COVID, Kids, Productivity

Silver Lining #1

Do you have a “favorite” side effect of the pandemic? That probably sounds like a weird question, but I mean, is there one outcome from all of the changes that you like the best? (I know we all really despise many things about it. But I think most people agree there are SOME perks to the lifestyle changes, even if only temporary).

I realized yesterday what mine is. My hands down, favorite part about the “staying home” thing is:

not having to drive the kids anywhere immediately after school anymore.

The boys ARE back in activities, and considering all things, they actually have quite a fair amount going on again now. But the key for me is that they don’t have to be anywhere at 3:30/4:00 anymore.

This used to kill me, because it forced me to need to finish work by that time- which was just not always easy or practical- AND be out schlepping around in all of the after school/ work traffic, which could be a drag.

Pre-pandemic:

I just glanced back at my planner from January/ February (pre-pandemic). At that time, we had:

M- Asher exercise class ~2-3 x/month at 3:30, Ethan was in crew for drama club with random rehearsals some Mondays at 4:00

T- Ethan had tennis at 3:30, 20 minutes away. Meant I was gone from like 3:00- 4:45/5:00 usually.

W- kind of open, but Asher sometimes had swim dryland at 3:30

Th- piano 3:30-5:00! Had to pick them up right from the bus stop with snacks, piano bags, etc. all packed.

F- open, and my favorite day 🙂

This was just a random month, and it would vary, but the Tuesday/ Thursdays were set in stone all year. UGH. (Asher had swim practice too 3-5 x/ week later in the evenings/ Ethan had indoor soccer sometimes as well. I’m just listing the “after school” times.)

For some reason, I am highly productive in the later afternoon hours. I know this is counterintuitive since most people are most productive in the morning (I am too, for some things).

But for my work work, I always feel very dialed in and focused from, say, 1-5 pm. Those are kind of my golden hours. It’s like the morning chaos of dealing with the boys/ any personal stuff I needed to think about is long gone and I can just think about work. (I mean, I work in the morning too, but I just feel I do my best deep work/prefer those later hours.)

Obviously, if I need to stop working by 3 pm, I don’t get to take advantage of my best mentally focused hours and that “flow” or energy state.

Our current schedule is this:

M- E piano (VIRTUAL) 4:15-5, A swim practice at 8 pm

T- A piano (VIRTUAL) 4:15-5, E soccer 4:30-6 (super close to home, so he can bike there!! Amazing!)

W- A band rehearsal (VIRTUAL) 4:00-4:30, then swim dryland at 5:00 (I do have to drive him to that one, but it’s later)

Th-E soccer 4:30-6:00 (again, no involvement from me)

F- open

There are some misc. things not listed that get added in later in evenings sometimes (plus on weekends), but as you can see, I NO LONGER NEED TO GET IN MY CAR UNTIL AT LEAST 5 PM! (if at all). Another game changer- the boys can walk home from the bus now. I used to have to go pick them up everyday (it’s quite far) but now they just walk and it’s amazing.

I just keep on working, and then they magically appear home around 3 pm. 🙂 I usually break briefly to chat with them about their day (and sometimes I walk to meet them if I need a break anyway). Then they play outside/ do homework/ do their virtual lessons and I can keep working until at least 4:30/5:00 many days.

Anyway, this has all allowed me to have more flexibility (i.e. time to walk or workout) during my work days AND capitalize on my best hours without interruptions. Which makes my weeks “feel” better, too. 🙂

Two questions today: 1) What’s your best, most focused time of the day? and 2) What’s your favorite pandemic side effect?

When you have no photos that remotely correspond to the content of your blog post, post a photo of delicious, salted, roasted pumpkin seeds. 🙂

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for MILD weather for my walk last night, great workouts this week, and, the above pumpkin seeds. Hadn’t had those in ages- YUMMY!!

Tagged , , , , ,

3 thoughts on “Silver Lining #1

  1. Mmm, pumpkin seeds! We did not roast any this year as I wasn’t sure how my body/blood sugar would respond to them. But I love a good, salty roasted pumpkin seed!

    I am definitely most productive/focused in the 7:30-11 block of the day. I usually eat lunch at 11 and if I’m not in pain, go for a walk after lunch. Then the afternoon I am more easily distracted. And one perk of covid times is getting up 45 minutes later than normal! That’s been huge for me, especially during pregnancy. Our mornings are less rushed, too. We were all out the door at 6:50 before. Now Phil leaves with Paul around 7:05 on the days he goes into work and on the days he doesn’t go into work, I usually do drop off and we leave around 7:20 or so, depending on the day. So it’s just less chaotic, but even getting Paul out the door at that time is a struggle… he does not want to be on a schedule in the morning! He’s always watched a PBS show while eating a cracker and milk (we give him a little something to tie him over until breakfast at school at 8:30) – he watched a show before pre-covid, Phil and I would be running around/getting ready. We couldn’t take the show away but now he is PISSED to have to leave in the middle of Daniel Tiger or Dinosaur Train or whatever he’s picked that day… I much prefer our weekend mornings!

  2. for some weird reason, your posts don’t show up to my bloglovin feed. glad I came to check.

    silver lining for this pandemic!!! soooo much. I found mindfulness and gratitude, meditation, slowdown during the pandemic and i’m sure it will benefit me for a long time.

    my most focus time of the day is definitely morning, I like to blog 9-12 to tackle difficult tasks in the office, close email, turn off phone notifications until it’s done.

    1. Ugh, I know there is an intermittent issue with my blog pulling new posts into Feedly or Bloglovin. It seems like it randomly works for a few days and then stops- I have no idea why! I’ve tried everything I can…now I’m working on hiring someone to help me figure out the issues. 🙁

Leave a Comment! And, what are you grateful for??