For today’s topic, I wanted to discuss routine and how vital it is to have an established and planned routine. This could be done no matter what area of work you are in or what your dreams and goals are.
It is important to note that everyone has a routine, even if it is less planned and less productive; it is still a routine. For some, it may be that they stumble out of bed, grab a couple of bits of toast, jump in the shower and then head out to work. Then later after work, they may come home, crash in front of the TV, cook something to eat and then go to bed.
Someone else may get up a couple of hours before work, work-out, plan their day, go to work and visit the gym at lunch. Then later, this same person may socialise or may train with a sports team after work, come home to prepare lunch for the next day, chill a while and then go to bed after dinner.
I personally could never do the first one as I have far too much that I want to achieve in life outside my working day but that first person may be perfectly happy with that routine; people can do whatever they like. If, however, you feel that you are the first example but you have dreams or the ambition to achieve more but you seem to never to have the time because of work, adult responsibilities and suchlike, ask yourself who you are kidding. Claiming to have no time is absolute nonsense. There is a famous quote:
“There is always time for the most important things”
Your passion, your dreams and your ambitions are the priorities. Therefore, you can always make time for them whether this means getting up early, finding extra time at lunch or maybe after work. It depends also on what time you operate best but generally speaking, the longer your day, the harder it will be to get things done. So, therefore, why not prioritise the most important things first?
As food for thought, I have given an example of a typical weekday for me below. This routine allows me to focus on my passion for writing:
- 6:20AM alarm (I have my phone on airplane mode until I leave the flat to avoid text and social media distractions).
- Review my dreams and values.
- Stretching for ten minutes.
- Meditation for a few minutes.
- Breakfast and supplements (NEVER EVER MISS BREAKFAST! HUGE MISTAKE!)
- One minute cold shower to wake me up and to help me to relax under pressure.
- 7:20AM: I start my creative writing, which may be planning a book, drafting, hitting a word count or editing.
- 8:40AM: I leave the flat for work.
- On the train to work, I listen to a mixture of Blinkist self-help audios and meditational music.
- 12:00pm: lunch time: I will have my prepared lunch, go for a short walk and spend 1-1.5 hours working on other writing goals. This is not the creative writing that I do before work but more related to the marketing side of things, to researching good books and looking at ways in which I can improve my writing.
- 6:00PM: I finish work and go to the gym or play football.
- Again, on the train home, I listen to a mixture of Blinkist self-help audios and meditational music.
- When I get home, I prepare my lunch for the next day, write up any notes or thoughts I’ve had for the day and then watch Netflix or football, whilst having dinner.
- An hour before bed, I set an alarm to make sure my phone goes off or I leave it on airplane mode. I stop looking at any screens (phone, TV and laptop) so that I can stretch and then read from a couple of books (non-fiction and fiction).
- 10:30PM / 11:00PM: bedtime!
This is my typical weekday routine. I may of course have to be flexible from time to time, change a little in the future and it may vary a little some days, especially at the weekend but my first tasks in the morning are pretty much the same every day. Although some may view this as a bit over the top on planning, I feel that it is needed in order for me to give me enough energy for the day, to exercise my body and my mind and of course, to pursue my passion for writing. By 2:00PM I have completed my writing for the day. I use pre-work time to do creative writing as that is when my brain is most alert and at its most creative. Different routines work for different people; there are even some people who get up at 5AM! However, I find that this is counterproductive for me as I am far too tired to give of my best.
Different routines will work for different people but I highly recommend taking these steps:
- Plan what is a priority to you – what are your passions and dreams? What are the most important things for the day? You will feel great when you have accomplished them.
- Plan the day to make sure that there is time scheduled in to focus on that – in my case, I have a busy day but have allowed a total of 2.5-3 hours a day to work on my writing (the creative writing and marketing / research side).
- Do not let things that are not your dreams overwhelm you or take over your day. They are inevitable, so that is why I put my phone on airplane mode or turn it off at certain times of the day and do the most important things earlier.
If you would like any advice on how to build a routine that works for you, please feel free to contact me on my social media or my contact page on my website. I would love to hear from you.
Until next time, have a great October!
Jonny Pardoe © October 2018
Photo by Stage 7 Photography on Unsplash
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