Progress with routine

23 August, 2010

Inspired by recent reading The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working I decided last week to try implementing a routine that would assist me in my goals of exercising and meditating more frequently and preparing for work better rather than being rushed and having to rely on coffee to get me started.

The first week of trying this out was a disaster. Well, ok, it worked – but it left me absolutely wrecked by the Friday which luckily I had off. I crashed hard on the Friday and slept most of the day.

The funny thing was I should have been getting more sleep as I was ensuring I was in bed by 10:00pm and with my morning routine starting at 5:30pm it meant I should have been getting over 7 hours sleep. Clearly I’m just not compatible with early mornings.

I’ve scaled it back this week to a 6:00am start and dropping from two exercise slots to just one walk around the block with the dogs and cutting out in-bed reading time.

My morning routine is broken up into eight (formerly ten) 15-minute slots that ensure I get through everything I need to do in the morning without getting snagged on any one task or distracted. It now means I leave home for work at the same time every morning by 8:00am and can thus get a free car parking space in the employee park instead of paying for parking. It’s only $3 but that’s now $15 on parking I save each week plus one less coffee a day as I’m using exercise to wake me up instead of caffeine.

I would still prefer to get some decent exercise bike riding time in before work so I’ll try phasing that back in. I just don’t want my Monday to Friday be nothing but work, sleep and preparing meals. Some people can work 12-hour days on a long-term basis. Not me. Don’t misread that as a sign about my commitment to my job – I love what I do but I value my downtime and work-life balance. I enjoy driving but I’d get sick of driving eight hours a day every day. Everything in moderation. A well-orchestrated life with deep dynamics, oscillating from intense highs to relaxing lows. Ideas need time to incubate and swirl around, embed or detach, socialise with other threads and objects of thought. I’m always working 24/7 whether I am conscious of it or not, in the shower and even in my dreams.

Anyway, it’s 10:00pm and I better get to bed. I have a conference to get to the day after.

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