It’s been over a year now since I started working at Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and a bunch of other awesome products.
While at first it was a big adjustment to work from home and have so much freedom, I’m now 100% used to it and loving it even more.
I get a lot of questions about what it is like to work there, what it is like to work from home, and also what it is like to make my own work schedule.
So here’s a little post in which I describe a typical day of work for me. Let me know if you have any questions by adding a comment below!
5AM: I wake up and spend some time alone before the kids wake up. I do some reading, praying, and meditating. This is especially important this year, when I’m trying to focus more on my interior life.
6AM: I go to my “cloffice” and start my day by connecting with WordPress.com users via live chat. This is always exciting, as I never know the questions I’ll get, or what issues our users are facing.
8AM: Coffee and breakfast with my family.
8:30AM: Back to live chat, catching up on e-mail, and multitasking a bit, now that I’ve had some coffee!
11:30AM: Break to go to the gym, eat some lunch, and shower 🙂
1:30PM: At this point, sometimes I choose to go to a coffee shop to continue my workday. I then reply to some more messages, and work on different projects.
2:30PM: A 30-minute chat with a co-worker. We are encouraged to do this and have work “buddies” who can help us and be helped as we navigate the excitement and challenges of remote work. I always enjoy these calls.
3PM: If I’m home, I take a short coffee break and enjoy a few moments with my wife.
3:30PM: Back to the computer! I now check on our team goals, projects, and commitments and see whether we are moving at a healthy pace to reach our weekly goals.
4PM: Answer some more customer emails, follow-up on anything that needs attention before the end of the day.
5PM: Close the computer and end my work day.
This is a pretty typical day for me.
One of the neatest parts of my day is life’s little “interruptions.” Let me explain: Because we homeschool, my awesome wife Amy and our kids are home all day. I have an open-door policy, so they can always come in and give me a hug or tell me something they want to share – even if I’m working. Apart from the few times when I’m on an important call, these little interruptions do not distract me from what I’m doing. In fact, they remind me of why I work in the first place.
Automattic is a great company to work for, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work on something meaningful, while at the same time witnessing my family life from a front-row seat.
Let me know if you have any questions!
Oh, and by the way, we are hiring.
I’m sure you’ve seen a friend or two talk about 2016 as a terrible year. So many celebrities dead, so many wars, so many undesirable people elected to office, etc.
Well, I disagree.
While I respect people’s feelings, the world has always been a difficult place, and things don’t go the way we would like to all the time. Celebrities and non-celebrities die every day. Wars have always happened. Idiots are elected to office every year.
We all lived the same 2016. Yet for me (and for a few reluctant friends who dared to share their thoughts in social media) this was one of the best years of my life.
I think the secret to always having a good year is to
- Understand what is and what isn’t under your control, and
- For what is under your control, have a deliberate plan so things turn out the way you want them to.
If you think 2016 was a terrible year, I’ll risk a guess that you either are
- Letting things that are not under your control affect too much of your life, or
- Not being deliberate and planning how to tackle the things that are under your control.
The folks I quoted above are the people behind becomeablogger.com and Social Media Examiner. Leslie Samuel and Michael Stelzner are incredibly successful guys who really understand what I’m trying to explain in this post.
What we can’t control
About the things that are not under my control, like the bummer of losing Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds in the span of 24 hours, there’s not much I can do. In this particular case, I may watch A New Hope and Singin’ in the Rain one more time and say a prayer for their souls and for the family they left behind. I may also choose to celebrate the positive effect their work has had in my life and watch one of their movies with my kids.
But in the end, bad things happen. They always do. If we can’t find a way to cope and have a strategy to deal with them, we are going to have a hard time in life.
We shouldn’t let our happiness be a direct result of these out-of-our-control events. Happiness needs to be more proactive, and less reactive.
What we can control
I’m a huge believer of setting goals for oneself. I’ve written in the past about having SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) as a way to turn their achievement more realistic. That is a great way to come up with a few items for the short/long term which you can have some control over.
This past year of 2016, instead of specific goals, I decided to focus on three areas of my life, and chose three key words to define what I would work on: service, simplicity, and strength. I opened the year by writing this post which delineated how I planned on attacking these areas.
Now, 365 days behind me, I see that I made good progress in all these three areas. Here’s what happened:
2016 was a year that I made a decision to be more available to help others. Though I still have a long way to go in this area, I think I did better than previous years. I helped friends move furniture, volunteered to teach the marriage preparation course at our local church, helped my dad with his business quite a few times, created a new website for our parish on WordPress.com, cooked a couple of dinners for my family (!), volunteered to teach an introduction to WordPress course at our homeschooling co-op group, and a few other things.
There’s much more to do here. But a year ago I decided to make some gains in this area, and I did.
As a result of working from home and needing only my laptop to do my job, I decided to get rid of things this year.
At first I started weighing all the items that I would donate or sell, with the intent of tallying it all up at the end of the year. That didn’t quite happen, because we were donating and selling so much that it became a nuisance to weigh everything as it left the house.
I’ve also decided to wear simpler clothes on work days, which meant I wore a whole lot of WordPress swag, making my choice on what to put on every morning a lot simpler.
2016 was a simpler year for me. I carried less weight with me, spent more quality time with my family, and did more with less. Just like I had planned it would be. Win 🙂
Besides the occasional jog throughout spring and summer, I joined the local CrossFit gym in October and since then have been working out 3-4 days a week.
I have never been in better shape. I feel younger, stronger, and healthier. I can run 5Ks faster than ever. In just 3 months, my thighs have grown from a circumference of 20 to 23 inches!
It’s hard work, but it is something I decided last year that I needed to do to be stronger.
Here’s me deadlifting 335 pounds last week:
Needless to say I have increase my strength, like I had planned I would one year ago.
Life is what you make of it
In short, your life is a collection of events, some that happen to you, and some that you make happen.
If you learn to cope with what happens to you, and start planning and executing on what you want to make happen, 2017 will likely be your best year ever, just like 2016 was for me.
Stay tuned as I will share what my three words for 2017 will be in a few days.
What will your 3 words be for 2017?
“Add a supernatural motive to your ordinary professional work, and you will have sanctified it.”
―St. Josemaría Escrivá
As much as I liked my domain venividivelcro.com (I came, I saw, I stuck around), I’m excited to rebrand this blog using my new domain, cesar.blog.
Earlier in the year, Automattic announced the launching of the new .blog domains, and I was super excited to get a top level domain that just said “cesar.” Since most of the most popular domain extensions were already taken, such as cesar.com, cesar.net, etc, I felt like cesar.blog would be the perfect domain for this site.
You can also get your .blog domain by clicking here. If you move fast, you might get that special domain you’ve been thinking about before it is gone.
I hope you also like the new look!
Even in the space and Internet age, there’s no greater adventure than a good, old-fashioned marriage, blessed with good, old-fashioned children.
The simple things in life…
We recently visited my sister and her lovely family in Peoria, Illinois. Besides seeing some sights and spending time together, they had a little gift for Adam and Laura.
I probably flew kites no more than 3 times in my life, and they were all over 30 years ago.
I’ve been missing out.
Here’s a perfect way to spend time outside, have tons of fun, get some exercise, and not spend a dime.
As Bert from Mary Poppins sang,
With tuppence for paper and strings,
You can have your own set of wings
With your feet on the ground
You’re a bird in a flight
With your fist holding tight
To the string of your kite
Having so much fun with so little had me thinking:
What are other simple things in life that we are missing out on?
What are other “kites” in our lives?
After three kids and 11 years of marriage, we finally went on our first true family vacation.
Sure, we had gone on trips before… Even a three-week trip to Brazil back in 2011.
But all the trips we had gone on were to visit family and friends who happened to live far away.
This was the first time that the trip itself was the end goal. A true vacation! Continue reading “Our First True Family Vacation”
This is a quick update on my last post, The Cloffice.
So the desk and chair are here! Continue reading “The Cloffice – Update March 2, 2016”
We live in a small house, considering the Canadian/North American standard.
We also have three children.
So when we finished our basement, we had to think very carefully about how we would divide the space. I think we did a pretty good job, here’s a timelapse video of the construction: Continue reading “The Cloffice”
It was January 31, 1986 when we t-boned another car that carelessly crossed the highway as we returned from a fun vacation in the northeast of Brazil.
There were 6 of us in the car: my dad, my stepmom, my grandmother, my two little sisters, and myself. It was the 1980s, so none of us had seatbelts on. Continue reading “30 Years Ago My Life Took A Turn”
Today our family lost 16lb.
As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my words for 2016 is simplicity.
Most of it will have to do with getting rid of stuff. My goal is to take something to the dump, or if in good condition, to the Goodwill store every Friday. Continue reading “Let The Purging Begin!”
Since I posted that I’m now working for Automattic, many have asked me if I’m moving to San Francisco, where Automattic’s main office is.
Automattic works with a 100% distributed team, which means I’ll be working from home. The same goes for other Automatticians who live in Hawaii, Japan, Iceland, South Africa, Bangladesh, etc. Continue reading “I’m Not Moving to San Francisco :)”