. The other family member has serious health issues but is no invalid, just lazy. I have already told them that they need to take over some chores because I have a certain (high) production target to hit every week with this new freelance project and I simply don't have time to vacuum and mop the house twice a week anymore.

I've always envied those CEO types who get up at 5 a.m. to meditate, do yoga, eat breakfast and am freshly showered and ready to work by 8 a.m. or something. The essential worker gets up at 5 a.m. because of work and sick family member also gets up with her. I usually get woken up by the noise they make and then fall back to sleep. I don't actually wake up until eight plus and then it's a mad rush to wash up, eat breakfast and do morning chores.

If I want to hit my weekly production target, this is not ideal. The work is desk-bound and computer-based so ideas to keep my eyesight and body in good order from long hours at the computer are welcome. Am considering ordering eye vitamins. The morning exercise helps if I can stick to it.

My dream morning routine: I wake up at 6:00 (5 a.m. will be better but I'm a night owl and it's probably impossible for me), exercise for 30mins, eat breakfast, shower and be ready for work at my desktop by nine at the latest. I then work until 12pm+, cook and eat a simple, quick lunch within an hour, then return to work until 6 p.m. + for dinner. I somehow have to shoehorn in time for chores like laundry and ordering groceries. And making art (when?) I would like to keep weekends free and keep to a normal office schedule but it's admittedly a bit difficult because freelance work tends to bleed into off hours (I get emails on Sunday but am trying to set boundaries with my client by not answering until Monday).

So my dream routine is something like:
6-9 Wake, exercise, eat breakfast and shower
9-12 Work
12-1:30 Cook and eat quick, simple lunch (I usually cook extra and eat the same thing for dinner to save time)
1:30-6:30 Work
6:30 Dinner and evening chores
10:30 Bedtime

If I am getting up at 6 a.m., I need to be in bed by 11 p.m. at the latest and ideally 10:30 p.m. This will be a major challenge because currently I tend to go to bed just after midnight. And I have trouble rolling out of bed the next day. The late bedtime is partly caused by procrastination but also because of housework so I will have to try to finish the housework earlier.

Ideas for simple, quick meals and mid-morning high protein snacks welcome. I have been cooking cheap budget meals that take a lot of time like rice and beans but with this job I don't have that kind of time anymore. Once I get paid, I'll be able to throw a bit of money at the problem. I don't think I'll make enough for delivery but I'll be able to afford nicer groceries/cooking shortcuts/ready-made meals. I already have a habit of freezing excess and eating the same time over and over.

Mefites who work from home, how do you get everything done? I feel like I have less discipline and weaker willpower than average. I keep meaning to meditate but find it impossible to carve out the time so I'm thinking of doing it during work Pomodoro breaks.
posted by whitelotus to Work & Money (18 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
CEOs have personal assistants. The trick to being like them is to have someone making all your appointments, cleaning your house, ordering your meals & organizing your life. Don't compare yourself to someone outsourcing the work of living.

That said, some things that work for me after many years of working at home:

Sleep cycle timing + a sunlight alarm. I get in bed either 6:15 (2 cycles + 15 min to fall asleep) or 7:45 hrs (3 cycles + 15 min to fall asleep) after I get in bed. The first really isn't enough sleep, but if I'm very pressed for time I can actually wake up at that point vs trying to wake up at 7 hrs. I drift back to my natural night owl times on Friday and Saturday to help cope with the workday schedule.

Cooking food that doesn't need constant attention. The Instant Pot is great: freeze measured bags of ingredients on the weekend, empty the bag into the Instant Pot 2 hours before dinner every day. Slow cookers or long-baking casserole recipes can be used similarly.

Meal ideas:
* egg muffins, batch cooked & frozen
* oatmeal or granola with nuts & dried fruit
* ploughman's lunch (some combo of hard sausage, cheese, crackers, fresh crunchy veg, pickled veg)
* Sandwiches

An office setup with good ergonomics. Thighs & forearms properly flat or sloped very slightly down, wrists stay flat when mousing & typing, chair supports the whole back.

Also, regular breaks. Stand up, stretch, look out the window at something far away to prevent eye strain. These breaks are also a good time to start household things that can run until the next break.
posted by Ahniya at 1:09 AM on May 12, 2020 [9 favorites]

I don't buy into the CEO-superbeing lifestyle. I think that the responsibility for cashflow that keeps other people fed causes a lot of stress, and the ways to manage the pressure are disciplined routine and offloading things that you can. So I agree with the comments above about having a personal assistant as your 'human doing'. Practising discipline is itself a discipline and it, along with making habits out of the things that you might consider overheads such as planning, preparation work, upskilling, time away from your desk, are the two amplifying tools to find flow and feel achievement in completing your work tasking. I think that finding flow matters whatever your pay grade is.

YMMV, the following are ideals I strive for and my high ambitions are rarely met each day.

* Listen to your feelings each day and at least accept yourself within your current setting and tasking.
* Keep score.
* Call yourself out when you're not doing what you should.
* Reward some success (but in a way that doesn't spoil it) and reward repeated successes as a combo bonus. That should help you make the work to do those things habitual not something like an effort to do the new thing.
* Make only incremental changes, ideally with an idea what you'll gain and how you'll measure that gain has come about.
* Learn when batching gains efficiency or when it builds up a large lump of stuff you have to turn to (e.g. washing up dishes: I'm happier absorbing dishwashing costs straight after a meal so that it's mentally checked off and 'done' where it might take less time later to do a day's batch with the added the cost of bringing myself to do it later).
* Practise deferring interruptions so that you can churn through some tasks. Changing between tasks or switching from one context to another is costly.
* Practise investing time in planning the tasks, just enough/not too much, to the extent you can churn through all the stuff and be sure it's 'done'.
* Mentally make the desk you're at a work zone, so you can switch out of the work zone to home and family zones when you need to switch context.
* Listen for when it's time to 'go away so you can come back again' -- some stuff just needs to be let to settle and you need to let that happen.
posted by k3ninho at 2:24 AM on May 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

This may sound flippant and that’s not the intention but you seem to allow a lot of time to do things.

If you want to be up at six to do thirty minutes exercise, shower and have breakfast so you can be at your desk in the same location at 9 am it is not clear to me how you spend the 2 hrs and thirty mins you’re not exercising. Are you cooking some kind of involved multiple element breakfast from scratch? Have you got complex shower and beauty rituals that take a lot of time? Or do you just like to potter around and take your time. You could probably go from bed to desk in an hr and do all these things if you focused, 1.5 hrs if you went at a leisurely pace. So my challenge for you is what you spend that time on.

I throw in a load of laundry while I get up from my laptop to grab a coffee. Lunch of veg and rice takes like 15 mins to prep and cooks while you empty the dishwasher and throw in another load of laundry. Sit down to eat it and you’re still back at your laptop in an hr with ease.

I get it, I love to potter around. But perhaps figure out why stuff takes you so long because the answer to your problem is not how to get up at six but how to fit your morning routine into 90 mins without feeling rushed and that means you can get up at 7.30, which seems to be more your preference.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:59 AM on May 12, 2020 [17 favorites]

You could check out the book Miracle Morning -- it's recommended by some of those super-people types. You could probably fit art into that 3 hour window.

The secret to becoming a morning person is just to do it. My natural predilection is to sleep from 2 am to 8 or 9 am, but multiple times in my life, I've managed to get in the habit of getting up at 5:30 every morning. You just set an alarm and do it. And then in the evening when you get tired, you go to bed instead of pushing on through until some later hour that used to be your bedtime. It helps that birds get up early (different waves of birds at different times). They can take over as your alarm clock if you start to tune into them.

Housekeeping takes up so much time. You can try to do some in your breaks and as part of your morning and evening routine, but also, when I've had a demanding work schedule, I find that the house goes downhill on weekdays and gets clean again on weekends.
posted by slidell at 3:29 AM on May 12, 2020 [5 favorites]

I don't know what daily chores these are, but... don't? I spend 3 hours every weekend sweeping or hoovering; mopping; cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. That's it for house cleaning. My partner does the laundry and does the garbage and recycling. We split making dinners.
posted by DarlingBri at 3:40 AM on May 12, 2020 [7 favorites]

Yeah maybe I'm not sufficiently grown up enough, but we totally don't mop and vacuum twice a week! What would happen if you just... didn't? The chores that seem to be 'must dos' in my house- laundry, dishes (including wiping counters), trash. Things like changing bed sheets, cleaning floors, cleaning other things, happen, but not on an extremely regular routine. In the summer time we change our bedsheets more often, for instance.

With working from home, I've found real success in keeping track of the things that I've achieved adjacent to my work day. So in the morning I might throw on a load of washing, and hang that out during a break. Or I might make my snack (I'm currently living to the beat of the gestational diabetes snack drum) which takes 2 minutes to microwave- in that two minutes I might try and empty the dishrack or load the dishwasher. Dishes are definitely something that I could get better at getting on top of.

Also pick the time of day you are most active- I've been finding that I roll out of bed some mornings and it's a real struggle- that's OK- I then hit my stride later in the day, and get productive stuff done then.

Also in this schedule, the 'you time' seems to be in the morning when you're not awake- this is probably why you are staying up so late, because the fun time is when you're not properly taking advantage of it.

While you want to work to this, I see that perhaps you're trying to impose a timetable on your life without thinking about what you need to build in to enjoy this (because otherwise, my brain would rebel and procrastinate).
posted by freethefeet at 3:58 AM on May 12, 2020 [4 favorites]

I have a way more productive day if I spend an hour from waking up drinking coffee and browsing websites. I get up earlier than my kid on weekdays to make sure I have this time. Someone on metafilter suggested just leaning in to lazy mornings if you had tried the "spring out of bed and go jogging" and hated it with a fiery passion.

Your schedule looks like pretty reasonable to me and is roughly what I do. I would add an afternoon tea break at 3-3.30pm to stretch your legs and get some protein to avoid afternoon sleepiness.

I use a lot of alarms to remind me when to switch to something new. I use iphone's Alarmy which is vicious and requires you scan in a barcode (mine is the washing up basket in the kitchen so I can shuffle over to the coffee machine afterwards) and I have in normal weeks, alarms for getting up, getting child up, getting breakfast, getting a shower, getting to the desk, getting ready for lunch, going back to the desk, break time, and finish work time. Otherwise I forget and get distracted. Dinner is with other people, and after that, I'm too wiped to do anything else except noodle a bit and go to sleep gratefully.

I am super fortunate to employ a housekeeper who does a lot of the chores and also cooks, or I would live on cereal alone. Two of us in the house have eating issues, and she makes sure we don't forget to eat and eat relatively healthy, so I have no advice there. Maybe swap duties with the other person? I do pets, grocery shopping and bills and major household organisation, the kids and housekeeper share the rest of the chores.

When my housekeeper is on holiday or sick, I do the chores and that is a 2-3 hours a day minimum, because of the climate, number of people and pets. You have to a) lower your standards (don't clean windows weekly, vacuum once a week etc) and b) get the other person to take on their fair share.

Oh - Wednesday is Paperwork Day. Wednesday morning is for doing all the bills, filing and tiny 10-minute admin tasks that came in that week (Urgent stuff obv. gets done earlier). That habit helps a lot because I will get to the paperwork by Wednesday or next Wednesday, and stay mostly on top of it.

Do you have to exercise daily? Why not two 15-minute strolls in the morning and evening, and do serious sweaty cardio 4x a week instead? Batch all your chores to Thursday afternoon so the house is clean for the weekend, and otherwise just tidy up on a 15-minute timer at night (I do this in my office and it helps).

Honestly, your schedule seems fine as long as you build in some slack for bad days and keep it approximately timed, not drillmaster.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:29 AM on May 12, 2020 [4 favorites]

If you're not a morning person, don't add exercise to your morning! Is there any way you could do your 30 minutes later in the day, say 6:30-7?

90 minutes for a lunch break also seems extremely generous to me, but admittedly I come from an unhealthy work culture where I've always eaten at my desk while doing other work.

For cheap, healthy, and quick meal planning, I like Budget Bytes, but there are lots of similar options. Everything I've made from there is 30 min or less -- and a portion of those 30 minutes are usually downtime where you can wash the breakfast dishes, run a rag across the kitchen counter, etc.
posted by basalganglia at 4:36 AM on May 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

I agree in general that you don't have to be a CEO superstar to tweak your routine some - i.e. there's a happy middle here.

I think tasks tend to expand to fit available time. (I've been moving in the opposite direction over the lockdown period!) But here are a few tweaks:

have been cooking cheap budget meals that take a lot of time like rice and beans but with this job I don't have that kind of time anymore.

I'm picking this example as a way you tweak your routine. Rice and beans are two of the things that don't take me much time at all! If you invest in a rice cooker with a timer function this is especially true of rice -set it and forget it, and it will have rice ready, held at a proper temperature, whenever you need it. With beans you can go to canned, or you can soak/cook a big batch on the weekend, keep some in the fridge and some in the freezer. You can make a double batch and have one batch for dinner, and the leftovers for lunch for a day or two (follow proper storage and reheating guidelines.)

You can also make a pot of vegan chili or a curry and freeze half for later.

Why I'm using this example is that how you gain efficiency is by grouping tasks and even meals. When I'm in busy mode, I put on a podcast on the weekend and wash and chop broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, and anything else that keeps. I put those in the fridge and then during the week we grab them to add on the side of lunches, toss in a stir fry, serve with a bit of protein for rice/barley bowls, or pop in a pot with stock for soup. I plan my meals so that I'm not wondering what to make.

Also, you might lower your expectations. In the first busy weeks of the pandemic (I was helping to shut down a business), my kids and I had peanut butter sandwiches with baby carrots for lunch, on a whole-grain bread. There is nothing wrong with simple and fast. Other quick lunches include:

- chickpea salad: Half a can of drained chickpeas, crumbled or grated cheese, chopped cucumber, olives, vinegar and oil - make the full can and you have it for tomorrow. Other variations include black bean/frozen corn-microwaved/tomatoes/jalapenos, edamame/pickled onion/grated carrot and white bean/basil/tomatoes. You get the idea. All of these will keep for a couple of days.

- wraps - you can toss lots of things in a wrap, either traditional sandwich fixings, leftovers, or make a quick quesadilla

- breakfast foods for lunch - hard boil some eggs, have overnight oats, etc.

The trick is to plan a little, and also to not allow yourself the full range of whatever you want for lunch but 'whatever I want that I can make quickly."

For cleaning, I have a daily routine (kitchen/bathroom wipe-down/one load of laundry), and then each weekend I do floors/tidying and I deep clean one zone of the house, so that on a three week cycle, things are cleaned in depth. Again this is a combination of lowering expectations and grouping tasks.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:58 AM on May 12, 2020 [4 favorites]

I work from home. I don't mop and vacuum twice a week. I would consider relaxing your standards. I also outsource the bulk of daily cleaning to my spouse who is also at home. My expectation is that common areas are tidied once per day and the kitchen is both tidy and clean by the time everyone goes to bed. My partner being the primary cleaning person means I must compromise on standards, overwork myself doing too much, or have a lot of arguments. I choose the former.

Sweeping happens maybe once every two weeks? More if I notice sediment when I'm walking around. If you really need your home cleaned more regularly outsource to your partner or invest in a robotic vacuum/mop. We don't deep clean our home nearly as much as we should. The bulk of it happens on weekends. My preference is to have a list or have a designated 1-2 hour timeframe where all adults are actively cleaning to avoid resentment.

Maybe reevaluate the perfectionist standards you're holding yourself to. Things need to get done, not necessarily done perfectly. If work has a deadline then work needs to be the priority and the home can be imperfect for a bit. If you are like me and need tidiness to concentrate focus that energy on your work area only and block the rest of your space whatever way you can. I ordered a room divider to help compartmentalize my work and home time because I don't have a dedicated room for an office right now.

I agree with getting an instapot to make frugal meals easily with little hands on time. You can also get exercise in short bursts during Pomodoro breaks and sleep much later if you wanted to.

I don't need to eat as much as before working from home so I often either skip breakfast or lunch and have more satisfying meals otherwise. My high protein foods are yogurt, string cheese, tuna salad, rotisserie chicken, oatmeal, homemade lunchables, nut butter.

Quick and easy dinners in our house are:
- spaghetti + meatballs (can make vegan meatballs on the weekend if needed)

- frozen stir fry veggie bag sauteed in Bragg's or whatever flavor combination I'm feeling at the time + frozen shelled edamame steamed at the same time + rice cooked in rice cooker (cauli rice for me).

- rotisserie chicken plus streamable bag of broccoli plus russets "baked" in the instapot

- chicken and apple sausage plus sweet potato slivers plus apples on a sheet pan

- other sheet pan dinners, super quick and easy and healthy usually

Again it's about examining standards. CEOs don't cook gourmet involved meals every day unless they are running a good business. Fed is the standard, not magazine perfect presentation. I focus on simplifying and use the weekend for more creative or involved food activities.

So, my tl;dr is: lower your standards and simplify instead of striving to be perfect in multiple domains.
posted by crunchy potato at 6:58 AM on May 12, 2020 [3 favorites]

Missed my edit window.
"Steamable" not "streamable."
"Running a food business" not "running a good business."
posted by crunchy potato at 7:12 AM on May 12, 2020

As Ahniya points out, the stereotype that you're probably visualizing has outsourced many details of life that it sounds like you don't have the option to take care of. So keep this in mind for what's practical.

Currently, I have mornings that are likely similar to what you want - I wake up at 05:30; get dressed, hit the bathroom and have a 60-80 minute run. I get home, and do a series of lunges/squats while making a slapdash breakfast. I shower, and from there (07:50-08:10) I'd be ready to hit the desk. Instead I wake up my wife, we snuggle, have coffee and talk through the morning. I start work at 09:00 (previously started commute then), and am alert and as ready as I can be.

For waking up, I was *not* a morning person before this. I had a bad history with needing really loud alarm clocks really far away from me. I needed to decide I wanted to wake up early, and this allows me to wake up from vibration alarm from my garmin. More details here (from a previous ask/answer).

My breakfast is usually a protein smoothy. The night before I put frozen blueberries and cherries in a blender glass (magic bullet) with milk to thaw over night. After my run I toss in protein powder, blend and drink. If I wasn't doing lunges/squats, 5 minutes would be an insanely long time to make and eat this. As is, the lunges/squats serve a dual purpose of letting me cool off / slow the sweat rate before I shower.

One of my problem areas for time loss is my phone. I need to check it in the morning to make sure I didn't miss a for-work alarm, and get an "things are likely OK" email, but that takes not even a minute. While drowsy from waking, the inclination is to look at facebook or reddit. If I do, I lose 5-10 minutes. Don't think you can look for just 10 seconds - you won't.

My mornings are also streamlined by work I do before bed. I weigh out the dog food into the containers (raw feeding) so I can just grab it the next day. I'll make/portion any of my planned lunch that won't be sub-par for being in the fridge overnight. I prep the smoothy. If I plan rice/eggs or oatmeal for the morning, again that's made the night before (when I make omelettes for dinner I'll make 6 extra (2 omelette pans) that I'll wrap in the fridge for almost a week of instant breakfasts).
posted by nobeagle at 7:20 AM on May 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

You can still sweep and mop 2x a week but you may need to break it into smaller bits so it's not eating up a huge chunk of time. Btw I've seen my CEOs house and it is quite messy these days, FWIW. I'm sure he has a housekeeper normally.

I also work a high demand job from home and live in a 3 br house with 2 roommates, who are very tidy and do their dishes but dont really clean. That's ok! Because I like a clean house and I'm good at making that happen quickly and efficiently, because I want to also spend time with my dog and in my garden.

It really is about combining things and being efficient. For example, I have a pull up bar in my kitchen doorway so I do a free hang for a minute or as many pullups as I can do (ok it's like 1) whenever I go through the door. So I dont need to set aside a big chunk of time for upper body workouts bc I've done a bunch during my day, and I can focus my yoga on stretching and core strength.

How do I squeeze chores in? I sweep the kitchen or livingroom while my eggs boil. If I'm in the bathroom, I take an extra minute to squirt cleaner in the sink or toilet and scrub it. I clean some of my shower tiles with a little brush while my conditioner sets, maybe 1/4 of them each day. About twice a month after I shower, I dump some soft scrub into the tub and scrub it out and let it sit, and rinse it next time I'm in there. This takes about 10 minutes. While dinner is cooking, I'll take a sponge or the swiffer and some cleanser and wipe the floor, which again takes 10 minutes. So at the and of the day, I have swept and mopped the kitchen *without setting aside extra time* by using the little bits of downtime other tasks have within them.

Really, if you do 15 minutes of housekeeping (other than doing your dishes) every day, your house will be pretty clean generally. If it's taking you much longer than that you either need better tools or better technique. YouTube can help with this! Professional cleaners know all kinds of tricks. I dont think I've spent more time than that on a chore unless I'm like, cleaning out the fridge.
posted by ananci at 7:56 AM on May 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

I'm a bit reluctant to give any advice here since the whitelotus seems to have her life in much better control that most of us ordinary mortals. However, I will point out that CEOs don't actually do much, they just delegate. So one CEO thing to do is be sure that tasks delegated to others get done by them and not pushed back on her.

My second idea is that she should make it clear that her work time is not to be intruded on. (When I worked at home, I got very little done after my kids got home from school.)

Other than that, I'd suggest working on changing things at the margin (as suggested above) rather than trying a major revamping of the daily schedule. Some combination of pressures caused her day to be as it is now, and likely they are not going away. But a little more efficient use of time in the morning and at lunch can help alot.
posted by SemiSalt at 10:15 AM on May 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

Break this down into manageable habits that are easy to do. I'd start with sleep - going to bed at a realistic time / practicing good sleep hygiene. Once that's been established, add other behaviors.

I started reading Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg and I think you might find it useful. It goes through how to create habits that will actually stick. You need to clarify your aspirations (what is your goal, really?), explore both one-time and habitual behaviors that will get you there, and make sure the behaviors you choose are something you're both able and motivated to do. Because you have a number of behaviors you're trying to change, I think this book would be a great way to come up with a game plan.
posted by beyond_pink at 10:47 AM on May 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

I agree with others about not trying to emulate a CEO, and relaxing your standards. Clean things that will attract bugs or cause worse problems later, or causes you to gag when you see it. Wash sheets regularly if you're the kind of person that sleeps poorly on dirty sheets (my partner can go about a week before they start sleeping really poorly, it's literally never been a problem for me, YMMV). Everything else can slide when it needs to.

But, some tweaks you could make:

Set your bedtime at 9 o clock. You're never going to go to bed at 9 o clock, you're always going to be procrastinating or "just finishing up." But once 10 hits, you're going to think, "Ah, shit, I'm an hour past my bedtime..." 11pm is 2 hours past your bedtime, so if you're not getting in bed then, you're REALLY pushing it. Midnight will become untenable.

I get to bed between 10 and 11 most nights this way. I know I am always going to procrastinate and push things "just a little past" my bedtime. So bedtime is 9. If I do magically go to bed at 9, I can wake up earlier and have extra time in the morning to do things.

Also... get more sleep. You'll be more efficient. It's counter-intuitive, but taking time to get more sleep will give you more time in the long run. Try it out. Seven hours is what people do when they have to be up for a commute. Shoot for 8-9.

Lean on frozen stuff for your meals. Not microwave meals (though you should keep a few of those around), but frozen veggies, frozen pre-cooked meat. Throw that in a pot or pan with some pasta or rice and you have a much faster meal than cooking from fresh.

Practice meditating while you're trying to fall asleep. You're not using that time anyway, and it'll probably help you fall asleep.
posted by brook horse at 1:55 PM on May 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

CEOs have life assistants. Just echoing this point. My sister has been a CEO for 20 years now. She has a weekly cleaning lady, she almost exclusively does meal kit delivery from places like Hello Fresh (and her husband makes most of these meals) or take out, she has an executive assistant for work, AND she has a personal assistant for home. Also, she has a son who is now a teenager, but when he was a child, she had a full-time nanny.

So yes, she does get up at 5am every day to meditate, exercise, do all those things, but her evenings are totally free to unwind, watch TV, have fun, etc. She would not be able to accomplish this without the above-listed team.
posted by sickinthehead at 7:04 AM on May 13, 2020 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I remember a parents forum on sleep trouble that answered every question, "Go to bed earlier." And the questioners would surround themselves with special circumstances, "can't get the kids into bed until 10:30/ midnight/ whatever..." and the forum implacably argued back, put the kids to bed between 6-8. It's the only way they will get enough sleep.

If your mornings aren't alert and refreshed, go to bed earlier. Seriously, between 9-10, giving yourself the correct number of 90 minute sleep cycles to wake up as per above.

If you think you can multitask between your mfg and your chores, you are never going to hit your flow/max efficiency. They have to be strictly seperated.

Remove or eliminate distractions. Put phone on DND. Hang on sign on the door, "WORKING, Do Not Disturb." Get into your flow state, work 3 hours, and then take a break to eat, stretch, socialize. Pop Something in the Crock-Pot or instant pot. Work another 3 hours in the afternoon. Turn off the light, close the door, and change gears to your other life.
posted by ohshenandoah at 6:14 PM on May 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

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