Today, I set in motion a change in routine and habits I hope will cement itself as part of my life in perpetuity. It started in the bathtub last night as I listened to a podcast with Erik Fisher about breakthroughs, setting goals, and creating time boundaries. As history will testify, I’ve never been good with schedules. But I do have big goals, like living a life independent of time and money. And to become independent of time, I will first learn to submit to time and structure my day more efficiently.
I set the alarm for 7:30am and made a schedule as follows…
7:30am – Bible
7:45am – Workout
8:15am – Shower
8:30am – Breakfast
9:00am – Write
9:30am – Work
10:30am – Practice
11:30am – Create
12:30pm – Lunch
1:00pm – Nap
1:30pm – Work
3:30pm – Breathe
5:30pm – Dinner
6:30pm – Free
10:30pm – Bed
I want to start my day with energy and inspiration, so the Bible and a workout where I listen to an inspirational podcast or audio book are essential. Then, I need to shower and eat breakfast… these are necessary burdens of living life. But some of my best ideas come in the shower. And I’ve never felt quite right throughout my day without taking a shower first.
I’ve scheduled 30 minutes to write. I want to spend this writing in my journal (this) and freewriting. If I stimulate my creative-side first, it should journey with me the rest of the day.
I then have an hour set aside for work. You wouldn’t think an hour is sufficient for doing work, but I envision that if I’m able to focus on some important task for one hour, I will get more done racing against the clock and working distraction-free.
At the end of this hour, I want to practice my music for an hour, and then spend an hour creating. Maybe songwriting or recording or shooting video. In reality, I’d prefer to do all of this before any sort of work. But every time I’ve tried, I’m distracted by a feeling of guilt that prevents me from reaching peak creativity. That’s why I’ve scheduled a one-hour blitz for work prior to this creative time.
I’m not good at waking up early, so I imagine rising nearly 3 hours earlier than usual will be a challenge. To refresh my mind midday, I’ve scheduled a nap after lunch. This should be no longer than 20 minutes (according to psychological studies I’ve read) but I’ve scheduled a half hour because I am terrible at falling asleep.
After waking from my nap, I want to spend another 2 hours working without distraction. This will likely be set to a pomodoro timer (25-minute intervals with 5 minutes of rest in between) to keep me working with a sense of urgency. If you can’t accomplish all your day’s work in 3 hours or less, you’re working harder than you should be, and not as smart as you could be.
After I’ve finished my work, I’ve scheduled two hours labeled “Breathe.” I hope to spend this time meditating, reading if the weather is crappy, or otherwise getting outside and walking, exploring or fishing. This is a time to decompress from all my efforts and rejuvenate my mind.
My evening will be spent preparing and eating dinner with my fiancé for an hour and then the next 4 hours with her either dating, relaxing, or doing something fun with friends.
Knowing myself, I require 7-8 hours of sleep per night (the more, the better). I find this crucial to my health, wellbeing, and to ensuring I have a fresh mind able to create each day. I’ve scheduled to get in bed by 10:30. It bears repeating, I’m terrible at falling asleep. So I’ll spend some time in bed reading something light, preferably fiction, although I rarely read anything but nonfiction. But I’m currently enjoying “Roughing It” by Mark Twain, and this sort of reading puts my mind at ease and has been helping me to fall asleep faster. I’ve found nonfiction in bed get my wheels turning, and once turning, they’re very hard to stop.
This is all fine and fancy, but now I’m in my first day of implementing this routine. I woke at 7:25 but fell back to sleep before I could even sit up and woke again at 8:25. I know, disappointing, but it’s still progress. Aside from that, my morning routine went well. Everything is slightly delayed because of waking up late and also spending a half hour vacuuming the apartment (which before today, I’ve rarely found the time to do).
So although my new routine is already off-schedule, I’m planning to right my wrongs and start again tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. In truth, starting isn’t starting. A baby step is only walking if you continue to take additional baby steps. And even then, you’re still a long way from running.
Most my journal entries will be private (on my iPad), but I felt this entry had some useful points and that by posting it publicly, I might be more inclined to stick with this new routine.