Home About Archives RSS Feed

The Independent Investor: An Old Dog Learns New Tricks


Bill trying to work from home. 
COVID-19 has upended my life. Like so many other elderly workers, I am at risk, according to the government, the media and the medical community. As a result, if I want to avoid getting sick or dying, working from home is my only option.
 
When I made that decision last Friday, I didn't think it would be a big deal. After all, I have worked at home before (when I was sick or recovering from one of my many surgeries).
 
But as I am in day four of this self-imposed isolation, I am learning that, at least for me, my work habits are going to need an overhaul.
 
As a self-confessed workaholic, who loves what he does, even the idea of working from home never attracted me. I love the give-and-take of daily work life in the office. For me, the employees are like an extended family and I miss seeing them. I feed on office life and it feeds on me.
 
Therefore, when researching the pitfalls of working remotely, I expected to read that the greatest risk in working at home was that you won't work at all, or, if you do, you work at a reduced pace. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the opposite occurred. Without the comings and goings of my office routine, there was no stopwatch to tell me to take a break, drink fluids, eat lunch, exercise or even when to put the computer away.
 
The interruptions that occurred (and that sometimes irritated me at the office), I now realize, were timely cues to take a break. A colleague needing to talk, or convey information, an assistant asking for clarity, a delivery, a meeting, even a loud noise, or one of the office dogs barking are now all absent. As a result, I work at a frenetic pace.
 
At first, I worked at the dining room table. Big mistake. At the end of day one my back and shoulders were killing me, and I had a headache from leaning down working on a laptop in a dining chair that sloped backwards. Since I don't really have an office set up, I moved to the kitchen counter the second day. Better, but still left something to be desired. Tomorrow I will experiment with an office chair I had sitting around and hope for the best.
 
Given that I was so busy yesterday, I forgot to eat lunch. I have also made a habit of working out at the local gym for an hour during the day. Obviously, that isn't happening. I could exercise at home, but so far, I haven't.
 
Given that I have the software/hardware and telecom equipment at home to access my office, I connect when I wake up, rather than do the things I usually do like exercise, meditate or take the dog for a walk. So yesterday, for example, I worked from 6:30 or so until 6 at night.
 
And remember I am an investment adviser with worried clients, hysterical markets and a constant stream of new and challenging developments to contend with on an almost hourly basis.
 
I have already begun to adjust. My seating situation is evolving and like Goldilocks I will certainly keep trying to find the ideal arrangement for my aging body. I have started setting a timer for work activities with an allotted amount of time to get up, walk around, and breathe.
 
Today, come hell or high water, I will exercise for an hour around lunchtime. As for my hours, well, I will rely on my spouse, and she on me, to keep our working hours more reasonable.
 
All in all, I am sure that I will adjust to working this way. Others, who are also experimenting with this alternative work style, will be sharing their "tricks of the trade" and before long, who knows, I may actually come to enjoy it.
 
Bill Schmick is registered as an investment adviser representative and portfolio manager with Berkshire Money Management (BMM), managing over $400 million for investors in the Berkshires.  Bill's forecasts and opinions are purely his own. None of the information presented here should be construed as an endorsement of BMM or a solicitation to become a client of BMM. Direct inquiries to Bill at 1-888-232-6072 (toll free) or email him at Bill@afewdollarsmore.com.
 

 

0 Comments
     

Support Local News

We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.

How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.

News Headlines
Pittsfield Picks Interim Super; Retains McCandless for Full 90 Days
Drury High's Class of 2020 Takes a Second Bow
SVMC: COVID-19 Update Aug. 7
BCC Hires New Vice President of Administration and Finance
Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Aug. 7-13
Williamstown's DIRE Committee Divides Workload
Veteran Video Spotlight: Narcheeso Massaconi
Baker Pauses Reopening, Ups Enforcement of COVID-19 Mandates
Lanesborough's King Elmer Treated for Broken Limbs
State Aid Numbers in Hand, Adams Eyes September Town Meeting
 


Categories:
@theMarket (340)
Independent Investor (450)
Retired Investor (8)
Archives:
August 2020 (2)
August 2019 (3)
July 2020 (10)
June 2020 (7)
May 2020 (9)
April 2020 (9)
March 2020 (5)
February 2020 (7)
January 2020 (10)
December 2019 (7)
November 2019 (8)
October 2019 (9)
September 2019 (7)
Tags:
Fiscal Cliff Europe Stimulus Economy Energy Retirement Election Greece Housing Bailout Recession Metals Pullback Wall Street Markets Europe Deficit Stock Market Currency Debt Stocks Banks Commodities Euro Oil Crisis Interest Rates Jobs Federal Reserve Taxes Debt Ceiling Selloff Rally Japan Congress
Popular Entries:
The Independent Investor: Don't Fight the Fed
@theMarket: QE II Supports the Markets
The Independent Investor: Understanding the Foreclosure Scandal
@theMarket: Markets Are Going Higher
The Independent Investor: Does Cash Mean Currencies?
The Independent Investor: General Motors — Back to the Future
@theMarket: Economy Sputters, Stocks Stutter
The Independent Investor: How Will Wall Street II Play on Main Street?
The Independent Investor: Why Are Interest Rates Rising?
The Independent Investor: Will the Municipal Bond Massacre Continue?
Recent Entries:
@theMarket: The Economy Versus the Stock Market
The Retired Investor: Tensions With China May Heat Up
@theMarket: Stocks Fall as Congress Fails to Act
The Retired Investor: How Much Are Your Children Worth?
@theMarket: Bailout blues
The Retired Investor: The Weakening Dollar
@theMarket: Vaccine-Driven Markets
The Retired Investor: Bill & Barbara on Their Retirement Journey
@theMarket: COVID Case Concerns Cramp Market Gains
The Retired Investor: Next Bailout Should Address Job Creation