20 Day Challenge: day onePosted: February 22, 2008
This is going to be harder than I thought.
Starting at 10 is OK. I got up late and I had to get the bus, as my bike collapsed last night, but I was still in by 9.45, giving me a good fifteen minutes email time before starting work. Except! It turns out it takes a good ten minutes to stop emailing, gather stuff, and move upstairs to the quiet room where I’m working right now. So the first 90 minute work slot didn’t actually begin till 10.12 – technically a fail, but I let it go.
The morning was fine, and my three hours saw me get a fair bit done. I did reply to the odd non-work email from a colleague, but only a minute here and there. And I kept the first break to 30 minutes, although I was suprised how little of a magazine you can read in that time.
The problem came at lunch. I stopped at 2, a little late on account of the late start, and went for a swim. But the usual place was closed, so I had to walk further, with the upshot that I didn’t get back till 3.45 (it usually takes about 90 minutes). Then I borrowed lunch from a colleague who’s helping me with my diet. Naturally, once I’d finished I had to go down and say thanks, return the tupperware etc. But I was still hungry, so I popped out for a packet of crisps. By the time all that was done, it was 4.35. I then got the urge to do some personal email. So, though I knew things were getting tight, I killed time till 5pm, when the whole fourth floor always stops for a quiz.
So it got to 5.15 and I knew I had a fight on my hands to get another 90min in by 7. I started, and got into the flow quickly, not surprisingly given that I’d been effectively on lunch for over three hours. After 45 minutes, I popped down to grab the bit of chocolate I’d bought earlier. As I went past my desk I noticed my colleague, who I thought had left, in with the boss. I can’t just leave him there, I thought – I should see what’s up. So I popped in, and they were talking about films. Stupidly I took up the boss’ invitation to sit down, and the conversation steered towards my colleague’s article. I couldn’t get away. By the time we finished, it was 6.50. I had 42 minutes’ work to do. It was over. I’d blown it. My first day was my first fail.
The lesson? You cannot afford to put off starting after lunch, because you don’t know what’s going to come up later in the day. So I’m adding a new guideline: lunch cannot be more than 90 minutes. That could make swimming tricky, but if I grab a sandwich on the way back it’s doable.
19 days to go, 4 fails left. All still to play for….