Firstly, I really missed that hour of lost sleep last night. Daylight Saving Time seems like a great idea in the Fall, but man does it come back to haunt you. So early to bed for me tonight.
Secondly, after reading this post by Tim Ferriss: 24 Hours with Tim Ferriss, a Sample Schedule, I wanted to post my own normal daily routine. While not nearly as exciting as his, I think it is interesting to really look at what you do during the day, how you spend your time, etc… Life is short, each hour is precious, what are you doing with your time?
8:00 AM – wake up, crawl out of bed, and get moving
8:30 AM – make breakfast. Lately this has become a very regular “menu”. I turn on the electric Hobbes kettle which is SO much nicer than a normal stove top kettle. While this heats the water, I get out a large glass which I fill with water. Then a small glass which I first fill with a packet of Emergen-C (which I take for the vitamins and minerals), mix with water, drink. Then I refill the glass with a scoop of chocolate flavored low-carb protein powder, mix with water, drink. I’ve found that a pretty much purely protein breakfast keeps me going longer and smoother than something with sugar or carbs. I put the small glass in the dishwasher, get out a tea mug, and some tea (usually an Upton Tea Earl Grey with extra bergamot oil), at this point the water is usually hot and ready, so I pour my cup of tea, and take my tea and large glass of water into my home office.
8:35 AM – start work for my day job. Usually I have a list of tasks waiting for me in iGTD, and I get started on them immediately. It’s nice getting something accomplished first thing, and being able to check it off. I find it provides good momentum for the rest of the day. E-mail and news sites can wait.
10:00 AM – daily status call for work. Lasts 30-60 minutes. I take it using my headset on my iPhone so I can take notes and read e-mails and documents related to the call. Usually during or after the call I add a few new tasks into iGTD.
1:00 PM – more work. Glamourous isn’t it?
4:30 PM – head to the gym. If I get there before 5 PM, it’s easy to get any machine I want, etc… I’ve been back into the gym thing for a week now, and it’s great. The trick is to not push yourself to the point of hurting yourself or making yourself dread coming back. It also helps to not skip more than one day in a row. I think it’s fine to skip a day if you feel rough, or are too busy, but if you do, just know you’re GOING the next day, no matter what. Helps keep an expectation that the gym is the routine, not the exception. I’ve been doing about 500 calories worth on the treadmill while watching old Sci Fi shows on my iPhone, and then either hitting the weight machines or doing some core exercises. When it comes to the weight machines I like picking two or three that work related muscles. For instance today that was a a curl machine, a chest press (think bench press action while sitting up, pushing away from you), and a seated row (think the opposite of a bench press, pulling toward you). Together they work the pecs, delts, triceps, biceps, traps, and lots of other little ones in your arms, shoulders, upper back, and chest. Then I do 12-15 reps on each machine with no more than 60 seconds between the end of one and the start of the next machine, usually I average about 30 seconds to move machines, breath deep, and go. I do three sets on each machine, for a total of nine sets across all three machines. It takes about 10-15 minutes total, depending on how slowly I do the actual movements. If it’s a core day, I’ll do some plank, inclined crunches, leg raises, back extenstions, etc… If I’m feeling really good, I’ll do another 10-15 minutes on cardio before I head home. Other days I just head out after the weights.
I find that in addition to the health and mental benefits the gym provides a really nice divider between my day job work, and the rest of my life. After I get home, and shower, it’s almost like restarting the day.
6:00 PM – make dinner with my wife. We make weekly menus, do most of our shopping at once, except for fresh veggies or meats that we need later in the week. I love cooking with Emma, and it provides some great couples time.
6:30 PM – eat. We usually watch one of our favorite shows on the Tivo (or downloaded) while we eat, and snuggle on the couch.
7:15 PM – clean up. I’ve come to really appreciate how much positive impact a clean house has on my mental health and general happiness.
7:30 PM – Lately I’ve been working on a side project, and I’ve been doing a lot of development in the evenings, so this is when I usually go back into the office, and work on different stuff from earlier in the day. This may seem like a lot of work, but I’m enjoying it. Before this project got going, this time was spent, watching TV, reading, snuggling, etc.. All good things.
11:00 PM – Desert. What I’ve been trying to do is to have some low glycemic index food about an hour before I fall asleep, usually another yogurt. This is supposed to make you feel better when you wake up. I think it works, but I’m not 100% sure yet. Lately though this has been thwarted by the amazing Apple Pie Bars. I’m pretty certain the glycemic index on those things is through the roof:)
Ideally I then read and then fall asleep around midnight. Sometimes I work late though, it all depends on how I’m feeling.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how I’m spending my time. My day job has a few frustrations, but overall I like who I work with, I love working from home, and I enjoy what I do. I wish I was spending more time with Emma and less in front of the computer, but I know the side project thing is of a limited time, and I should enjoy it, and enjoy my feelings of motivation around it while they last. Obviously someday I wish the main work day would disappear, the side project would move into it’s place, and I could spend the extra 8 hours doing fun things. Someday:)
So what does your schedule look like? How do you feel about how you’re spending your time? I think it’s good to keep in mind that life is too short to spend much time being miserable, and that you should think about what you are doing in two contexts: “is this what I want to be doing?” and “does this represent who/what I am and what I am about?”. Obviously you have to pay the bills and the rent, and be somewhat conscious about your health, and all that stuff so you really can’t just say “all I’m going to do is sit on the couch, eat ice cream, and watch Stargate re-runs”, but it’s important to really examine how you’re spending your life, because it’s the only one you have.
Post your schedules in the comments!