Thursday 11 October 2007

Three-quarters of a day in the life

My alarm goes at 6.15am. After a number of "snoozes" I finally wake up, get out of bed, and drag myself to the bathroom. It takes a while for me to focus but perhaps that's just as well. Make my way downstairs, straight out the door and into my car. It's peaceful at that time in the morning. It's quiet most of the time and I like it.

Not so keen on the drive. Around 30 miles but the route I take and the time at which I travel mean it's rarely a drain, except those occasions when the motorway is closed and then it's somewhat less than pleasant. Today I'm starting a new regime. No comfort snacking, a good bracing walk midday and exercise in the evening.

I drive off around 7am, through the empty town centre and along the twisting back roads until I reach the old Severn crossing. I make a conscious effort at a cheery "hello" to the person manning the tollbooth before crossing the bridge into Wales. The rest of my journey is motorway; first the M48, which has little traffic, followed by the ever busy M4. I miss the days when I could journey by train.

Arrive at work early. Car park is empty. I'm feeling a bit run down so I make a detour for Starbucks. Finally sit down at work, coffee one side and chocolate muffin the other, "snooze" the less important task reminders and read my e-mail. IT strategy life cycleI've set myself a goal for what I want to achieve today so open up the project on one screen along with various database tools, and on the other I display the design. Decide I'd better answer a few of those e-mail queries and then it's heads-down and code away. If I can avoid looking anyone in the eye I may remain uninterrupted for the morning.

Several interruptions later and lunchtime arrives sooner than expected. Despite enjoying the work I'm already behind schedule so skip lunch and pop-down to the snack machine. Pretty sure a diet of Doritos and a Mars Bar isn't good for me but it could help the schedule. I have a quick browse on the BBC website to keep up with what's happening in the world outside (apparently there is one) and then it's heads-down and code away. If I can avoid looking anyone in the eye and crouch low enough in my seat, hiding behind my two monitors, I may remain uninterrupted for the afternoon.

Several interruptions later I notice a number of people packing up and going home, the office is half empty. I weigh up whether I should work late again, whether my schedule was realistic or whether I should just write it off as "one of those days". Either way I can't see myself doing any exercise this evening. I look around the office to see who's left and catch someone's eye.


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