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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

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Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Art of going to work at home


The breakfast bread

Going to work in an office has a pattern for most people and it goes something like this:

  • house routine of maybe food and coffee or tea plus bathroom and dressing plus maybe conversation, out the door, wake up
  • car or bus or train, music, newspaper, people watch and drift, hug bag or briefcase
  • earlybirds: pull out cell phone
  • short panic, maybe, about waking up properly: do some work, look like you're doing some work (convince others and you convince yourself).

Tea en route to work

Going to work in an office at home also has a pattern but there is more variety here. I used to fret that I procrastinated, during the 15 years I did freelance journalism. Then I took 5 years off and joined the office workers. Getting back to work with my company's offices in my home, I suddenly realized my day starts just like any outside office worker's. The details of the routine are just a bit different.

It goes like this, and there is no sense, I've learned, in taking shortcuts:

  • Breakfast with tea, dressing, perfunctory conversations about who's getting food for dinner
  • On with the computer, on with the kettle, check Flickr, check blog, check web site stats and e-mail
  • Glance at the pile of work on the floor, which should not be there, and add "filing" to the list for Thursday, which is unfortunately today
  • Take a couple minutes to look at the minutae of daily life to remind myself that being myopic is not all bad
  • Make an appointment to get contact lenses and glasses checked.

The minutae today include: sunlight streaming through the street lamp outside, a plant in bloom, the horse on my 20 year old teacup made by Nick Mosse in Ireland, the inexpensive earphones that allow me to talk to family and friends around the world for peanuts on Skype, the only teapot whose lid has lasted more than five years with a rhino tea cozy from South Africa. Take a closer look - that's how I start my day, and it works.

Doing their best to prod me to work

There was a bit of procrastination, photographing pencils.

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