Media 05/05/2020 14:13:09

Normal Working Days..?

By: Pauline Arunga

My alarm goes on at 6 am and as usual, I snooze.  I have never changed it. It rings at the same time as the normal working day. Is it not a normal working day? It is. The difference is the location. It may seem like a small difference but it makes a difference.

You see, if it a normal working day, take a normal day to mean going to the office. I would snooze my alarm but I will be out of my cozy bed by 6:30 am. I would then take a quick shower, select a nice outfit to be noticed by the ladies in the office and of course hide the skin imperfections with the FIT ME Foundation and red lippie for the jamaas.

I would then hop onto the next matatu playing Yope and other crazy mixes on my way to work. I would think of my to-do list on my way and pen it immediately I get to my desk. I would make sure I execute everything on the task list before the close of business; so that I get home just in time to prepare dinner, catch up with the news and freshen up before bed. The cycle continues for the whole week with a few disruptions definitely. It is never a perfect system!

Now, with working from home, I barely make it out of bed in time. Who does anyway? I crawl out of bed just before the online scrum at 9:30 am on a good day or actually attend the meeting in my pajamas in my bed. I hope my boss does not read this. 

Do these folks know I am talking to them inside my comfortable cotton sheets imported from Turkey (At least that is what the saleswoman told me)? I wonder

I then remember I have not made breakfast and from where I come from, kachai lazima. You will literally collapse without kachai. Do not mistake this for hot water and tea bags; I mean the African mixed tea. You boil it kabisa until there is no foam. My mom would literally send me back with tea that has foam..what is the big deal anyway?

I take another hour just boiling my kachai thinking of my daily tasks. I write my to-do list, another 40 minutes down. Its noon already! Do I need to make lunch for my young siblings? Now I am confused between making lunch and checking off another item on my list. I comfort my decision making that family comes first but the truth is, I am hungry and I want food. So I make lunch. I like my food well cooked and spicy. Another two hours down the drain.

So it is 2 pm and I have only done one thing on my task list. My body is struggling because I have overeaten. Don’t blame me, my ancestors say unakula hadi unachoka. So I just do the tasks with deadlines by COB.

It is now 4 pm and we have to give a status meeting on the progress of tasks. I have barely done anything but because I have to give status, I say, It is in progress. It is in progress because I have actually written it down that I will do it. I then spend my entire evening finishing up tasks I should have done at 8:00 am start of business. I end up making dinner at midnight making my family stay up late. This is just because of “I am working from home and do not need to wake up early.

So, after a week of these struggles; I decide to treat my work from home days as normal working days. And, there is a difference. There is more time on my plate because of the discipline of getting up early; immediately the alarm goes on. I have transferred my commute time into Zhumba time and I love it. My productivity is higher and my delivery is always on time. 

There is no difference between working from home and working from the office. The same discipline applies regardless of the location.