Saturday, January 15, 2011

Adapting to Full-Time

Starting with the new year, I've been working full-time (and more!) at a real job (not graduate school). It's truly a great place to work, I consider myself quite lucky to be there. While I'm supposed to be there for a 10am meeting, I can pretty much come in whenever I want and leave whenever as well. As long as the work gets done, the particular hours don't matter. Which is awesome. And the people are all very easy to work with, smart, and helpful. And there's a ping-pong table (and surprisingly many people who want to play). It's a great atmosphere. The work is great too, even if it does make me wish I'd taken useful classes sometime in the past 5 years. I've got a whole lot to learn, and it's things I'm excited to learn, which is great (even if I could easily totter into overwhelmed).

During the first week, I felt like I couldn't quite make it all work out. "It all" being work, sleep, running, reading, side projects, keeping the cats not too unhappy with me. Of course, I wasn't exactly expecting to. I think progress was made this past week, though. A big step was sorting out (to first approximation) running to and from work. I can get my miles in, and not feel bad about driving to work (it seems so silly to drive the 3 miles back and forth). I've also done a little bit to organize my online reading... buzzing through headlines and starring items to save for the weekend (Saturday morning with coffee and feed reading... fantastic), since I no longer have office hours for students to not show up for when I could get some quality reading in. I reorganized some of my folders, too, separating out some silly comic feeds, which I could maybe read when I'm pretty tired at the end of the day, from actual potential read-me articles. There's still some organization that could happen there (and some programming projects... :)), but that'll always be the case. Get something started and iterate, right? I'm trying.

I think a next thing to think more about is foodstuffs. Not just eating less (I seem to eat all day - still trying to get my running miles up enough to feel like it's warranted), but being better organized about grocery shopping and when to spend time cooking. I think I can get some lunch-preparing done on weekends (make a big batch of...), and try to have easy (quick, little cooking) food for dinner (sandwich, cereal) so that I still have some time/energy in the evening to work on side projects or read. I'm open to suggestions here (and elsewhere, of course). It also seems like running as my commute will help me trim down the number of grocery store trips I make - there's a grocery store right along the way on my usual drive, so it's easy to just stop in for milk, or cereal, but I ended up going a couple times each week. So if I drive to work once a week, I can use that to transport things I don't want to run with (clothes, non-perishable foods), and then also stop at the grocery store in that trip, that'll be good and efficient. Hopefully. We'll see how it goes.

I'm trying to avoid setting up a rigorous schedule for myself. I don't want to say "I'll drive to work on Mondays, and Tuesday I'll work on side project A, Wednesday will be project B, etc". I think that'll just get me frustrated when some particular day I'm really tired and don't get to a project (reading counts). I want to learn better to adapt and be flexible and still get things done when things don't go according to plan. Add it to the huge list of things to learn.

Anyway, that's me. Off to see about getting something done. Which, of course, almost never happens. So few things actually get to "done". I've got heaps of unfinished floating around. So I'll just shoot for making progress. Iterate.


Kate Nowak said...

re: the cooking, I found this book Going Solo in the Kitchen very helpful. It's geared toward cooking actual adult meals without tons of leftovers or buying too much. I can only take cereal for dinner for so long. :) Also the "make a big batch of" works for me, but only if I freeze portions. I can't stare the same /whatever/ in the face for more than about 2 days in a row.

sumidiot said...

@Kate thanks! I'll definitely have to check that out. I'm currently reading "Cooking for Geeks" which is pretty fun, and inspires a good "just try something" attitude towards cooking. And it has lots of quick little suggestions for easy things to try to modify dishes, and such.

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