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Quarantine Dispatch: Routines

There’s much to be said about what is currently happening in the world right now and adapting to those changes has been a crucial piece in moving forward. Fortunately, we as a company can work remotely, but that comes with its own challenges. Much of our operational adaptation has been determining how to enable each part of the whole to perform their role well enough to continue operating at the quality our customers have come to expect.

What I’ve found in my own journey of working from home has been that routine is everything. While unaccustomed to regularly working from home, I’ve always been into routines. Whether it's my weekly visit to a local comic book shop or risking tardiness in favor of following my pre-work procedure to a tee, there is peace and comfort in the grooves of routine I’ve carved for myself. Now I find myself confronted with a reality lacking some bricks of a carefully laid foundation of how I tend to exist on a given day, some of which, I didn’t even realize were part of the structure. The line between weekdays and weekends is still there, but as a soft veil breached simply by rolling out of bed at a minimum. Used to, one had to leave the house, endure traffic, and then interact with other humans (aka “monsters”). I also find that I miss the casual and often banal interactions with monsters; It certainly made looking at my own habits easier.

When I first started working from home and social distancing, I had common thoughts of how much I would thrive. No distractions, less stress, a break from monsters, boundless creativity! I’ve since found that much is the same and there’s not a wrong way to adapt unless you’ve not left your couch in days except to warm up pizza.

While the peace I’m chasing now may be slightly different than it was before, it remains true at its core - a search for control. There are things I can easily continue to do like shower, change my clothes, and water my flowers in Animal Crossing, but some things require a bit more energy to find alternatives. Daily walks have been much easier than going to the gym and helps to make up for all the lost steps I wasn’t counting in walking to my car and around the office. Luckily there are countless videos online to workout to and keep some movement in my life. I can’t walk into a co-monster’s office to give myself a break (and them a distraction), but I can use a video call to see a familiar face and connect to someone. I can’t go buy new comic books, but I can finally address my Tsundoku (and read lots of Wikipedia).

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and aimless with all the uncertainty swirling around. Wherever it is that you’ve lost routine in this time, it’s helpful to maintain some peace and piece of control, but don’t be afraid to beat back new paths and push into the unknown on your own terms.

-Alex Skidmore

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