Lost Time and My Schedule

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 kettleRussell Hobbs 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.

12:30 PM – lunch.  This is usually a yogurt.  While I eat I read a few online comics (PennyArcade, xkcd,  and AppleGeeks) and a few news sites (CNN and HackerNews).  A little break from work is good.

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!






2 responses to “Lost Time and My Schedule”

  1. Cathy Avatar

    Our office computer guy told me about the 4 hour work week while he was here last week. I found your daily schedule link on Tim’s web site. I find how I spend my own time and how others spend their time interesting to find out about – we are all unique. I had a reaction to your 7:15 to 7:30 clean up house entry. Really? I mean really?

    I am in a middle class household and this is daily struggle for me – I clean up after three inside house cats, two inside dogs (small) and one inside husband, a 4 year old granddaughter and 7 month old grandson on weekends, and a Saints fan get together every game day – after 5 years I finally told everyone they had to wash their own plates after the chili cooking weekend (chili stains everything!). But I do agree with you that a clean house (not mine, but other people’s immaculate houses) make you FEEL happier.

    My normal daily routine from December 9:
    6:15am woken up by husband
    6:35 go back to sleep for a few after he leaves for work
    6:45 up, fold my special favorite cover, turn on coffee maker, take my motrin, clean litter boxes (two in main bathroom), cats are waiting on me and use litter boxes as soon as I am done, but I will wait until I get ready to leave for work to scoop again, turn off back porch light, raise kitchen and bath blinds, let Spencer cat into utility room but put dog door down so he doesn’t wander outside, boil oatmeal for one minute, walk dogs, give two inside dogs their morning treats, make sure dogs and cats have food and water, dry clothes left in dryer from night before, turn off front porch light and make sure front door is locked (husband lets a cat out at 5am but doesn’t lock the door back)
    7 finish making breakfast-two black coffees, banana milkshake in blender, oatmeal, put pot and blender in sink to soak, unload a few plates and cups from dishwasher, grab lunch from frig and my “bag” and my purse and put in car, all while listening to W & J show, make up, hair, clean utility room litter box
    7:15 crank car and let heat up, dress, clean litter boxes again, turn off radio, turn off and unplug coffee pot, oil heater, space heater and flat iron, get keys out of car, lock door, tell outside dogs to be good and stay
    7:25 put dog door back up and leave for work
    8am arrive at work, feed office cat, unpack my “bag”, check my purse, turn on office equipment, make coffee, look through daily file folder and notes on today’s to do list, note what time I got in, when I plan to leave and how many hours I will have worked today, what I need to buy on way home and where I will walk for exercise during lunch break, check my checking account balance online, grab water bill from my bill paying file to deliver tomorrow
    8:20 begin “real” work – I listen to W&J show until it goes off at 10am, then switch radio to rock station
    10am – hungry – eat almonds, make sure I drink a bottle of water (i refill with our tap water), read and respond to e-mail
    11 lunch-greek salad that I made last night- ate in office kitchen, reading Anne Frank-The Diary of a Young Girl, drank a cup of coffee after eating, washed my dishes, walked to library to return CD, stopped by a friends to buy bamboo banks for nieces and nephews for xmas, on to a client’s office to drop off paperwork, stopped by market for a coke, stopped by library again to take out Mozart CD
    11:45 work
    12pm – while assistant runs errands I do yoga and stretch, drink another bottle of water and refill, check FLYLday’s mission for the day and pamper myself suggestion – drink my fav cold winter drink while I snuggle up and read which I plan to try tonight, mypoints.com, walmart.com free samples, enter some points on mycokerewards.com, check out four hour work week web site, ehow web site on how to conquer afternoon fatigue, listen to a little of microsoft office 2007 online training course, order a Sherpa jacket from Old Navy for Great-nephew’s first Christmas, Sherpa hat for son-in-law, velour jogging suit for mom, order Anna Quindlen CD of her book “being Perfect and a Short Guide for a Happy Life” for daughter’s xmas. Field a few work phone calls.
    12:45 work
    2 snack on yogurt while I work, make sure I drink another bottle of water, check e-mail one last time, check my bank balance again, take motrin number 2 of 3
    4:30 after assistant leaves for the day I prep to go home – turn off equipment, close curtains, refill cats food bowl, leave work on my desk that I want to start on first thing next morning
    5:15 leave work – I was supposed to leave at 5; husband calls – has been bitten by a brown spider but thinks he is ok – call my RN daughter and gives me the info on it she knows, but spider bites are not in her medical reference books – only snake bites – call husband with info
    5:20 run client’s deposit to bank before they close; go back to office and turn computer on and look up spider bite symptoms – call husband with that info – he says he will decide at 10pm if he needs medical attention; I get directions to the nearest after hours clinic just in case
    5:45 buy grilled chicken sandwich at McDonald’s drive thru for mom, hamburger and iced coffee for me which I eat while driving, angus bacon burger for husband
    5:55 stop by friends house to pick up hand-me-down clothes for my grandson
    6:15 stop by Dollar General for cat food
    7 stop by to see my mom
    7:10 check mail; answer call from husband – tell him I am on my way
    7:20 greet husband, dogs and cats, check his spider bite – doesn’t look bad at all, just a little swollen, unload all my stuff inside, change out of work clothes
    7:30 husband says he will not need a dr. so I get a beer and the ingredients together to make chili for tomorrow’s lunch and supper and start cooking the meat, set DVR to tape my current fav show – Cougar Town, take clothes out of dryer (from this morning) and pile onto living room chair, change bedsheets (little black dog who sleeps in bed with us = change bedsheets every day), clean all litter boxes, refill pets food and water bowls, husband and I talk back and forth but I try to let him read in peace the sports page I bring home every day but I need to let him know I have to babysit this weekend because daughter is working shifts at hospital, sit down to watch movie “The Wrestler” with husband, but only portions because he is a channel flipper. daughter calls to check on spider bite. put rest of ingridents in chili, put load of clothes to wash.
    8:20 spend a few minutes pulling out xmas decorations, swish and swipe bathrooms, clean off dining room table, finish unloading dishwasher, give outside dogs clean bed sheets to sleep on, bring my four outside plants in because it will get down to 33 degrees tonight, eat double stuff oreo’s and read more of Anne Frank, sweep kitchen and utility room
    9 husband goes to bed so I sit down with another beer and watch my taped show, during commercials I fix my lunch for tomorrow, put chili up, dry clothes, wash my face and shower but leave hair washing for tomorrow, brush teeth, take motrin 3 of 3, drank chammomile tea, took iron pill and melatonin
    9:30 earlier in week I had dvr’d a strenth and relaxation fusion “all star workout” so I did that and fast forwarded through all commercials
    10:15 watched Family Guy for a few minutes – tired, turn out all lights, make sure doors are locked
    10:30 climb into bed
    10:45 daughter calls to see if we decided to go to after hours clinic – I grumpily tell her no
    12:45 woken up by husband snoring; go to bathroom, apply blistex, move my pillow to foot of bed to try to fend off some snoring

    1. Devon Avatar


      you certainly have a lot more going on in your life than I do! Thanks for sharing your schedule.

      I admit I don’t spend a lot of time cleaning, but it’s just myself and my wife, and it’s easy to keep the house generally tidy. I try to clean up after myself as I go through out the day.


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