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As I mentioned here, it's important for me to maintain somewhat structured "office hours" while working remotely. I find it hard to get anything done if I allow myself to do non-work tasks during work hours.

That said, I do work non-traditional hours 3 days a week. My non-traditional hours are structured--but they don't happen in the regular 9-to-5 windowI do this because it allows me to spend a chunk of time with my son in the middle of the day and it allows me to avoid having to pay for childcare, which doesn't really fit in my budget. I chronicled one of my non-traditional days here: https://www.doublefourteen.com/post/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-work-from-home-mom.

I'm really curious to hear from other remote workers that regularly work non-traditional hours. How do you make it work? Why do you work these hours? Perhaps most importantly, how do you make sure you get enough sleep?

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    I usually work during the traditional hours (9-5) but sometimes it could go well into the evenings. And when that happens I cut down on other leisurely things that I might have planned towards the latter part of the day.

    Also, sleep is really important to me as it keeps me functioning throughout the day, so I make sure to get at least 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep before starting off afresh.ย 

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      Another question for you: do you take a lunch break? I'm really curious to hear if people are scheduling lunch breaks these day or working while eating/

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      Hey Lindsay, I really find your story inspirationalย  - so firstly, thanks for sharing it!

      Also, I am more of a morning person, so I wake up at 6 (I do get about 7 hours of sleep) and start work at 7am and work till about 4pm. Then I call it a day. I still do work at a stretch, so it is traditional in that sense, though not typical "office hours".

      The reason I do this is because I feel it gives me much more time to explore other parts of my life in the evening - work out, cooking my evening meal or even just reading a newspaper.

      Of course, while managing a child, I am sure you must have it way more difficult than me. So, I am not sure if I am a great example, but just thought of sharing how I go about my day :)

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        I think this is a really great schedule. There is so much anecdotal and neuroscience research that shows that we are at our best and most creative in the morning. I think even once I don't have childcare responsibilities during the day, I will probably have a schedule like this. It feels so nice to have a more open evening.

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          It feels so nice to have a more open evening.

          Totally!

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        I do not use work time to do any household tasks. I don't do dishes. I don't make the bed. I don't tidy or pay bills. I just work

        That's very disciplined Lindsay - kudos! I have still not managed to be good at that. I plan my workday meticulously but am currently pretty poor at adhering to it. And each evening I promise I will do better next day, but haven't lived up to it yet.

        I do work standard hours though (9:30am to 9:30pm), so I am quite useless for the other questions that you have posed ๐Ÿ˜…

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          Well, I definitely have my "high distraction" days! The only thing that really helps is knowing that I have a hard stop at 9 am and 5 pm and the only time to make it up is late at night.

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            Makes sense Lindsay. I think I haven't told myself yet that there is a hard stop in my work timings yet. That's something I have got to do.

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          Great post. Your section on 'boundaries' is something I surely aspire for.

          Unfortunately, with the current situation, I find it tough to maintain those boundaries. I usually prefer to work out of a co-working space rather than my home precisely to avoid distractions and of course, get out of work on time.

          Do you prefer a co-working space over your home office?

          There's also a few posts I have seen in the last few days about having a 'fake commute' that takes you away from work consciously.

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            I do like co-working space, though I don't currently use them. I definitely think they are a good option though, especially if you don't know too many people there - so you're unlikely to have long, distracting conversations. I also used to go to coffee shops pretty often.ย 

            Oh, and yes, I've see the "fake commute" idea, and I think it's brilliant. Have you tested it?

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              Hmm, that's a good point. I think the problem comes with switching co-working spaces. I usually visit the same hub, so apart from Fridays (when there're networking/ social events), there're not many impromptu conversations that happen. Of course all this is pre-Covid, right now, I am not even getting out of my house ๐Ÿ˜…

              For me, Coffee shop really work for short periods. I've never been able to spend an entire day there.

              Oh absolutely. The concept is fantastic. I want to do it regularly but I've tested it only a few times. I just hop on our treadmill and jog for 10-12 mins. I am not entirely sure if that's the right way of going about this ๐Ÿ˜›

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                Hah, yes, all of these conversations are about pre-pandemic life. (I just taught a class via Zoom from my bedroom so I'm with you).

                I love the treadmill idea. I've been scheduling at least one phone call a day as an actual phone call instead of a video call, and I've been using that for a walk. Maybe I'll just add another short walk to the end of the day.

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            I never had much of a schedule because I was usually traveling, but with COVID that changed.

            I have been working from 7:30 or 8 a.m. to around 5 p.m. (with a few breaks here and there to catch up on emails, a few online programs I watch every day, lunch, etc). The more focused part of work is usually from 8-11. I noticed that gives me more quiet time before "the world wakes up and starts demanding from you", which usually starts happening around 10, so it's been a good decision. Until 11, I try to leave my phone far from me and on do not disturb mode.

            I want to start work (and wrap it up) even earlier so I can have more free time in the afternoon. As for unusual hours, I'd say the weekends. I usually have some work to do on the weekend too.