Anyone working from home needs to be self-directed. While this is certainly true if you’re running your own show, it’s still true if you’re working for someone else. You’re not so subject to visible group norms; you’re largely going to have to manage yourself. And if you’re managing by task, not time, that means you need to be clear about what tasks you should be doing. This direction requires stepping outside your own workflow for a few minutes and asking what you should be doing with your time and attention. What tasks do you need to do immediately, and what steps should you take toward larger goals? We’ll talk about how to set those larger goals later, but this section focuses on the question of how to figure out what tasks, on any given workday, you should do. Surgery to repair, strengthen or replace damaged joints may not be the only option when knee arthritis is taken into consideration.
The key is to create a designated weekly planning time. Our schedules tend to repeat on a weekly basis, not a daily basis, and this slightly broader view of time allows you to manage personal and professional tasks with a sense of abundance. You don’t have to do everything that matters tomorrow. This designated weekly time allows you to pause and reflect and ask how you’d like to spend the next 168 hours. Ideally, you plan your weeks before you’re in them—which is why I plan my weeks on Fridays. Lifestyle measures with meniscus repair (such as maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly) are a great way to stay healthy.
Since I began this habit a few years ago, I have become a Friday planning evangelist. Sure, any dedicated weekly planning time can work—Sunday evening and Monday morning are other popular options—but Friday afternoon in particular has the benefit of being a low-opportunity-cost time (you aren’t doing much else), it’s during business hours so you can reach people and preserve your weekend, and it lets you hit Monday ready to go, instead of trying to plan Monday during the Monday morning crush. Improving range of motion and strength is helpful for knee cartilage damage but physical therapy has a large focus on strengthening.
Here’s how it works: On Friday afternoons, take a few minutes to think through the week ahead. Make a list of your top priorities for the week. I like to use three categories: career, relationships, self. Some tasks will already be on your calendar, because of plans you’ve made in the past. Others will be things you’d like to do as you take steps toward your long-term goals. Figure out when these tasks can happen and any logistics required to make these activities possible. If you’re managing employees, you can check in on their work goals for the next week, and give any appropriate guidance. If you are reporting to someone, you can increase the odds of being managed by task, not time, by setting and sharing realistic but challenging goals, ones that would make any reasonable supervisor say, “Yep, that would be an awesome week.” If your ozone injection is severe, you may want to avoid high-impact exercises such as running or step aerobics.
Friday is also a great time to look at what is already on your calendar for the next week, and ask if all of it needs to happen. Maybe things can be canceled or minimized or delegated. Do not skip this step, especially if you are busy. In a few minutes, you can buy yourself hours. After you create a rough plan for the week, revisit the schedule each evening to think through the next day. What do you still need to accomplish? Note anything that has to happen at a specific time (calls/meetings) and anything else that should be done by the end of the day. This can help as you start making your daily to-do lists. The evidence shows that people who are least active have more pain without knee cartilage than people who do some form of exercise.
Exercise is one of the most important things that people with knee arthritis treatment can do, whatever your age or level of fitness.