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Don’t Come for My 12-Hour Work Days

Written By: Lauren Howard

Don’t come for my 12-hour work days.

Burnout taught me to love them more, not less.

Here is my day:

6:30-7:00 a.m.- Wake up and get ready for the day. Sit down at my computer and get through emails. Enjoy some quiet before the decidedly not quiet.

Between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.- Kids wake up. Close the computer. They are still excited to see me every morning. I’m not giving that up until I have to.

9:00 a.m.- Start my workday for EST. Try to avoid phone calls until at least 10.

10:00-10:30 a.m.- Get up between calls to see where kids are. Spend 10-15 minutes in the basement and get some dopamine. Back to work.

10:30-12:00 a.m.- Back on calls and writing docs for the day. Reading and organizing emails is a must before all time zones are online.

12:00 p.m.- 1:00 p.m.- Lunch somewhere in there, depending on client calls. Kids come up at 12. I try to make them lunch when I can, but sometimes it’s just a few minutes while they smash Play-Doh into the kitchen counters.

1:00 p.m.- Kids go for quiet time. I get in trouble with our childcare if I interrupt them during quiet time. I thank the universe that someone else gets to be the heavy.

1:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.- Full focus mode. Usually booked solid with calls. All time zones are fully online, so it’s the busiest time of my day.

5:00 p.m.- Small heads start bouncing around outside of my office doors. I make room in my desk chair for additional butts.

6:00 p.m.- Shut it down for an hour or two uninterrupted with the small humans, unless there is a West Coast call scheduled. Dinner and catching up with my husband.

7:00 p.m.- Grab a few more minutes of focus to make sure I’m prepared for the day then upstairs while they wind down and get ready for bed.

8:00 p.m.- Kids in bed, back to the computer for anything urgent or to write down thoughts for the next day. I am not ready to turn off if I feel like things are left unprepared. Planning is my self-care.

That? That’s technically a 13-hour workday, but every single one of those hours is all mine and spent exactly as I want it.

I’m not interested in a set 9-5 where work is work and home is home.

I work hard and I get to hear toddler giggles any time that I want.

This is my version of fulfilled professionalism.

No amount of money would make it worth it to fight through traffic, lose hours on a commute, miss out on good mornings and lunchtimes, and not get to switch between L2 and Mom all day as I see fit.

The last few years have taught us that none of us are just one thing. Remote work means I can be all of the things whenever I feel like it.

I wouldn’t change that for anything.

I work from home and I mom from everywhere.


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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