Red Green Repeat Adventures of a Spec Driven Junkie

My Work from Home Nightmare

Sharing an insight I had from suddenly working from home all week. I talk about how I miss my commute and review strategy to fix a key part: getting back me time.

You gain an insight into my life, what I do on my long commute, and how I am thinking of overcoming this “work from home nightmare”.

This article will take you three minutes to read.

Gustave Courbet - Woman with a Parrot source and more information


With COVID-19 cases appearing in the NYC region, I made the decision for me and my team to work from home until the situation stabilizes.

I could not own the outcome of me or my team commuting through the busiest transportation system in the world with an airborne virus, especially if I can change this outcome by having everyone work from home.

The WFH Nightmare

The trend now for jobs is to offer a lot of “work from home” as a benefit.

I went from commuting two hours each way to the office to working from home. Normally, working from home with this commute would be a win for anyone, they would get back an extra four hours from not commuting.

That would be true until kids come into the picture.

As soon as I finish work, my wife asks:

Are you done work?

Once I reply: “yes”, my wife expects me to be in father mode:

  • “Can you take care of our son?”
  • “Can you give him a bath?”
  • “Can you help with this?”

The work from home “dream” with no commute is now my nightmare. I don’t have any of my me time where I don’t have to think about work or family. I had to commute and created me time.

me time

What is me time? It’s time I would study, work on this blog, learn new things, listen to an audio book, keep sharp. Sure, my commute might have used four hours of my time each day, I made the most of it. This me time makes up for that.

The majority of the me time helps create articles for this blog, as well as work on other things.

New me time Opportunities?

Working from home now, I must devise new ways to get me time. Strategies that come to mind:

  • Waking up earlier
  • Staying up later
  • Taking advantage of my son’s nap time

All options are interesting as they are highly variable and have trade-offs.

Getting up Earlier

My son can get up early, 6am is his normal time, he has woke up earlier than that, even 4am. Benefit is I wake up with a clear head. Demerit: I have to wake up earlier than my son. 5am feels tough for me.

Staying up Later

Staying up late is rough, because I’m just tired mentally and want to goto bed. Sometimes my son goes to bed pretty late too and can take more energy to get him to bed. Benefit is I can get as much me time as I want after everyone goes to bed. Demerit: everyone else still gets up at the same time, which means I have to get up then too.

Nap time

My son still naps a long time, usually, two to three hours. I have taken advantage of that break on the weekend. Benefit is it’s quite regular and during the day. Demerit: during the week, his nap time overlaps with work time. I would like to have more opportunities for me time than two times a week.

Attempt one: Get up Earlier

With this new work from home arrangement, I have to find a way to carve out me time. From the list above, I will go with waking up earlier as my first option.

I have done got up early to do extra work. Main benefit is that getting up early gives me a clear mind to work on something before the day starts. Staying up late (like I am now working on this article) produces less optimum results and my son will still get up early.


Even though my commute uses four hours of my day, I miss the routine of me time and the exercise. Working from home has its benefits, I just need to create a whole new routine to accommodate for it.

OK, I’m off to bed so I can wake up earlier!