« Back to Blog October 18, 2015 | Design Career

My New Daily Routine

One of the strangest things I will have to get used to when I start working for myself full-time is establishing my own routine.

Since I got my first job when I was 14, I’ve been on someone else’s schedule. I show up to work when my boss tells me to show up and stay until it’s time for me to go home. This is how having a job works.

But now, my schedule is what I make it. I can work anytime I want. I can work any day I want. There are no more weekends, weekdays, vacation days, sick days, or personal days as far as I’m concerned. The amount of freedom I’m about to have is pretty daunting. I want to strike the right balance between giving myself too much freedom and not allowing myself enough.

Obviously things will change day-to-day (I’m not a robot, I will mix things up) but here’s my ideal routine that I will try to stick to as closely as possible.

A lot of people don’t like waking up early (myself included), but it’s one of the smarter things you can do to help make your day more productive. I always feel good when I get up early and start my day off right. I try my best to follow Sean McCabe’s Early Wake, Daily Write philosophy. Waking up and writing first thing in the morning brings so much clarity to my day, I highly recommend you try this yourself.

I’m training for a half-marathon, so I’ve been running/biking about 5 times a week to get ready. Exercising is another part of my day that always makes me feel great, so I want to make sure I take the time to do it each day. Although Buffalo’s weather may not agree with my ideal schedule with winter coming, so that might be a more flexible part of my day.

Focused work time is just what it sounds like. It’s work time. I switch my phone to do not disturb mode, eliminate as many distractions as I can, and start doing the work I need to get done for the day. I also make a point to only check my email at certain times of the day. Dropping everything just because a new email came in is so ridiculous to me. It ruins the flow of your work and is just an invitation to get distracted.

I also want to make sure I dedicate at least an hour a day to learning something new or practicing something I want to get better at. I don’t take nearly as much time as I should to deliberately improve my skills that having an hour a day to do that seems like a godsend.

And finally, my end time. This will have to change as my schedule begins to fill up more and more, but I want to give myself a hard end time so I don’t end up working 14 hour days just because I can. Making time to relax, unwind, and to just not work is very important for your health and sanity. Treat yo self!

Each of these parts of my day are extremely important to me and I could go into a lot more detail on each of them. (Future blog posts, maybe?) If you haven’t already, write out your own “ideal workday.” You won’t be able to follow it exactly each and every day, but it allows you to figure out what parts of your day are most important to you and set your priorities accordingly.

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