Making Things Modular

With the pandemic impact lessening, at the moment, I’ve been enjoying some of my most cherished activities. All of a sudden my life is busy in a way it hasn’t been in a couple years. It’s strange how quickly I adapted to some of the changes, such as the hybrid work model.

My commute used to be about three hours a day, five days a week! Now I only commute twice a week but the effort feels more significant than it did when I went everyday. I’m not sure if this is because I fell out of the habit or because I go fewer times the routine is less mechanical, making it seem more onerous.

In addition to weekly commutes, orchestra rehearsals are part of the routine. I recently joined a quintet, though rehearsals are more casual. I’ve been making an effort to exercise more, trying to swim and attend a pilates class once a week. Though I don’t miss the commute, it did keep me more active every day bouncing from one public transit system to another.

With the social restrictions relaxed and the promise of nicer weather coming, I’ve also been able to socialize more. In short, my schedule is getting full again. It’s hard to imagine this is what it was like pre-covid. I need to be mindful to avoid getting too busy. This sudden influx of activities requires some serious organization.

One of my favorite strategies to stay on top of everything is to make things modular. Making things modular allows me to have things prepped so I can quickly “mix and match” them to get ready. For example, I keep my swim bag packed and ready. Going swimming already adds a bit of extra time with changing and showering. I have a small waterproof pouch containing my suit, goggles, cap, swim shoes, shampoo, comb, and lock. It’s in a special bag with my designated swim towel. If I can manage to squeak in a swim, having everything ready to go helps maximize the time by minimizing the effort.

I usually do pilates right before my orchestra rehearsal. Similar to swimming, I use the same strategy to attend two very different activities in the same night.

Whenever I can, I prep in advance. Another favorite tip is packing up dinner leftovers as an office lunch. It’s a win-win. Kitchen clean up combined with meal prep.

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