Get to Work Earlier – Personal Challenge

For August I am going to follow up on last month’s goal of waking up early.  Overall, we did a good job of sticking to waking up early in July (5:30 on weekdays and 7:00 on weekends) but it didn’t really help me with one of the things I wanted to do more and that was to get to work earlier.  I simply get too distracted and focus on other things in the morning.

With Erin in her last month of pregnancy and a stay at home Mom (a 24 hour job) she’ll probably skip a challenge for herself this month.  I am OK with that though since I’d like to address a habit of mine that I’d like to change for the benefit of the family.  Let’s also be honest, carrying a baby for 9 months and giving birth is also a decent personal challenge as it is.

Anyways, my job is mostly a typically 8-5 job except, as an Architect, you can pile up the hours as deadlines draw near and that timeframe gets blown out of the water.  The office I work in full is of capable, trustworthy and reliable people who can manage multiple projects at a time and management doesn’t need to micromanage people including when they get in or leave.  A very fortunate position to be in for both parties.  As a result, we all have different schedules since they know that we ultimately get our work done on time.  My natural schedule is to get in after 9:00 each day and working until at least 6:00 if not later.  That is just naturally my schedule.

At other firms I’ve worked at if we needed to be there at 8:00 then I would be there at 8:00 but I’ve become use to not being forced to be someplace at 8:00 every day unless I have a meeting.  The downside is that I get home later and see less of my son before bedtime.  It takes a toll on Erin as well and I don’t like that.  Each day I simply have a hard time getting out the door as I just get too distracted by usually non-important stuff.

I’m sure you are thinking that I am crazy and/or lazy for having this issue, but let’s be honest, we all have an issue like this in our lives that we want to get over.  I more than put my time in at work and for a few months this spring I was working many 60 hours weeks despite not getting in at 8:00.  That is just the way it goes in a more project based industry such as Architecture.

We were focusing on doing something else for this month’s challenge but I just told Erin that I really wanted to do this and I know she would appreciate it a lot if I left for work earlier.  In a perfect world, I would wake up at 5:00 AM and be at work at 7:00 when the office is nice and quiet but that is not a natural thing for me.  For now, I will focus on getting to work by 8:00 since that would be a big improvement from my current habits.  Our office is still quiet at 8:00 actually.  I think it will also help me feel more in control of my day since I won’t feel as though I am starting behind as I usually do.  With another kid coming in a month I simply need to be of more help at home and I think this will help.

The whole point of us doing these challenges is to lead to long term change.  Overall, I think we have changed for the better but this is one that I really hope sticks for the long-term benefit of my family.

Up to this point I haven’t talked about how this affects things financially.  Obviously, there are no direct ties but I hope that if management notices me coming in earlier then that will only help them see me as someone who is willing to change and is reliable which I hope is the case already.  It also can mean that maybe I get some opportunities that I wouldn’t have received if I had come in later.  Ultimately though, this is for me and my family first so any other benefits that come along would be gravy.

So how will I achieve this?  I think my mind frame is my biggest area to focus on.  I need to feel motivated and driven to get out of the door.  I need to fuss less with the little things and not get distracted on my phone or iPad.  Some things to do would be to simply eliminate screens in the morning entirely or to break my time down so I know if I am on track or not.  I am working on both and so far, have gotten to work earlier this month but I’m not there yet.  Making this public though is a good way to feel the pressure and obligation.

So are there any habits that you wish you could get over that seem like it shouldn’t be a big deal?