A drawing of Ana holding a phone and taking a photo of a cat who is washing itself. The cat says, suprised, oh, hello Ana.


Jottings from Ana Rodrigues

My typical day

Hidde invited me to share what my typical day looks like. I saw the chain going around and I read a few from people I know. I thought it was really interesting and I had a strange feeling of relief when I read about real humans and the fact that, actually, they are very similar to me!

It is a bit silly, but I always imagine that everyone else is constantly switched on and creating things. I mean, social media gives that illusion and my own insecurities feed it, but this pandemic really made me feel ashamed for taking it easy.

8:30 My husband's alarm goes off. But realistically, I'm usually a little bit awake since half-past six because that's the time my cat comes to check if I am awake. I also live in an area that has some traffic, so I wake up really easily with any noise. Once the alarm goes off, she starts meowing and jumping on us because she knows it is absolutely fair game. Around this time, I get up, put the collar on my cat, top-up her food and open her catflap. I hate when I don't make the bed so I usually make it around this time, have a shower and have coffee (my husband usually makes it and leaves it on my desk).

I usually have my coffee while checking my emails, social media, RSS feed and the news but many times I take the coffee outside and go to my garden. Around this time I check if we were visited by foxes or other cats during the night, examine how my flower bed is doing and just look at my cat wandering around and smelling things.

9:30 Work starts around this time. I share what I did the day before, what I'm going to do today and, if I need something from someone on the team, this is usually the moment I let everyone know in advance so that they can plan their work too. But most importantly, I tell people what I dreamt the night before!

Screenshot of my slack with a search query with the words I dreamt from me. Showing a total number of messages to be 71.

We also do team updates on video calls, but since we already shared our day, we usually do fun and informal conversations. If I had a really incredible dream (which is very often by the way), I don't write it out and this is the moment where everyone is forced to listen to it.

A great part of the morning is spent on calls (either with teammates or clients) but that actually works for me as I need some time to get into productive mode.

13:00 I try to use my lunch break for a quick walk in the common. Sometime last year, I completely lost my appetite and energy to think about lunch so I normally grab a quick and small bite and do more frequent fruit snacks during the day instead. I don't recommend this. Sometimes I also use this walk to run some quick errands. I usually listen to music that makes me want to sing and think about how much I miss karaoke with friends.

If the weather isn't great, I use this time to write on my drafts and jot down thoughts that I would like to maybe one day convert into a blog post.

14:00 Work time. This is usually my most focused time. Similar to Cassie, I have lots of herbal tea and listen to music that helps me focus. I personally use Noizio or my own playlist with my favourite music from The Rasmus. I explored this before: I usually focus really well if I am listening to music that brings me positive nostalgia, especially if I am doing a complicated task. Probably placebo, but I will not fight against it.

Some days, my anxiety and feelings from "life happens" creep in and I end up feeling extremely guilty for not being super productive. I try to catch up on work whenever I can so sometimes I feel like I did 8 hours of work in one afternoon. Other times... not so much.

18:00 I try to wrap up around this time and turn off my laptop. Halfway through last year I felt incredibly burned out from constantly being on my laptop at home so unless I am on a tight deadline, I will turn off my computer. There is also another exception: every other Wednesday, there's Homebrew Website Club, so from this time on, I try to write or work on my blog and then participate in the call.

From this moment on, I close the cat's catflap, take off her collar, play with her (she demands it like a dog!), do some home admin, check out my indoor plants (especially my Venus Fly Trap and whatever I'm trying to get roots from in a jar of water) and call my family.

19:00 Cooking and dinner time! My husband and I take turns in cooking. I feel more adventurous to try new recipes on Fridays and Saturdays - in case it goes wrong, there's always a takeaway option. And the cat also has her dinner!

I light up whatever candle I have in progress (I love candles), we chat about work, do the dishes and usually end the evening watching series together. This is also the time I ask my husband to read things I've written. We have a couple of shows "in progress". I know I am ten years too late, but we're now watching Breaking Bad. I prefer to watch films on the weekends.

While we watch things, I do some knitting. I'm currently doing a summer cardigan!

21:30 Around this time, I start getting ready for bed. First things first: pick up the cat's litter box. Then, my sort of inefficient yet harmless, skincare routine. I have extremely sensitive skin and once I find a product that doesn't cause an allergic reaction, I will not switch.

One of my solid routines is telling the cat "come to bed Jessie" and see her running past me and jump on the bed to her sleeping area (yes, she has a sleeping nest that I do for her on the bed).

I wish I could say I have an inspiring adult way of going to bed: but no. I do use my phone. And I do watch some TikToks. I also catch up on some things I bookmarked during the day that I wanted to revisit when I had more time.

Despite going to bed quite early (and eventually putting my phone down!), I struggle to fall asleep. My mind goes to a lot of places.

Other random facts:

  • My favourite day is Thursday because it is rubbish day and I love taking the rubbish out.
  • I miss the gym every day. I hate exercising at home and I don't like exercising. I see it as a task and because it is an unpleasant task, I will not do it if I have to do it at home. I need the gym to feel accountability. I also don't like running.
  • Saturday is the day I catch up on the shows that my husband and I don't watch together (he does the same).
  • I also play Fantasy Football so, Fantasy Football deadlines are a thing for me (along with knowing the scores).
  • I run an Instagram page for my cat, so recently, I've been trying to snap a photo of her and post it.

At first, I was afraid that this chain would create some "productivity shame". I truly hope that at least my post doesn't. I struggle a lot many days. This pandemic hasn't been easy on anyone. January was, personally, a devastating month for me - if anyone judges me for the lack of content I put out there, then that's a problem with their unrealistic and false expectations.

My husband, my cat, my plants, my little journals, my candles, my friends and family are what's bringing me comfort these times.

Whatever you're doing, please do it for yourself. Realistically, nobody is expecting anything from anyone.

I'd love to see the chain going and reading more from more people. I'd like to invite Calum, Suze and Carol to share theirs if they want to.

Have a good weekend folks!

  • Mood: Relaxed
  • Doing: Watching TV
  • Thinking: I think I'm going to give another go at cutting my own hair.
  • Listening: Nothing

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