Since October last year, I’ve been struggling to manage my life with the frenetic pace of progress that we’ve achieved at my workplace. There’s just too much going on all the freaking time, which is acceptable given that we’re a marketing agency*. The challenge is that it’s hard to manage your priorities when everything seems to be on fire.
While I’ve invested a significant time in setting the processes and resources in place, the ever-evolving state of the business keeps me on my toes all the time. And amidst all of this, my morning routine has gone for a toss, which impacts the following:
1. Writing — I’m still “catching up” with my daily blog… meaning I’m writing this in March 2021, but you’ll see it posted in February 2021, precisely two weeks behind my schedule. I’ve averaged about two posts a day to make up for the lost time in November and December. I still cannot write every day, but whenever I am, I crank out at least two posts.
2. Training — I didn’t train a single day this week. I just had the five Jiu-Jitsu classes, and that’s it! Not good enough for me.
3. Reading — I’ve made progress here, but I’m not able to make the time for my studies. I have my assessments coming up, an internship, and all the paperwork associated with that. I’m also studying for my SHRM-SCP certifications and preparing for PMI’s Disciplined Agile certifications.
4. Podcasts — I finished producing a video episode 6 weeks after recording it! That’s ridiculous! The original plan was to have a weekly schedule, and I haven’t prioritised that.
I will have to fix this, and the only way I can do it is by setting my morning routine. Over the years, I’ve realised that if I stick with my routine 99% of the time, I can achieve all the goals that I’ve set for the day. And here’s what systemising my routine will look like for the next 30 days:
1. Training: it’s the hardest thing I’m going to do in a day, and I think I’m better off facing it first and getting it out of my way. I almost can never train in the evening — something always comes up, or I’m just way too drained out to even think about pushing myself. Jiu-Jitsu is different because there’s a group component, but training solo is a different beast altogether.
2. Writing: writing is to my brain what training is to my body — it nourishes me intellectually but also requires significant time and space, despite that I’m able to write pretty quickly. If I’m able to crank out pieces at the pace I’m doing right now, there will be days when I won’t have to worry about writing and can slip in a podcast recording session or perhaps write out an outline for a presentation.
3. Reading/studying: I do two kinds of reading/studying — personal and professional. I intend to use my morning hours to do the former and the afternoon hours (yes, during work hours because I don’t ever do or believe in 8-9 hour work shifts) to do the latter. Getting the morning part done helps me get to the afternoon bit with much more enthusiasm.
I know, it’s not as sexy as Jocko Willink’s or your favourite internet celebrity, but that’s alright. The key is to understand if the above tweaks will help me stay on track. If not, I will have to tweak more. Most people don’t want to because they think a morning routine has to be set in stone. I don’t think that’s the case at all!
A morning routine needs to adapt to your lifestyle, rarely static. While the core activities in my practice remain the same, I have to shuffle them around based on my energy levels and the progress I’ve made on them. If it’s not working, change it instead of hoping that it will “work out to be okay eventually.”
For me, the plan is to get the most important thing out of the way. Getting the physical work in gives me a solid boost, which impacts the way I approach everything else in a given day.
The above design will ensure that I get my training done at a bare minimum (or writing on my off days), even if I wake up a little later than usual. I’ll keep updating you about my progress with my morning routines.
*Not my business but my employer’s, a.k.a., my biggest client! It’s a mindset thing.