Working Pattern

November 05 2012

Working everyday is hard, and keeping a pattern is difficult. Plans naturally change, yet we willingly tie ourselves to a pattern on which our entire life leans.

I don’t drive to work. Thankfully, I’m able to rely on public transit to get to and from work with no problem. My commute consists of a 20 minute train ride (between two trains), a 20 minute bus ride, and a 20 minute walk. The trains and buses arrive at the same time every day (most of the time), and my walking time is very peaceful.

In the mornings I leave my apartment at the same time everyday, walk in the Kalkomey doors at about the same time, sit down at my desk and do work. In the evenings, I leave at the same time everyday and get home at 5:02pm consistently. My wife and I go to bed around 9 pm every night.

In fact, my wife and I rely so heavily on our daily repetition, last year we got rid of both our extremely unreliable cars and bought a single, reliable vehicle. Also, since she’s also a public transit fiend, our car doesn’t move for most of the week. It’s glorious.

The system that I’ve subscribed to may seem like a huge headache, and to be honest, when one delay sets off other delays, it is, but this happens rarely. However, the limitations set by my commute are quickly handled by planning ahead, allowing room for error, and not getting angry when things go awry.

If I used our car more often and owned a smartphone hooked into the internet, keeping schedule would be more difficult for me, not less difficult. Traps like looking at Reddit for a few more minutes, not showering until a few minutes later, or getting an extra 30 minutes of sleep has caused tardiness more often than I’d like to admit. I thought I could spare the time, since I controlled my pattern.

In the environment I’ve set up, I don’t make decisions about the perfect timing to beat traffic, nor do I think about the last second I can wait to wake up in the morning. Those plans are out of my hand, which allows me to focus on accomplishing more important things.