I love the flexibility it offers, the casualness of my day, the ability to wake up and go to sleep whenever I want, to stay in my pajamas all day, to get lunch or coffee with whomever I want whenever I want. I love the freedom to work in my home office, a coffee shop, a library, or even from bed.
But that can sometimes get isolating. Especially during a winter like this when it’s either too cold or too wet outside to motivate you to leave the house. On days like that, coffee shops, libraries, even lunches with people don’t sound too appealing. You do not leave the house unless you have to. So even though you can do whatever you want, you end up choosing to stay and work from home, day after day, week after week. And you end up staying in your pajamas all day, continually shuffling between your bedroom, office, kitchen and back again, relying on Facebook and Twitter to provide you with the only human contact you will have all day.
Such absolute freedom with your time and no one really to answer to but yourself can be treacherous, even for someone who values that freedom as much as I do. You start craving a little bit of structure, just a little bit of something that you have to do, an occasional—but regular—reason why you must get out of your PJs, into presentable clothes, and out of the house. Not too often, and not for too long, but regularly.
So it was with great pleasure that I started to teach a class at NYU. At 9 AM on Mondays and Wednesdays, no less. Never known to be a morning person, my instinctive reaction when I first heard the time slot they had allocated to the class was “are you people insane?!” Until I quickly realized how productive that could be, not only for those two days, but my week as a whole.
And I was right.
I love the class I am teaching (Research Methods in Social and Personality Psych), I love teaching students what I know about the subject, I love how smart and engaged my students seem to be (so far), I love being called a ‘Professor,’ I love being in a university setting again (still)…
But I also love having a reason to wake up early, make coffee, shower, get dressed, put on make-up, and start the day by leaving the house. I love having a reason to not only get dressed, but actually dress nice. It’s allowing me to wear clothes I haven’t worn in years, because they were too nice to wear them grocery shopping, not cool enough to wear them to a Burner party.
And, I never thought I’d say this, but I love the fact that having to wake up at 7 AM two days a week has made me wake up at 7 AM every day of the week, weekends included. On my own! Without an alarm clock (or seven). I’m more productive, more engaged, more in flow. Aside from the fact that I don’t know this person (is that really me?), I’m loving it.