Do you have beginning-of-the-work-day rituals?

Construe the word “ritual” in the broadest possible sense. It can be that you work best in a certain environment; that you need music playing, or utter silence; that you have to play 2 games of Spider Solitaire before you get down to it; that you have to vigorously couple with Debra Messing.

Also, give us an idea of what sort of work you do.

Answering my own question:

For my corporate trainer/drone job, I have to begin the day by arranging the desk. This may seem remarkably stupid, as I end the day by cleaning the desk, but I mean I gather any documents I’m going to need throughout the day, arrange them in Monklike piles, return the phone, computer, and so forth to their proper positions (the cleaning crew tends to move them ENTIRE MILLIMETERS while dusting, the bastards, even though there’s never any dust left when I leave) and so forth.

For creative writing: I must gather all reference materials I will need close at hand. My Roget’s must be on my right. My Concise Oxfordmust be on my left. Any other books go directly in front of the laptop. There must be a hot beverage at my right, and any pages to be marked up go on the left, as my array of magical colored pens without which I cannot think of abstruse allusions. I must do 10 minutes of freewriting before beginning, and I need music to listen to. This music must be something I already know very well, so as not to be distracted by new discoveries.

Reading the above makes me fear for my sanity.

For tutoring: I must assemble all materials to be used in the session close at hand. I must also make sure there are no knives or guns in reach, in the event one of my students pisses me off.

Anybody else? Anyone? Bueller?

Not waking up.

Current Job: None

The daily routine is pretty set: Unlock classroom, turn on computer. Eat breakfast (fast food or cereal) while checking the news sites, comic sites and the Dope. Pre-write all my class notes on the whiteboard for the day. Head to the office, check mail, then hit the men’s room for a final download before the kids arrive and my day begins.

For a workday:
Hit snooze button 3 times.
Shower immediately after getting out of bed.
Get dressed, dry hair, do makeup, do hair.
Feed and walk dogs.
Pack lunch box.
Grab lunch box, purse, phone and keys, lock the door and drive to work.
Put down purse and lunch box on the credenza.
Get oatmeal and banana out of lunch box, load the Dope, straighten the desk blotter (cause the cleaning lady tips it askew).
Take oatmeal to breakroom, pop in microwave, get coffee, get oatmeal out of microwave, and head back to my office.
Read the overnight posts as I eat my breakfast, then take care of any business at hand.

I turn on my PC then go straight to the kitchen for 2 cups of coffee. (one is NEVER enough). I have a fight with myself if there are doughnuts or pastries there. I usually win, and eat the effing doughnut while promising myself that tomorrow will be different.

I check the meeting room schedule for the day, my office email, then my yahoo, hotmail and gmail accounts. If I do these (mail) out of order it’s just WRONG.

Once I get to work I drop off my purse and restart my computer. I have a process I have to run overnight, so I don’t shut off my computer at the end of the day.

While the computer is doing its thing, I drop off my lunch in the breakroom fridge and get my cup of tea. Then, when I get back to my desk, my computer is waiting for me to Ctrl Alt Del and put my password in.

The first thing I open is e-mail, then my software and its various editors, which I have to open in a particular order. In fact, if one of the editors shuts down, I have been known to shut down everything behind it and reopen everything in the correct order.

If nothing urgent is in my inbox, I surf the internet for a few minutes while having my tea and my breakfast, then start my day.

Wake up to wife’s alarm clock.
Wake up 9 minutes later to wife’s alarm clock.
Wake up 9 minutes later to wife’s alarm clock.
Sometimes wake up 9 minutes later to wife’s alarm clock.
Sometimes wake up yet another 9 minutes later to wife’s alarm clock.

Go back to sleep for 30 minutes to an hour.
Wake up by myself to no alarm clock.

Start waking 2 kids.
Make breakfast for 2 kids.

Put dog out and make our bed.
Bring dog in.

Pour juice into containers for kids’ lunch.
Make lunch for kids.
Ask kids to gather some healthful (ch’yeah right) snacks to include in their lunch bags.

Put breakfast dishes in dishwasher and, on alternate days, shave.
Jump in shower.

Make sure kids have their homework and lunches packed, teeth brushed, and are out the door on time for bus.

Get dressed.

Drive to work. (And lately, stop to add air to my leaking tire on the way.)
Enter work to the usual 13 people looking for me, this needs inspected, this shipment isn’t right, this serial number is missing, my boss needs to see me immediately, etc., etc.

Boot up computer. Fire up ERP System. Open Outlook. Open Firefox. Grab a coffee and begin my day: stressed out having “worked” already for 2 hours.

I believe in taking care of myself and a balanced diet and rigorous exercise routine. In the morning if my face is a little puffy I’ll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial mask which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.

Wake up to first alarm at 7am. Turn alarm off. Roll over and fall back asleep.
Wake up to second alarm at 7:20am. Hit snooze. Roll over and start pondering what to wear.
Wake up to snooze alarm at 7:27am. Stumble out of bed and attempt to find a reasonably presentable outfit.
On alternate days - take a quick shower. Dry off, apply moisturizer, pull hair into semblance of a bun.
Stumble downstairs to feed the four-legged furkids.
Stumble back upstairs to put on reasonably presentable outfit selected earlier.
Shake The Boy awake, as it is now 8am.
Grab lunch from the fridge, grab purse from where I left it the night before, and dash across the street to catch the 8:15am bus.
Arrive at work at 8:35am, barring any issues with the subway. Log into the LAN, then take a short walk to the cafeteria to grab a large coffee and something edible while the 'puter does its thing.
Eat breakfast, tidy up desk, catch up on the Dope.
Begin working at 9am.

Morning person I am not.

Hit snooze once, and once only. Make a pot of coffee, shower, fill coffee mug, turn on computer, drink coffee, feed cats, coffee, check weather, get dressed, coffee, do make up, stare in dismay at my hair in the mirror. Check favorite comic strips online. Do something to my hair, refill coffee, find cigarettes, put breakfast (mini bagel, 1 oz packet of cream cheese, 1 piece fruit) in briefcase, fill thermos, smoke cigarette, check USGS earthquake map and Icanhazcheezburger. Coffee refill, play two, and only two, games of solitaire. Find purse, keys and coat.

Drive to work.

Rearrange items on pristine, but now ever-so-slightly off-center desk, grumble about not-quite perfect cleaning people, turn on monitor, coffee, sign in, steal my good stapler back from boss, coffee, toast bagel, take today’s paper work out of the Overnight file, and stack precisely on desk.

At that point, I am ready to deal with the daily chaotic nonsense, and eat my bagel.

Please tell me you’re joking here… Please…

I believe this is from the movie “American Psycho.”

I’m a nurse and work nights. My shift starts at 7 PM, but I like to be there by 6:30 so I can organize my papers and listen to report. To do that I have to leave the house by 6, so I start getting ready around 5. I pack a lunch, iron my scrubs, shower, shave, etc., and then I’m out the door. I always stop at Starbucks for a grande coffee, then have a cigarette* in the hospital parking lot before heading in.

*I know, I know - but you’d be amazed how many of us nurses smoke.

I’m not even going to list the before-getting-to-work routine, as anyone who has elementary school kids knows it by heart.

Once I get to work, I put my stuff down, greet my supervisor and whoever else bothered to show up on time, put on my iPod, grab my coffee mug, and run upstairs to the break room to get my coffee. (A group of us chip in a few bucks each month to buy coffee, creamer and sugar, and whoever gets there first each day makes the coffee.) Then I go to the bathroom and return to my desk to eat whatever breakfast I brought from home while I log on to my computer. I don’t check the Dope at work, as we have no Internet access at work other than intraoffice e-mail.

This is my routine morning commuting to Central Tokyo:

5:15am Wake up.
5:40am Shower.
6:00am Eat breakfast.
6:50am Leave home.
7:07am Board local train.
7:25am Reach hub train station.
7:59am Board 2nd local train.
8:50am Reach hub train station in Tokyo.
8:57am Board local train to station near office.
9:05am Reach local station near office.
9:16am Enter the office.

I could take a 40-minute commuter train from my local station to the hub station in Tokyo, but that would require standing in a sardine-like commute. No way. With the routine described above, I could sit down and take a nap. Yes, I know…lazy me.

Let’s see…

Wake up about 5:52 am, 3 minutes before the alarm.

Take shower.

Shave, put contacts in, brush teeth.


Eat, screw around on the web looking at stuff they have blocked at work (not NSFW, just blocked)

Wake up wife around 7:10, leave for work.

Get to work about 7:30.

Read emails since previous workday, and respond to any urgent ones.

If I have a deadline, start working on requirements or researching whatever process we’re planning on implementing.

Read CNN and Dallas Morning News sites and chat with the guys in the cubicles behind and beside me about the recent goings on.
If no deadline, eventually start doing real work around 8:10 or so.

College professor, here:

Get to the office about 45 min. - 1 hour before class (longer than that if the first class of the day is at a civilized hour)

Say hello to secretary, photocopy anything that needs photocopying, check departmental mail.

Check e-mail, check electoral vote projection sites, read and the Chronicle of Higher Ed message boards. Studiously avoid the Dope.

Hastily check writing responses from the last class. Glance over notes for this class, steel myself for the day. (Eight years of teaching have not really gotten rid of the pre-class butterflies.)

Check out computer / DVD player / projection equipment, if needed, and set it up.

Write writing-response question on whiteboard to give the students something to do as they drift in. Return last set of responses to students.


What are your views on Genesis/Huey Lewis and The News? :stuck_out_tongue:

I get in 10-15 minutes in the morning–so I can enjoy a bit of peace and quiet before everyone else comes in. I fire up the PC, make coffee, check my email, see if there are any open tickets or pending facility tours, and read the worklogs. By the time my boss and co-workers come in, I’m already up to speed for the day.

Wake up at 9:30 after a few snoozes on the alarm.
Take a bath and brush my teeth simultaneously, finish before 9:45
Put on my clothes and check my personal mail while drinking coffee.
Leave home at 9:55
Buy breakfast on the way to office, around 10:20.
Enter office at 10:25
Start my PC, and have a smoke.
Begin work at 10:45.

In my defense, I work late hours.

Alarm goes off at 7
At 7,30 I hit the shower, grab a sandwich and a yogurth and get dressed before I leave the apartment at 7,45.
At 7,57 I park the car in my space and walk to the office
At 7,59 I ctr-alt-del the computer to log on and sign in.

Once signed in; 2 cups of coffee, my mandatory websites (both work and non-work related) and then at around 8,15 the phone starts ringing and the e-mails start pouring in.

Get up 6:30 - 6:40 a.m.
Shower immediately.
Get in clothes, do hair.
Open the door; if my son’s awake, he’ll wander around the bathroom while I put on makeup. If not, hopefully the light will start waking my husband.
7:00 wake husband.
7:05 get son started on his breakfast.
7:10 wake husband again, reminding him I have to leave 20 minutes.
7:12 get lunch and coffee ready to go.
7:15 sit down and play with and cuddle son after poking my husband again. If possible, get him in some clothes for the day.
7:40 kiss my husband and son.
7:45 (hopefully) leave.

I keep telling myself I’ll get up at 5:45 or 6 to work out, but constantly going to sleep at 1 a.m. hasn’t been particularly conducive to that.