Opinion

Noticing New Rhythms

Just two weeks into a new job at a new company in a new industry, and I’m adjusting to new workday routines. Along with changes to my commute (shorter distance, much more traffic), I’m adapting to new workday rhythms.

The most noticeable is a dramatic shift in meeting culture: I have hours of uninterrupted time to do work. All this open time on my calendar feels a bit like a mini-case study of best practices for how to do your best work. The big three I’ve noticed so far are:

  1. Autonomous mornings: My earliest meeting has been at 10 AM, and that’s because I scheduled it. Turns out this is backed up by science and Jeff Bezos! I’m starting my day with 2.5 hours of uninterrupted time and I’m getting real work done each day. Creative thinking, incremental progress and staying focus on what’s really my priority each day?! #winning
  2. Email during the post-lunch slump: With fewer meetings, I’ve been able to bundle checking my emails into the hour post-lunch. In addition to turning off all email notifications, having a plan and a single-touch rule is a habit reset in my new role that I’m hoping to make stick.
  3. Afternoon tea: Since I’m not running from meeting to meeting, and have time to do my work, I’ve noticed that yes, I do have a real afternoon slump in concentration around 3 PM. So, I’ve been taking short walks (thank you, spring weather!) and then pretending I’m British by having afternoon tea. It feels both like a little ritual before planning out the next day, checking my email one last time and tidying my desk.

Having a bit of extra space allows me to notice my own preferred patterns to my work, and lean in to them a bit. I know that I may not be able to protect my mornings every morning, but embedding these practices in the how I do my work from the beginning should make it easier to stick to them over time.

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