8 May 2017 · 5 minute read
Somebody asked “What’s your workday like?” and it occurred to me that writing this down may be useful, so here is my answer.
Wake up with feline alarm clock and his sister, both of whom are fed, given fresh water, spoken to and pet.
Light breakfast, usually yogurt and cereal or freshly-ground peanut butter on toast, and fruit. Stove-top coffee, black, no milk, no sugar, and accompanying glass of water. Meditate a little, not following any mantra, just trying to observe my thoughts with no judgment. Avoid looking at any screens, except to answer the usual call from my mother who lives overseas.
Depending on what day it is, I either:
Eat lunch often but not always consisting of heated leftovers from the previous evening’s dinner which was purposefully cooked in abundance so there is also lunch the following day. A particularly tasty leftover food is black or brown beans and white or brown rice and a spicy sautéed vegetable. If it is not raining or cold I like to eat sitting on grass outside. Should weather and temperature be grim I stay in and read things on a website or a book while noting down ideas for projects and blog posts on a paper notebook, which is something I like to do throughout the day and sometimes in the middle of the night. I also play with the felines, and talk to them and play music on the stereo for them — they particularly enjoy ambient forest sounds, but also like Alice Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, Mozart, Pink Floyd and Tori Amos.
Coffee after lunch, and sometimes a sweet, at least 70% cocoa if chocolate, if possible.
Check email and reply. If there is an email asking me to do something which I cannot do at the current time I either write down what I need to do and when I need to get it done by on my paper planner or I archive the email.
Mid-to-late afternoon I usually draw and look at things on a large computer screen and draft an email showing progress, often with screenshots and brief captions with questions. I make sure to go outside before the sky is dark and walk home looking at and taking pictures of things. I may also walk to a bar and have a beer or play basketball or tennis or throw a frisbee or go to an event with a friend (when I do not get to do exercise outside due to, for example, soul-threatening weather or laziness, I often do the ‘7-minute Scientific Exercise’ routine in the living room before dinner). When I get home I look at, choose and sometimes publish a picture to my website and auto-post a link to it on social media websites (publish on own site, syndicate elsewhere). If I am home and it is cleaning day I take turns vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, taking clothes to the washer in the building basement and setting up a line and hanging them in the living room, which makes it look Neapolitan and reminds me of the great food and people of Naples and of Live at Pompeii.
After dinner (which I take turns cooking or washing up after) and conversation I explore an open-world computer game with emergent gameplay mechanics or read a book (I am lucky to have a partner who loves reading and writing).
At times, when inspiration strikes, I stay up late and work on something close to my heart.
What is your workday like?