It’s Easter Friday (but seems I’m publishing this on Sunday…) – and it’s going to hit 20 degrees c today! This Easter period is usually one of my favourites of the year – first of all its a minefield of bank holidays, second of all it’s when we start to come out of the madness/busyness that is Q1 and start popping summer holidays in the diary, and third of all it’s when the sun starts to shine and the days are longer, – it’s good vibes all around really.
Usually on this long Easter weekend I spend the Friday (today) with Levi, chilling and try to conjure up an interesting fish meal for dinner (they say Good Friday is for fish…), then on Saturday through to Monday I go home to see my family which definitely involves jollof rice at some point and my dad inevitably putting the barbecue on.
2020 is different of course. I’ll spend the Easter break where I’ve spent the past however many weeks (#quarantineszn… or whatever). Although we’re stuck in doors – the sun is still shining and honestly, the break from work is always welcome, as sometimes you just need to rest.
I last posted a “daily routine” blog in October 2019, and it was focused on my mornings. But as you can probably guess, my routine has been a little different since COVID took over Europe (and the world, quite frankly). So I thought it’d be good to provide this very strange update for the very strange situation we’re in.
07.30 – 07.45: Wake
Before COVID, I was waking up at 6am to get dressed and ready to go to the gym. The main reason I did this was because, whilst I used to be able to go to the gym even at 10pm, the more intense work got, the less I had the energy to do that. I had one priority after work and that was to eat quite frankly. The fact that starting my day with a workout made me feel better set up for the day definitely came after the fact.
I’ve used COVID as a season to get in an extra lie in. Now when I get up I spend a bit of time on my phone or on my laptop (most likely on YouTube for the latter), and during some mornings (when I’m feeling productive, or just have a few things on my TDL), I use the morning to do a task. It could be editing a video to post later that day for my fitness page, sorting out life admin and yesterday I used it to drop some money into a HSBC ISA (mainly stocks but also bonds, cash and other good stuff), and check in on my student loan and have a think about how much I want to pay down and when (life admin at its finest).
08:00 – 08:30: Start Work
When I’m in the office, I tend to get in around 08:30 if I’ve been to the gym that morning (or its a Friday), or likely slightly earlier if I’m coming straight from home. Now I tend to start work (i.e. move from the bed to my desk half a meter away), any time in the 08:00 to 08:30 time slot. What time I make this move depends on how I’m feeling (I’m usually feeling my most motivated on Mondays so I’m in my seat by 8), how much I have to do (a super busy day can start at 7, to be quite honest), or what I’ve otherwise done that morning (if I end up doing any of the tasks I wrote about above, then I set 08:30 as my deadline to get my ass out of bed). For breakfast I either make myself cereal, or I cook myself and Levi eggs and sausages (he starts work later so I’m usually the first up and food is the first thing on my mind, of course).
The working day
I start my day at the desk the same way I always started it – I catch up on news overnight first and foremost. This is really just through scrolling through Bloomberg alerts, chats, and any e-mails I’ve received from say a company we cover, a central bank and any other “official body”, to get myself up to speed. If there are deals in the market (I do bond deals), or something interesting has happened we share the details of these things with our clients on Bloomberg chats. If there’s a deal we missed, then I probably start the day with some type of profanity or a – “fair enough, that’s okay because… XYZ” 😉 After that, I clear my inbox, and then just… get on with it. Do my work, hop onto calls, annoy my new colleague Levi if its quiet, and repeat this up until my stomach starts to grumble. Depending on who’s busier or who’s stomach is grumbling more viciously, either myself or Levi will break around 12-1 or so to go and cook some lunch.
As a lot of us are now working from home, here are a few best practices I’ve picked up over the past 4 weeks:
- Breaks are important – Levi is better than these than I am. I could very easier work all day sat in the same chair only getting up to go to the toilet or to get some food… which I then eat at my desk. Whereas at work typically, you take breaks without even realising they’re “breaks”, be it a coffee break to gossip, or a nice stroll outside when you go to get your lunch. I’m trying to work on taking proper breaks by eating my lunch and breakfast on the dining table away from the desk
- Get yourself a proper set up – When I first learned I’d be working from home I thought it’d be a disaster as I’ve worked a few weekends recently for a few hours on my laptop from home and it’d simply been a disaster. But my dad helped me get a proper set up with a screen, mouse, keyboard and desk which totally changed the game. We could be WFH for a long time – so a good set up is important!
- Get ready – I’m not going to say I wake up and dress in a my work clothes every day – actually I haven’t worn my work clothes since my last day at work on March 11th. But I get showered before I delve into my work for the day, and try sometimes to put on a cute shirt/jumper/a little bit of foundation for the day, even if that’s over a pair of lounge shirts or leggings. It just makes me feel like I’m “ready” for the day, which staying in bed in your PJs without having a shower definitely won’t make you feel
19:30 – 20:00: Dinner
I finish work anywhere from 19:00 to ??. The “??” comes if I’m super busy. On an average day I try to be logged off by 20:00 at the absolute latest, on a good day I’m logged off already by 18:30-19:00, and on a Friday I try and finish up by 18:00 at the latest. This is pretty much the same as when I’m in the office, except in the office if it’s getting late I’ll sometimes leave early and finish working at home anyway. Levi’s flatmate’s fiance is a great good and luckily really enjoys it too, so most days during the weeks she cooks us really delicious(and creative) dinners. On the weekends we try and switch it up a bit (for example I made dinner yesterday), so that everyone’s helping out. We all eat together usually anytime between half 7 and 8, we chill for a bit and chat, load the dishwasher and then go to our rooms to unwind for the evening. Sometimes I work longer if I’ve got more to do but usually I gear up for my daily workout.
Finally, to end the day, I do a quick 30 minute workout. Sometimes I do these workouts during my lunch break also if my day isn’t that busy (these, and weekend workouts are what I end up filming for my fitness page). However, almost every day I overestimate how busy I’m going to be and don’t get to workout until the evening. After my 30 minute daily workout, I chill in bed and watch Netflix, YouTube or just browse social media, as you do.
On the weekends, we pop open a few bottles and spend way too many hours playing multiple games of monopoly and poker. On two weekends we’ve all stayed up until 5am playing – you wake up the next day feeling like you’ve gone on a night out but really you’ve just been here, for another one of the 1093188035 days that we’ve been here.