Winter Workaholic

This is my first winter working full time from home, and I’ve found that, with the cold weather outside, I’m stuck in the house for long stretches, and I tend to spend too much time in front of the computer. I’m still using WorkPace to remind me to take breaks once in a while, and I’m still doing my exercises (well, mostly), but my hands have begun to complain. At the end of a day, there is some definite pain, and I have to force myself away from the computer.

On the plus side, I’m getting a lot of work done.

On the minus side, being shut in also plays havic with my diet and mood. I’ve noticed more of a hunger for snacks, and the abundance of left-over holiday treats hasn’t helped in that department. With the decrease in exercise, and the increase in calories, I’ve gained a bit of weight. And I’ve found myself a bit depressed (or at least lethargic) at times.

In more temperate seasons, I spend more time outside – cycling, working in the yard, or just out and about. During the winter, I still go out riding whenever I can, but frankly it’s just not as much fun cycling at 40 or 50 degrees as it is at 60 and above. Same thing with walking or running. I’m thinking about joining a gym, but I haven’t done so yet. I could set the bike up on a trainer and ride it indoors, and I did that last year, but it’s incredibly boring. I may yet do that, but it’s an action of last resort.

The answers are fairly obvious, I suppose:

  • Get out more often. If it’s too cold to ride the bike or go for a run, go over to the mall and walk around. It’s amazing what a little exercise can to to boost the spirits.
  • Be rigorous with my hand exercises. It’s so easy to not do them. “It can wait until my hands start hurting,” I think. But of course by then it’s too late for the exercises to do much good.
  • Don’t turn the break reminder off. I have a bad habit of doing so, if I’m in the middle of some intense work (or play), and don’t want to be interrupted. Then I forget to turn it back on. Hours later, I wonder why I haven’t been prompted to take a break.
  • Work away from the computer. Read a book. Sketch out some ideas. Plan ahead. Think.

As obvious as the answers may be, they don’t happen automatically. It takes more than wishful thinking or good intentions to make them happen. Ah yes, self-discipline. I’ll try that and see how it goes.

Randy Rasa

Randy is an engineer/programmer/web designer who has suffered from repetitive strain injury off and on for over a decade.

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