I’ve been struggling a bit with productivity at recently, working for a startup, from home, with a 1 year old child. 9am I wake up, 2 hours later than I would like, then after a shower and 30 minutes work it’s time for family breakfast. Then my girlfriend is in the shower and I need to keep an eye on my son. Another hour of work, then it’s lunch time. Another couple of hours after that it’s dinner, getting my kid to bed, etc. Now it’s late, I spend several tired, less productive hours trying to cram a day of work in. I go to bed late and tired. Rinse and repeat. This routine has been really affecting my productivity, health, fitness, etc.
I’ve read a lot about how important good habits and a morning routine are for success. A good morning routine sets you up to win at your day and at life in general. Since this week I’ve implemented a new routine and it’s amazing. I’m now up every morning at 5:30am and started intermittent fasting again.
1. Wake up at 5:30am and drink a large glass of water
When you wake up, whether you feel it or not, your body is dehydrated. Drinking a large glass of water not only rehydrates you, but apparently also has numerous thereputic effects. I leave a glass full next to my bed before I sleep so I can have it at room temperature instead of having to drinking freezing water straight from the cooler.
2. Have a freezing cold shower (5 minutes)
Benefits of a cold shower include better immune system, fat loss, improved circulation, temperature regulation, relief from symtoms of depression, health skin/hair, testosterone increase, fertility increase, energy increase, lymphatic movement, inflammation decrease, better breathing, better sleep, tolerance to stress. Wow, they are healthy. Also hard to start doing. I’m pretty sure the neighbours could hear me screaming on the first day. I’ve already got much more used to them now though after only a few days.
3. Brush teeth / get dressed (2 minutes)
Even working at home, it’s important to have the feeling of “going to work”. I wear pretty much the same clothes every day, so there’s no decision making there in the morning.
4. Meditate (15 minutes)
5. Brew a bullet-proof coffee (10 minutes)
This stuff is really great. It gives me a huge morning energy/concentration boost. That being said I do seem to get less of a boost now than I used to. Maybe it’s one of those slippery slope things and I’ll end up doing morning lines of speed by next year. I brew my coffee using a stove top espresso maker. While that’s going on I do the washing up if there is any.
6. Read something (20 minutes)
7. Write something (20 minutes)
I always used to be annoyed at myself for not writing any blog posts. Now, with 20 minutes per morning I should be able to pump out at least 1 per week. Hopefully I’ll get a bit faster at this with practice. Maybe now I’ll also find time again to continue writing the EmberJS/Rails book I started over a year ago.
8. Daily goals (5 minutes)
I review all of my tasks in OmniFocus. This used to take a long time but now I do it daily it’s really fast. I pick 3 things that need to get done for that day and flag them. I also do have a bunch of recurring flagged tasks in here.
In under an 1.5 hours I’ve already got a load of things done that I never normally have time for and I have a blissful 5 hours to work with no interuptions until workout/lunch time. During this working stretch I switch on “Do Not Disturb” in Notification Center, turn off AirMail/TweetBot/etc, and I work in Pomodoros using Vitamin-R At the moment I’m working for a startup (Groove where the development tasks are nicely planned out already in PivotalTracker and Github. If I were doing some other job I would probably need to add a day planning phase where I actually prioritise and plan out the tasks that I need to run through that day.
In conclusion I’m so far very happy with this experiment and can definitely see myself sticking to it. You should definitely give it a go too.
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I don't have a lot of time at the moment, but I'm always interested to hear about new projects. I'm particularly interested in EmberJS/Elixir projects and refactoring Rails monoliths. Drop me a line at hello [at] mattbeedle [dot] name or using my contact form http://www.mattbeedle.name/#page-contact.Tweet
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