My favorite time of the week: Friday, 5 pm. Because that is when I put away the deadlines, the sharpness required to challenge myself and others, the analyses, the business cases, and the corporate politics. And that is when I pull out my yoga gear for an hour of deeply calming yin yoga. The expansion in my joints and body slowly spreads into my head, opening up the windows, letting all the buzzing flies out and fresh air in, for a weekend of headspace and creative endeavors.
Once upon a time, I used to travel 3-4 days a week: fly in, followed by death by Powerpoint in some airport hotel or office, and fly out again, either the same day or the next. Repeated until Thursday night (or ad nauseam, it felt). A year into this craziness I informed my manager that I was going to work from home every Friday, and my colleagues that the only way they would get me into the office was to buy me good-quality sushi for lunch. During the years, I think they went through the trouble of securing sushi for me only a handful of times.
And I found that this decision was a lifesaver: unclogging my mailbox and getting a few hours of deep work done on Fridays, before simply closing the laptop lid and stepping on my yoga mat not only gave me more unwasted hours in a day, but allowed me to land after a busy week. It set me up for a restorative weekend.
Since then, I have worked 2-3 days a week from home (unless traveling), for the best of 5 years, and found this balance ideal. COVID-19 has forced most of us to work from home, and for many, the lines have become blurred and work invaded evenings and weekends. But as we nine-to-fivers go back to the office, it is easy to get sucked into the other extreme again. For me, this means having a post-COVID conversation with my new manager, as I have no intention of spending 5 days a week at my new office.
But first, and now, some deep breathing (see the routine that works for my body here). And then, weekend.
(Copenhagen, Denmark; March 2021)