As I’ve discussed before in this codex here and here, a routine is the most fundamental infrastructure of any profession. Without a solid customized routine, you’re just an amateur.
I’m on the right track.
Big question in productivity and routines is, what do I optimize for? Depending on the priority, the routine changes. Here are some options:
- Reduced anxiety
- Clarity on goals and what I need to be doing
- Creative energy, generating fresh ideas
- Deep focused energy
Another question is, am I choosing priorities from the wrong emotional place? My routine can’t be reinforcing impatience and beliefs like “I’m not productive enough,” “I’m not doing enough,” “I’m neck-deep in work and trapped,” etc.
A routine that you don’t stick to, is one that was never meant to be — you don’t have the right systems in place. Willpower comes in spurts, but routines/habits are like a flowing river. Rely on routines, and willpower becomes even more effective.
Lately I’ve been feeling like I need to increase my SPEED and VOLUME of work. Not because I feel guilty, but because I’ve been feeling like I’m genuinely wasting precious time on things that are not meaningful to me.
As Brett reminded me recently, he would kill to be back at my age again. I am so lucky to have all this time. It can be a liability or a gift, depending on how I use it.
I think it’s safe to say that I need to be want to focus on output. I want to be more calm. I want to feel very present and in the moment.
The first material result I want from that is in having 4 days per week where I have nothing on my podcast and marketing to-do lists, and I can focus exclusively on other things. That would be awesome.
Let’s pick Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues as the no-podcast-marketing-writing days. Everything related to marketing and growing my private consulting practice, including the WIG commitments, should be done and scheduled within Wed, Thurs and Fri.
Therefore, for the RED days (Sat-Tues)
- All my SANPRAM calendly links to be disabled (no meetings about podcasts or anything else)
- Specific time slot for checking Slack notifications, just to help teammates. Not more than 15 minutes for management (they can talk to me on purple days)
- Work on extra income-generating projects.
On my 3 Purple days (Wed-Thurs-Fri), do the following:
- Write 2 blog posts about the podcast episodes
- Write 1 newsletter on alternate weeks
- Conduct interviews
- Hold meetings
- Get podcast episodes edited
- Take sales meetings (if any haha)
- Do one livestream if possible?
- Fill out 5 social media posts (videos and accompanying twitter threads) scheduled for the rest of the week
How do I get focused work done?
- By not checking notifications or my phone every 5 minutes
- By not looking up social media and other stuff constantly
- By having Focusmate sessions booked in advance
- By having clear goals that get reinforced throughout the day
Realization: I’m still being too analytical. I’m not even sure what should go INTO the routine, and here I am trying to optimize stuff that is still barely in shape.
When I look at my LinkedIn and Twitter feeds, I sometimes see a false reflection of myself. I’m trying to create a bloated identity to please invisible people. When I look at my Facebook profile and old Medium articles though, I see a more
honest and genuine reflection carefree and goofy side of who I am.
The reason is not that I’m doing something inauthentic, but just that instead of sharing my excitement for learning and teaching with people, I’m building a “personal brand.” I think I can stop trying to build a “brand” and just be fun and goofy, and someone with the heart of a teacher.