In response to my previous blog post, I’ve had a few people ask about my routine. For most of my life my routine has been overly based on what I feel like doing. Sometimes, when I’m inspired and have a clear objective this works really, really well. In this frame I can get a lot done in a short amount of time. However, there is a limit for how long I can stay focused.
The Book Rapper Routine
One of the really interesting things about Book Rapper is that it has exposed my attention span. It takes 5-6 days to complete an entire issue. This includes: reading, taking notes, sorting notes, writing the text, designing the issue and editing. Plus there are the slides and recordings on top of this. I find this intense immersion into a topic about right for me – it gives me my best bang for my buck. In other words, I feel like I produce something worthy of my time – deep enough to be valuable. In contrast, short grabs like writing this blog post are useful to clarify my thoughts and less satisfying overall.
My Current Daily Routine
At the moment my current routine looks a bit like this…
I’m prone to staying up and getting out of routine with my sleep. Usually this means every few weeks I wear myself out and become tired and cranky. This feeds the stop-start work approach. Currently, I’m working on being consistent and this includes waking up each day at a similar time. I do my best work first thing in the morning and I’m currently building the habit of waking up earlier. In the past I’ve tried to just set the alarm clock for an hour earlier and this simply caused disruption and didn’t stick. At the moment I’m waking up at 7am every morning. For me, this is early!
I’m eating a lot less at the moment. Mostly, because I’m following a Paleo plan that has more nutrient dense food which means I eat less often, eat less quantity and more quality. First thing in the morning the goal is to re-hydrate. This might be a big glass of water, lemon juice or perhaps a green smoothie. Sometimes I have a big breakfast. I particularly love bacon, eggs and vegies. Sometimes I have a light breakfast. Lately, I’ve been having a coffee mid-morning. Lunch is often only a couple of hard-boiled eggs and perhaps a snack of a tin of sardines in the afternoon. I love sardines! Usually I have a pretty decent dinner.
This year I’ve really become tired of working at home on my own. And, when I stay home to work I tend to faff about more than I used to. (Love that word, ‘faff’). To counter this I’ve started working in the local libraries (sometimes in the Melbourne State Library – picture above), coffee shops or co-working spaces. I like to mix up my routine. To reach this location I walk. I find the walking winds me up to work speed. I surprised myself recently when I added up how much walking I’m actually doing. It’s about 60 kilometres a week. That’s a lot of walking!
During my walks I mostly listen to podcasts to spark my thinking, I make phone calls and sometimes I walk alone just reflecting. I still haven’t found a good way to talk and record my writings. I’d love to hear any apps, devices or suggestions you might have to record on the run, er walk.
I tend to divide my work into ‘my work’ and ‘client work’. ‘My work’ is the things I do my way. For instance, writing a book or a RAP. ‘Client work’ is when I have to satisfy someone else. I’ve come to the conclusion that the client work always gets done whereas I’m more likely to skip ‘my work’. And, given I gain so much joy from creating my own work I aim to spend as much time here as possible. So, I aim to do my work in the mornings and work on client work in the afternoon. This way ‘my work’ almost always gets done.
I haven’t been as social as I would like lately. Mostly, being in public places has been enough. If I’m working intensely I prefer to be on my own. Yes, I’m an introvert. Mostly I meet people for coffee and a chat. And, I keep saying I’ll go to more networking and meetup events in the evenings. So far I’ve successfully avoided doing this. Instead, I’ve been indulging in watching TV at home.
Hopefully, this has been more useful than self-indulgent. My aim was to expose the uniqueness of our routines. And, my constant search and experimentation for my ideal lifestyle for getting great work done.
I’d love to hear what routines you employ to produce your great work.