Fascination: "My List" In Harper's Bazaar.

There are so many "style" and "beauty" magazines out there these days. Quite a few are complete and total crap. (InStyle, Vogue, Allure... Though I still subscribe to and read Vogue.) But my favorite for the past few years has been Harper's Bazaar.

It has brilliant content.

Or, at least, I think it is presented in a way that pulls me in and induces me to absorb every last bit of it.

The first thing I always read when I open a copy of HB is "My List." It's a feature at the start of each issue (after the first hundred pages of ads, though) where a designer or other fashion "It" person gives a breakdown of a day in their life.

And since I am the kind of person who worries that how she lives her own life is "odd" or "not normal"... I like to know how others do it.

How do they get out of bed each day? What are their morning habits? What do they eat for breakfast? Do they workout? Do they obsess over technology and constantly use it as a crutch to satiate those moments when their ADD kicks in? What time do they eat dinner? Do they obsess over baths, like I do?

I mean... These are people who are well-known and paid for their creativity. I want to know how they harness and tap into that creativity by understanding their daily habits. I want to understand their fabulous lives!

My past few months have not been as creative or productive as I would have liked.

I think that is largely due to the temporary space I am in... And throwing myself into the remodel. Plus, I was in a job that left me feeling like things were all over the place. There was no organization, and it was difficult to organize things remotely. I was always working.  And exhausted.  Here was "My List" from the past few months, on a typical work day from here in Encinitas:

6:00 AM I wake up to a loud chirping of birds on my phone. The message I programmed with the alarm reads, "You've Slept Long Enough, Bitch. Get Up." I lay in bed for a few minutes, checking each of my five email inboxes. Eventually, I get up, thrown on my Lulus, and head to the gym to workout with my trainer. 6:30 AM I am at the gym, walking slowly on the treadmill. As usual, my trainer is late. My rule is that if she is not there by 6:45 AM, it means she is not coming. Usually she shows up right at 6:44 AM. We work out till 7:25 AM. Then I head home.  7:40 AM I shower and fix my hair. Since I work from home, getting ready takes about 15 minutes. If that. My hair is pulled into a topknot bun. I slather SPF 45 on my face, in the random chance I do take a walk outside. I make coffee and an omelet of avocado ad cheddar inside of two eggs.  7:55 AM Quickly write blog post for the day. Loaded with grammar errors and horrible picture I took the day before. But this is the only time today I may get to collect myself and be creative.  8:10 AM  I begin work. I check emails. I go through the online client management system to see what team members have what due to clients for the day. I begin taking IMs from the NYC team. 8:30 AM First one-on-one with a team member. These are scheduled for 30 minutes. But they often run over.  9:30 AM Random call from someone above me. The call doesn't have an agenda. Rehashing of stuff that we've already figured out happens. Interruptions happen on the call, with people walking into their office and joining the conversation on the speakerphone. The call lasts till almost an hour and a half.  11:00 AM First chance to pee! Quickly run to the bathroom. But can hear my computer "pinging" with an instant message. It's one of my bosses just "checking in."  11:10 AM Work on proposal/report/organizational project.  1:00 PM Team call to chat about new business pipeline. Which seems odd, as we are the Account Team. And their focus should be on fulfilling the work that has been sold to the client. Not on "how much new business can we get from the client?" The call loses focus - though I try my best to keep it on track and get it to end early. It goes nearly a full hour. 2:00 PM Quickly dash over to my renovated house - which is only 10 minutes away - to check on the team of workers getting things done. They are all super nice and very friendly. I know they'll be wrapping up in the next hour for the day, which is why I try to get over there before their day ends. Quickly dash back to the cottage where I temporarily reside.  2:45 PM Respond to IMs that have come in during my absence. One from a person on the call earlier wanting to discuss whether a certain team member really understands their role. I respond with, "They're an account manager. They hit their deadlines. They look for issues that may come up with the fulfillment of their client's work. They bring up valid points. They are organized and the clients seem happy with the work they are doing." I get a response of, "But are they selling enough." 2:46 PM Bang head on table. Realization sets in: The organization is clearly focused on selling.  The fulfillment and execution of the work seems to take a backseat. At least that is the message they are giving me.  3:00 PM Realize I haven't eaten. But know that if I eat now, I won't have time to digest it before the 6:30 PM Bikram class... Which I WILL be going to today, come hell or high water. (What does that even mean?) Decide not to eat. Return back to researching the project/product development/client work QA-ing from earlier  3:15 PM Unscheduled phone call with team member needing guidance on something that was sold that we have never done before. Walk them through how we can do it. Question why it was sold like that to begin with... They say they were wondering the same thing. Bang head on table.  4:00 PM Realize have not had any water yet in the day. Pour massive glass of alkalinized water, in an attempt to hydrate before the Bikram class. Realize how hungry I am. Snack on 10 almonds.  4:01 PM Go back to responding to emails and IMs that filter in. 5:00 PM Have only managed to take two sips of the water. And have eaten 10 more almonds, plus a tortilla. With some cheese on it. And hot sauce. Realize that the logic in attending a hot 90-minute yoga class is slipping away. Continue to respond to IMs. 5:30 PM Last one-on-one of the day with a team member. Scheduled for 30 minutes. But because I want to do my best to mentor them from far away, end up going till 6:15 PM. Can still make it to yoga though, as I am only three minutes away from the studio by car.  6:16 PM Decide that after the stress of the day - and the fact that I only made a slight dent in my project pile, I need to "power through" the evening to get back on my schedule for tomorrow.  7:30 PM It's dark outside. And I should eat or drink something. Realize I'd give anything for a soak in the tub.  7:31 PM Collect my notes from the day. Organize my To-Do List for the following day. Realize that I still have a pile of things to get through, as I have just added more things to my list.  7:32 PM Attempt to figure out what can be delegated off of my plate. Realize that the team has full plates themselves, and I can't load it onto them. Decide to prioritize the list for myself. Client stuff comes first. Specifically, client stuff for the team. All other "organizational projects" to help the business shift are going to the bottom of the pile. Business development takes priority over all things.  8:00 PM Shut the laptop down. Make dinner. Have no food. Only have $5 in cash on me. Will either make more eggs for dinner, or will drive to Jack-in-the-Box for exactly two tacos. Intend to get more cash from the ATM while out. But thinking about work, and drive past the ATM.  8:30 PM Eat. Watch Netflix. Send text message to boyfriend wishing him "sweet dreams."  9:00 PM In bed. Haven't washed face. Haven't written. Haven't stretched. Half-assed workout with trainer. Promise to do better tomorrow.  9:15 PM Read online news. Eventually, fall asleep at about 10:00 PM. I will get my eight hours, damnit!

Clearly... Not the life of a very creative person. No discipline. Don't worry, though. That's changing.

I doubt I'll ever get to have My List featured in Harper's Bazaar... But I am going to start to shape my daily routine better so that it allows for more creativity. Working from home was difficult for me, only because of the role I was in. I felt guilty stepping away mid-day for 45 minutes to run to my house. I felt obligated to drop whatever I needed to get done on my own projects to help team members. I felt obligated, also, to drop whatever I was doing to shoot the breeze for an hour or so with people above me.

"I get to work from home," I would say to myself. "This is a perk not everyone gets. I have to be as available as possible. Always on."

Tomorrow, that changes. A more creative and disciplined Heather will wake up and start living a better life.