My Daily Routine
2020 has been flipped upside down, but one thing that’s remained pretty much the same is my daily routine—I’ve been working from home for nine years now, so it’s been interesting to watch my husband and so many others adjust to all of the challenges that a home office brings to the table.
The big shift for me is that I’m spending less time behind the camera and more time behind the computer as I’ve moved a lot of my business online through affiliate partnerships, website design, and teaching others how to start a business through my digital course Be YOU, Build a Brand.
I get to help others make money while working from home through sharing their gifts and doing what they love to do. I’m really happy with how this year has panned out. Change is good.
Especially when it happens while inflow.
How did I pull that off?
Flow happens through discipline and focus, which sounds counterintuitive, but I invite you to give it a try and see what happens.
When I left my corporate office job, I remember feeling excited that I was no longer accountable to anyone, and I no longer had to follow any set routine or set working hours.
I quickly realized that set working hours and a daily routine is the only road to success.
You must hold yourself accountable because when you let yourself down, you let everyone down. Accountability looks like discipline, focus, boundaries, and a set routine with set working hours.
I learned that if you don’t have set working hours, boundary creep sets in. What’s that you ask? That’s when a friend calls and asks if you can meet for coffee this afternoon, and you think, “Why not? I can get my work done later.” And then you don’t get your work done later because something else comes up and you end up working through the weekend.
Or your mom calls and wants to talk on the phone for an hour in the middle of the day; you happily oblige and then end up rushing through a project to get it out on time.
See what I mean?
I now have a daily routine and tight boundaries for discipline and focus while allowing space to life fluidly and in a state of flow.
I mean let’s face it, we’re always living in the unknown. None of us have lived through a pandemic before. None of us have lived through the shift of everything from education to business to consumerism moving online—we’re paving the path for future generations. None of us have lived through this day before. None of us can predict what’s going to happen in the next second. It’s all unknown—it always has been and always will be.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to try different modalities, learn about different tools, pay attention to your body, mind, and soul and give yourself what you need to remain healthy and neutralized. This will look different for each and every one of you. You are unique humans, with unique needs; try all the things, keep what works for you, and drop the things that don’t.
When your mind, body, and spirit are healthy, and in a neutralized state, it’s easier to remain calm and you can make better decisions faster.
For me, this means eating clean foods, drinking enough water, exercise, and getting outside in the sun. I like to go to bed early and wake up early—my days seem to flow better with this schedule. I’ve also created strict boundaries. I limit phone time and have turned off all notifications except text and WhatsApp. I allow myself one hour per day on social media—sometimes I don’t even use the full sixty minutes; in and out. I use it for business, not for browsing. I’ve also turned off all notifications on my computer. The fewer distractions, the better.
For those of you who say you’re great at multitasking, you’ve simply trained yourself to function while distracted. You’re never fully engaged with anything that you’re doing, and your nervous system is in overdrive. Just stop with the multitasking. It’s not cool. Slow down to speed up. I promise you that you’ll get more done when you do one thing at a time and you’ll feel much more grounded and fulfilled in the end.
I wake up between 4:30 am and 5:30 am. The first thing I do is drink a glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon. This mixture rehydrates with natural electrolytes. Then, I drink my coffee while journaling. I know, coffee! Say what you will, this is the only unhealthy thing I allow myself to have, so…I will thoroughly enjoy my hot drink every morning until I choose to give it up which will probably be never.
I learned about journaling several years ago and it took me a while to find a system that works best for me. This 20-minute exercise gets me grounded and sets me up for the day. You can download a free template here. I start by listing five things I’m grateful for—yes, right away in the morning. This really gets you in the frame of mind of noticing small details in your life. I list three affirmations statements and three things I’m proud of myself for.
I then write out my goals every single day. This is a game-changer, my friends, and is one of the main reasons I was able to shift so quickly when quarantine hit. Because I had my list of goals top of mind, it was immediately clear to me what I could do to fill the gap in my loss of revenue from canceled photoshoots. I then list action steps I’ll take that day to move toward my goals, and I end by writing out my dream life as if it’s already happening—this is called future writing.
I meditate for 20 minutes, read for about 30 minutes, and by this time Chandler is usually staring at me which means it’s time to get my running shoes on. Who needs a personal trainer or any sort of motivation around exercise when you have an active Boxer dog with an internal timer? After our run, I take a shower, drink a glass of freshly juiced celery juice, and then sit my butt down at my desk to write.
I usually eat breakfast or make a smoothie around 10:00 am, however, sometimes I don’t eat until 1:00 pm. I don’t follow any sort of routine when it comes to eating, I just give my body what it needs when it needs it.
Late Morning through Late Afternoon
This is when I do all of my client meetings, coaching calls, emails, networking, photoshoots, client design work, and touch base with my contractors. This schedule changes every day and is usually a very fun whirlwind of activity and human interaction either in person, on the phone, text, or video. Every once in awhile I stop and think about all the different ways we can communicate with each other nowadays—I know I’m aging myself here, but it really is crazy.
I block tasks to help keep myself focused while giving myself at least 10 minutes in between to refresh my mind and move my body. There’s no right way to do this. Some people block 50 minutes for each task. They’ll set a timer, work on one task until the timer goes off, and move onto the next. I don’t set a timer, I focus on one task at a time without interruption, until it’s done and then I get up and move my body before I start the next task. Do what works best for you.
The key takeaway here is to work without distraction. Studies show that it takes an average of 25 minutes to refocus after an interruption.
Distraction-free means: no replying to a text event though it only takes a few seconds (a habit I just broke), not responding to emails (they can wait), and no ‘quickly’ checking your email and social media while you’re waiting on something to save, upload, or download.
Once you switch tasks, it’s game over as far as mindfulness and flow. Stay in the moment. If you get stuck or are waiting on something to save, upload, or download, let yourself daydream! This is when creative ideas come through! Daydreaming is a good thing. The silence in the in-between seconds and moments is a good thing.
My husband and I usually stop working around 6:00 pm, make dinner, and do a bit of yard work and housework. Sometimes, if I’m on a roll, I just keep on working until I hear Tom yelling from downstairs that dinner is done. We don’t have a routine around who cooks, it’s usually the one who stops working first and has a craving for something.
After dinner, I may do a bit more work if I have a tight deadline, but I really try not to. I like to relax, read for a bit, and prep for the next day. I look through my calendar so I know where I have to be and then I spend about 10 minutes journaling with an intention to set myself up for the following day. This one little exercise—these ten minutes—has completely changed my life.
I list five things I’m grateful for, three moments of grace, and one lesson I learned that day. I then list my to-do items and state how I’m going to show up the following day. I end by asking one burning question that I want an answer to and think about that as I’m falling asleep.
Your life is created through each choice you make and each action you take. The more focused and disciplined you are, the easier it is to go with the flow of the chaos that we’re always living in.
Be well, stay healthy, and live life to its fullest.
Click HERE to download your free Journaling Template.
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