I’m sat here twitching, mocha pulsing through my veins, eyes darting from paper to person to screen to smaller screen. It makes me feel like Sherlock Holmes, or Carrie Mathison, without the sociopathic tendencies. My tense typing fingers can’t keep up with my brain and the tunes are spurring me on. My day started at 6.30am, no alarm necessary. I know, I’m impressed with myself. It was even early for the chickens, they hadn’t laid any eggs yet. These early mornings have been a new venture. Scheduling is a strategy I’m trying (again) but this time it seems to be working. Whether its the guilt of not getting much done the last couple of weeks or if it’s a real change for me, is yet to be confirmed. The shear fact the years are quickly clocking up is a big contributor in my re-invigoration I’m sure. I’ve figured out I’m at my most alert, productive and creative in the morning. When I feel like I’ve got a head start on the day, it sets me up to continue on the same route until around 4 o’clock. So here’s whats been working for me, maybe it will work for you too.
- Have a plan! I have a calendar on my wall that I can wipe clean and re-do. What project is priority? What classes do you want to go to? When will you exercise? etc.
- Leave you phone/alarm on the other side of the room
- If you wake before your alarm, don’t look at the time, get up and start your day. It’ll make you feel like a proper adult.
- Wash face, brush teeth, let the chickens out (or yourself if you need a quick waddle up and down) and steal some of their excitement for yourself.
- Do a 10 minute YouTube video, ‘Pilates for lower back pain’, even if you find it boring. It will save you a world of pain from all the sitting you’re about to do.
- Have breakfast in bed and watch/listen to whatever you want. Enjoy it while it lasts.
- Write from 8-10 AM in silence. (Music makes me daydream and podcasts/audio books are too distracting) Don’t read phone texts unless its a job offer. If you start getting distracted, ask yourself, ‘if someone was gonna pay you a shed load of money for this project the next day, would you finish it?’ Yes, yes you would. So get on with it and maybe in five years time you’ll get some money…
- You did it! Go for a walk to stop yourself falling asleep and call someone to tell them how well you’re doing and get some much needed praise. Depending on the length of walk you could also let your brain figure out a creative problem/do a meditation/listen to something you find inspiring. Get the much needed vitamin D, go home, and have a snack.
- This is where my days are varying. I will either go to the gym, come home for lunch and then carry on with research/writing/admin, or I have a very early lunch, take my gym gear with me so I have the option, and head to a favourite cafe (Waterstones ‘W’ cafe at the moment; cheaper than elsewhere and being surrounded by books is very relaxing) to carry on with stuff. It’ll feel like 2 o’clock but will be 11.30, you are killin’ it. Let the other self employed weirdos inspire you as they type away manically. Or feel smug and give them a look of disappointment when you see them procrastinating.
- If you finish the day by cooking an edible dinner and reading a book instead of looking at a screen then you really have made it and can probably retire now.
It’s 6.30pm and instead of collapsing on the floor (been pumpin’ the weights haven’t I so may not get back up), or watching some TV to numb my brain, I’m sat at my desk writing this post. Now I just need to put the chickens to bed and read my new book. I think I’ll retire tomorrow.
Oh wait, no pension and I’ll need to work til I’m 72.
Good luck everyone,