I really like where I work, as evidenced by the fact that I've been working here for over nine years now. I've definitely settled in. There are a number of work habits that I've developed that work for me. However, I wonder how many of these my co-workers might consider peculiar.
It also crossed my mind that if they do, I really don't care 🙂
I make my own coffee in my own coffee maker.
There are several commercial grade machines around the office, as well as some Keurig brewers, but I don't use any of these. I actually brought my own coffee machine, one that I had sitting in the basement at home, and brew my own coffee every day. Why all the trouble if there are machines everywhere? Well, it's because the machines that they have here don't work too well for the routine I've established. See, I don't use Keurig cups as I find them wasteful and too expensive for everyday use, but the ‘free' coffee that they provide is coffee in only the most technical sense. Long story short, it's awful. I bring in my own coffee, keep it in the freezer, and brew my own pot every day.
So, why not use one of their machines? Well, that's because the commercial machines brew a full pot at a time, and I make a half pot per day, so a regular old brewer lets me make exactly what I want. The kitchenette area has a huge counter area, so I know there's room for my machine, and I've made it clear that people are welcome to use it so long as they keep it clean and bring their own coffee to use.
I keep an early schedule.
My job is pretty flexible in that I don't have to be here for a certain time. We have to be around during core hours (I think between 9am-3pm) but we're allowed to be flexible outside of that, so long as we're getting our work done and working around the needs of our projects. I always get in slightly before 7am and leave slightly before 4pm, so I'm one of the first to arrive. I'm sure people think I ‘leave early' but hopefully they soon realize that they never actually see me walk in…because I'm there before them!
I sort of have my own parking spot. Plus I change it based on the season.
The people that get here early joke that we have assigned ourselves our own spots, as we get the pick of the parking lot, and generally park in the same spot. I actually change my spot based on the seasons. After Memorial Day, I park under a tree that provides afternoon shade so that when I come out to leave work, my car isn't roasting inside. Once October hits, I move to the other side of the aisle, where my car doesn't get small leaves dropped on it, and I actually welcome the sunny days that we occasionally get during the winter months.
I take laps.
Our building was gutted and renovated in 2012. They designed it so that the perimeter of the building is mostly free of any offices or rooms. This allows light throughout the building, and also creates a ‘racetrack' that makes taking a lap or two easy. I have a FitBit and always try to hit my 10,000 steps, and taking ‘the long way' to the bathroom or printer, or just taking a lap or two so that I can clear my head, all helps me reach that goal.
I bring my lunch.
Maybe this isn't so strange, but based on the number of people that I see leaving every day for lunch, I'm sure that some consider it strange. I may go out once in a while, but it's a rare event. If I do leave during lunch time, it's more likely that I'm out running errands than it is that I'm actually getting food.
I refill my water.
I love to drink water, but for me it has to be cold. I have a water cup at my desk, and I also have a container that I keep in the fridge. I pour the cold water from the fridge container to my cup, then refill the fridge container with water. That goes in the fridge to get cold and the cycle starts over again.
I print out my to-do list.
I wrote earlier about how I keep my to-do list going every day. The system works for me, but I'm sure anybody that glances at it probably thinks it's a little strange. After all, it isn't your traditional to-do list. I tend to break my tasks down into smaller sub-tasks. Crossing things off on a regular basis keeps me more motivated to continue. As such, I tend to abbreviate some of the items so that they make sense to me. The net result is that someone else would see my list as gibberish. It's sort of my own personal shorthand, if you will.
All of these things are habits that work for me. Still, I can see when added together, some might see me as a little bit odd. As I mentioned above, I really don't care because they work for me. Plus, they keep me more productive. Isn't that the point? I know I'm one of the go-to people that my manager can always count on and I get good reviews. For these reasons, I'm going to keep doing what I do!
Readers, what habits do you have at work that might be outside of the norm? Are they habits that you know make you happier or more effective?