Tuesday Topics | A Day in the Life

I haven’t done a “A Day in the Life” post in a long, long time and when the topic came up for the Tuesday Topics linkup with Kookyrunner and Zenaida, I thought it was a great opportunity to share a glimpse into a typical day of my WFH life (loosely based on last week).

5:40 am — My sleep cycle app rouses me out of my light sleep phase and I hit the snooze function a couple of times (which means I just briefly lift my phone and place it back on the nightstand. That’s all it takes. No unlocking your phone to press a button). I don’t really need to get out of bed until 6 am, but I like to gently wake up. 

6:00 am —  I get out of bed, throw on my workout clothes (that I have put out the night before, because I am organized like that) and do a quick bathroom routine (brush hair and put it in a ponytail, wash face, brush teeth).

6:25 am — I start my 5 minute warm-up session.  

6:30 am — I open the front door (the mornings have been so lovely lately) and get on the Peloton bike which is right by the door. I start a 45 minute sweaty workout. It’s been power zone rides lately. I love them. Especially the endurance rides. 

7:15 am — I get off the bike and follow up with a 20 min strength workout or yoga session (I try to mix it up during the week) and some stretching. Never skip the stretches!

7:40 am Workout done! Time for a quick shower and getting ready to start work. Since I am not leaving the house, I can throw on some comfy clothes, start the coffee maker and air-dry my hair. 

8:00 am — I log into my work laptop and skim my emails to see if there is anything that needs immediate attention. Then I get my first cup of coffee and breakfast. It’s either overnight oats with berries (which I just heat for a couple of minutes in the microwave) or a slice of rye bread with jam. 

9:00 am — I have my first weekly check-in meeting for one of my projects. It’s a photogrammetry project where I am building a digital 3D model from historic aerial imagery. Very interesting and fun!

10:30 am — Meeting is over and I can finally get my second cup of coffee. I keep working on the photogrammetry project and also try to stay on top of keeping good notes along the way. I switched from handwritten notes to keeping a OneNote notebook because it’s so much easier to organize (and search!) your notes if you’re looking for specific information.

12:00 pm — I make a quick lunch (tomato soup with toast-croutons this week) and call my parents and sister over FaceTime. The time difference to Germany can be tricky, especially during the week and I don’t have a ton of opportunities to just call, but when it’s lunch time here, it’s 9 pm in Germany, so that’s the time when we get the chance to check in a few times a week. 

1:00 pm— Back to work and I am switching gears in my head because I have a Teams meeting for another project coming up.

2:00 pm — My second check-in meeting for the day for the other project that I am working on. This project is about water availability in California. A hot topic, as you can imagine.
I split my time between two projects right now and generally, I like these weekly check-ins (we have a couple throughout the week) because they keep everyone up to date on progress, but they also sometimes screw up your productivity. Not sure what the solution is here.

3:15 pm — I keep working on my second project in the afternoon. It’s mostly spreadsheet and GIS work right now. I try to split my day (if possible) into two work sessions (with the focus on one project in the morning and on the other in the afternoon). It’s not always possible, but it’s difficult (mentally) to keep jumping around between the two projects, so I try to avoid it if I can.

6:30 pm — I wrap up my work day and close my laptop. Sometimes I return after dinner to finish up a task (the perks and curses of working from home!), but I usually try to finish whatever task I am working on before dinner time.

6:45 pm — I go in the backyard and check on my plants and water them. Lettuce and spinach seeds have sprouted! Yay!

7:00 pm — Jon starts getting stuff out from the fridge and we start dinner together. I chop and cook, Jon cleans up as we go. I like our arrangement. 

7:30 pm — We sit down to eat and talk. We had Greek kale salad with turkey meatballs last week – one of our summer favorites! (It’s a tweaked version of this recipe, and I’ll share the updated recipe soon!)

8:00 pm — We catch up on some news. We can only handle it for like 20 minutes before Jon switches over to the music channel.

8:30 pm — Time for my evening cup of lemon-ginger-tea while catching up on social media. Then I switch to my Kindle app to keep reading my book until bedtime.

9:40 pm — My sleep cycle app reminds me that it’s time to get ready for bed. If I want to get my 7.5 hours of sleep in, lights need to be out by 10:30 pm. I putter around the house for a little longer before I get ready for bed.

10:15 pm — I read a couple more pages and then it’s lights out!

What does a “normal” day look like for you? Anything you find curious about mine?

  1. Meetings — in person or from home — are definitely a necessary evil when working (although I never really had a job like that). But I know that most people do & Zoom fatigue is a thing!

    I like your cooking arrangement too. Since my husband is semi retired I now only cook one meal for the two of us once a day — mainly because he doesn’t want to eat the way I do. :)

    I agree on not watching too much news, too! There are many days I don’t watch any at all (but my husband has it on a LOT, so I still learn what’s going on in the world).

    1. My husband and I eat differently for breakfast and lunch but really enjoy our dinners together. Whatever works, right? ;)

  2. I love hearing all the deets about other people’s days. My workdays are pretty similar, except that I start work earlier and usually have meetings in the morning and then do most of my work in the afternoon. Usually there is enough time for my hair to air dry before I have to be on camera so that’s always a win when it happens!

    1. Sounds like we have a pretty similar routine :)

  3. Oops, I think you left out the part where you visit gratefulkae.com to read new blog posts. HAHAHA! Just kidding!!! 🤣🤣 In all seriousness, I love these types of posts too. I am just nosy and it’s so interesting to see how other people structure their days!!! It is also fascinating to me, since you don’t have kids and your life is just really different from mine. (In some ways…similar in other ways, too!) I love reading about other moms’ lives/ people with similar aged kids, but I also find non-moms’ lives just as interesting. :) I don’t discriminate in my nosy-ness. :)

    1. Haha … you’re right, I don’t know why I didn’t include blog reading in my day (maybe because there are definitely weeks where I don’t get around to it and then have to catch up on everybody’s blogs on the weekend (hence my batch-commenting sometimes :)).

      Yes, I can imagine my day and your day look VERY different… a routine with kids is surely a whole different ball-game!

  4. It is always fun to take a peek into another bloggers day. You get a lot accomplished!

    1. I totally agree – cool to see how everyone’s days go!

  5. My days are pretty routine, but every day is different…from hour-to-hour. I almost always start my day with a 5-5:30 wake-up (usually before my alarm), do some form of a workout, scroll through social media/blogs then try to get in the shower by 7:00. I get to work around 8:00. Once there, I answer phones, download quote requests (from our sales reps), create e-files and man the reception desk. Fun, huh! Sounds like you have a great routine ;-)

    1. Love that you’re also a morning workout-er! :)

  6. Oh I love these sort of posts, San. What a great set of routines you have in place.
    Of course I love the discussions of food.
    I worked for an environmental consulting company for several years and your work felt like a throwback to a previous era when I actually knew how to use ArcGIS and that ilk.
    I’m always amazed at how early people fit in workouts. In an ideal world, I’d do most of my exercise after 7:30 pm. It’s when my body feels best. Years ago this was the case, but now I tend to do it much earlier to accommodate having a quasi-young family (also, I’m just too tired once they’re settled for the night to do anything now).
    At this point I usually wake up around 6:30 am, but allow for a range. We’re always up by 7 to get the kids ready for school. I walk them to school from 8-9 am, and then work/do house-related things from 9-3:00, with exercise of some kind thrown in for good measure. Then supper, kids bedtimes, and some blogging usually in the evening before lights out around 10:30!

    1. Oh, I didn’t know you know ArcGIS… most people don’t know what it is, so I usually don’t go into details. I love this “visual” kind of work!
      I can imagine that your daily routine with kids is very different from mine. I mean, I fit workouts i because I don’t run after kids all day LOL

  7. I love these posts! I also set my workout clothes out the night before so I can just slip them on when I get up. I think it makes all the difference, to make morning workouts easy.

    Your job sounds really interesting! I loved this peek into your life!

    1. Morning workouts FTW!

  8. I love the solid routine you have in place – right from knowing you need a more gentle wake-up! I thrive on routine and when it’s not there, I’m all over the place!

    1. You’re right – routine is so key! For me too!

  9. I love these kind of posts, too, but have never done one! I should do one some time. The projects you work on for work sounds so interesting! It’s so so so different from what I do so extra fascinating!

    I don’t set out workout clothes but if I am going into the office, I put my work clothes in the bathroom so I don’t have to make much noise when getting up!

    1. I love to hear what other people do for work – we all spend our days doing vastly different things and it’s fascinating!

  10. I love reading about the days of people who don’t have kids.. your life seems so calm! I know that’s probably not true, but let me dream :) The meetings really interrupt everything, don’t they? I’m in management so my job is basically to go to meetings. I have about 15-20 meetings a week. It also makes it impossible to actually do work because you can’t really get into anything seriously in the 30 minutes between two meetings. Ugh!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah! Your day with back-to-back meetings sounds… exhausting. Ha. Do you feel like you accomplish a lot? I always feel that meetings are necessary, but I only get actual work done if I am not interrupted all the time.

  11. Our schedules seem quite similar! i understand what you mean about the gift and curse of working from home. I often find that I work more hours working from home because there’s such easy access to my laptop.

    1. I love the flexibility of working from home and “finishing” a task if need be, but yeah, we gotta be careful to separate work and personal time.

  12. I love Day in the Life posts! i would say the only thing surprising about your day is that you wash your face and brush your hair before working out, ha ha. I definitely skip those steps. By the way how is your back? I hope it’s better by now!

    1. Haha. You’re probably right and I could do the face-washing AFTER the workout. I do have to brush my hair though – it’s all over the place when I slept on it LOL

  13. It is true that it is good and bad working from home. I am glad I am not doing it anymore but with the price of gas I know teachers would welcome it. Once a week would be nice. One slice of bread with jam is your breakfast? Wow, that is not enough for me. :-)

    1. As a teacher, I am sure the working from home part was quite challenging sometimes…

      You’re right, it’s usually two slices of bread… I should have been more precise ;)

  14. I love these kind of posts when you get a sneak peek into the everyday life. I am always amazed how early some people get up and then be active this early. I am not such a person. I never got used to it when I had to get up around 6 am to go to work because the commute was so long. I am wondering about your meetings – do you have check-ins for the projects daily? very interesting projects. I wouldn’t mind reading a bit more about them.

  15. These posts are so fun to read! I love getting a glimpse into other people’s daily lives. You do such a long morning workout! 30 minutes is all I can handle these days, lol.

    I’m planning on doing a traditional DITL post this week. :) Our days will look very, very different!

  16. These are so fascinating! But seriously – how do you live on such tiny meals?!?! Your soup serving looks like it’s in a mini-cup! You exercise so intensely I kind of anticipated that your meals would be a bit, well, more substantial?
    I am also, as I think you know, someone who LOVES morning workouts. If it’s not done by 6 am, it’s usually not done. I’m brain – and body – dead by 5 pm most days. :)

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