What is your evening routine?

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The less I need to think about with a set routine, the easier my day is to focus on what matters, on what needs to get done and ignore the rest.

This is my evening routine. as inspired by Tim Ferriss and his evening routine.

Here is my evening routine:

6PM

Stop working.

Prepare and eat dinner. Most meals for the week are often made once a week to save time in prep. See how do I batch tasks to save time.

Every other day, go to the gym to exercise with a neighbor for 45 minutes.

7PM

Scheduled bike ride every other day for 30 minutes (great for stress relief).

Participate in a group call once a week.

Set mobile phone on airplane mode.

Plug in and charge with all devices.

8PM

On warm weekday evenings (April through October), go to the pool to cool off and relax.

On Sundays, enjoy firepit with neighbors for 1 hour.

9PM

Find something to watch on-demand that I have not seen while hydrating with cool water.

Between 10PM and 12AM

Have preset multiple alarms set for waking hours set 15 minutes apart with different sounds that I will wake me on my mobile phone and Amazon Alexa.

Sleep

6 to 8 hours

After that, I repeat my morning routine.

What is your evening routine?

What is your morning routine?

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The less I need to think about with a set routine, the easier my day is to focus on what matters.

Inspired by Tim Ferriss and his morning routine, I thought I would share my morning routine.

6AM

Wake-up

Bathroom

Re-hydrate with cool water

Walk for 30 minutes either in my neighborhood, at a nearby national wildlife refuge or on the beach. If weather permits, I alternate between walking and swimming in my neighborhood (access has less cost, hassle, and maintenance than ownership of a pool).

7AM

Eat breakfast

        • Handful of blueberries (washed)
        • Black Bean burger (no bun nor condiments). Alternate with a whole avocado
        • Coffee (1 cup)
        • Cool water

Shower while listening to the custom flash briefing on Amazon Alexa in the bathroom. The custom flash briefing includes local weather for the day and business news from outside the US.

Shave in shower with the humidity on the skin.

Dress based on day’s events

Say goodbye to wife as she leaves for work.

8AM

Start work based on calendar

Continue hydrating throughout the day

What is your morning routine?

How do I: reset focus

focus on target

 

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Focus is important when you are trying to get something done. We can easily get distracted. How do we maintain focus? How do we reset our focus on target once we lose it?

I find my focus and my happiness are closely linked because I track these nightly as an exercise in noting and journaling. If you have smart goals and you are goal-oriented, you might notice the same. If you are not focused on the tasks that need to be accomplished toward your goals, it almost hurts.

Indistractable author Nir Eyal wrote that time management is closely tied to energy management (having the energy when we need to do something) as well as pain management (when we do things we need to even though we don’t want to).

So how do we reset our focus from dis-traction back to focused traction? Here are many of the things I do to reset my focus and regain focus needed:

Manage your time

To manage your time, schedule your time with one online calendar that follows you wherever you go. Not you going to your calendar to check what is on it. On your mobile phone is ideal. I happen to use Google Calendar that seamlessly appears on my laptop and phone. Noting in your calendar what you need to be doing when and for how long is a big help. Having it all online makes it accessible and flexible as things change so you and your calendar can adapt quickly to any change. If I need to do something later, I move it as needed.

Having one online calendar, just one, is key. I only have one set of 24 hours per day to manage, not several sets of 24 hours.

Be specific when noting what needs to be done in your online calendar. “Write book” is not specific enough, however “draft TOC for new book on [topic XYZ]” between 8am and 9am on Tuesday” work better as a doable smart task.

Breakdown a large project or tasks into a series of smaller more manageable tasks that are actually doable in a small time frame like an hour.

Schedule your own time or get your time scheduled for other people’s activities.

Take breaks

Some companies have scheduled hourly stretching breaks that help minimize aches, pains and workforce injuries. Even if you are stationed at a desk for hours, stretching and doing a few floor exercises each hour can help your mind and body.

Taking a walk outside is very beneficial to reset the mind in any weather provided you are dressed and prepared for it. Walking meetings are good as long as the slowest person is leading upfront to set the pace of the walk.

Exercise

30-minutes of walking, biking, or swimming are great resets and gets the endorphins flowing. I don’t run, but you can if you wish. I walk faster than most people jog. This keeps my heart rate lower, endurance higher, and for further distances.

I will walk on the beach, at a wildlife refuge, or my neighborhood for 15-30 minutes one direction (with a timer on to have me turn around and return when it rings). I will walk while listening to a podcast I have not heard before like Distributed, Tim Ferriss Show, Masters of Scale,  or an audiobook in one ear while still being able to hear the ocean waves in the other ear is extremely stimulating for ideas.

Note taking

Note-taking of those ideas on a mobile phone is the easiest so the notes are already in electronic form for digital repurposing, even if I email myself the notes. I loathe paper and avoid it like… a virus. Regardless of our age, ideas are fleeting, so capture ideas when they are at the top of your mind before the idea clutters your mind or even worse, you lose that idea. Email links or ideas with a note of context to a friend that would find them helpful and relevant to them. Even if the note is for your own consumption, email it to yourself with some context that you can lookup and find again in the future using some keywords. Getting content out of your head will lighten the load on your mind so you have less burden on your memory and fewer nagging thoughts. ABC = Always Be Capturing

Declutter your environment

If you become really frustrated and unfocused, take a look at your work environment or living space on what needs to be decluttered. We all have a pile of things to clean up  and /or declutter somewhere somehow. Refocus your energy to cleaning up and decluttering that space wherever it is. Get it done. Check it off your list.

Eat and drink well

Notice that eating well and drinking enough water are very key to having the energy needed for focused work. Headaches go away when properly hydrated. If you get a headache, try rehydrating before medicating the issue.

You will notice about an hour afterward if you did not eat or drink well. Note what you ate and/or drank so you can track your reactions to it in your online calendar.

Mediate

Occasionally, I will meditate using the Headspace app for 10 minutes. The app has options to mindfully work on your focus.

Reward yourself

Once you refocus and get things done, reward yourself. I schedule an on-demand film to watch if I accomplish what I wanted to be done that day. If I did not get things done, I reschedule the reward to later when I believe it will be done and schedule something else that needs doing that night. Some serve themselves a small snack to replenish the energy they need to do the next thing on their calendar.

Breathe

If all the above are not options for you, try box breathing which can be done to feel the effects about one minute, but longer works even better. It calms you, purposely slows the breath, and that helps reset the brain. Simply breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath in for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold no breath for 4 seconds, and repeat. Easy and works anywhere, for any situation in 16-second cycles. We take our breathe for granted until it is compromised and then it is too late.

How do you reset your focus?

Questions?

How do I: batch tasks

What is task batching?

Batching, task batching or batching tasks is simply grouping all of the same tasks at the same time. Doing all of the same tasks repeatedly and/or all together at once. Together is much easier, less time consuming, and more productive than using the typical start-stop-start-stop-repeat model when it comes up for the frequently reoccurring task. We all have tasks like this. It helps maintain consistency when necessary. It may be easier to schedule these batched tasks on a periodic basis.

For example, I write all the edits needed for my podcasts to be released next month within 1 or 2 days of this month. This can be on auto-pilot after you grouped up those tasks for the month and did all the work of figuring it out ahead of time.

You can document the process of said task and then possibly delegate that task too. Sometimes, when the tasks are consistent and exactly the same steps every time, the task can be automated.

For example, after converting them from XLSX files to CSV, I used to clean up the CSV files manually.  Once I figured out all the steps and the sequence of steps to clean it up the CSV, an Excel macro was created to automate the cleanup process. The macro was iterated when there was a new consistent challenge to be fixed repeatedly.

How to record a task and delegate a task

Figure out what is needed to do this task like pre-requisites, the sequence of steps, and the outcome when done.

Creating a written step by step checklist can help remember. Pilots use checklists for regular plane operations before, during, and after flights, as well as emergencies.

Chefs use recipes that are documented tasks and checklists along with their mise en place before they start to cook.

Documentation can happen as a screen capture video for a computer task, even while on a video conferencing tool like Zoom.

It can be a video recorded with you talking through each step, if not on the computer.

Even if you delegate a task, you can check the results on the given parameters that you provide beforehand and have them iterate if needed.

What tasks can you batch together?

 

What is your excuse not to work remotely now?

Disclosure: Links to other sites may be affiliate links that generate us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Unless you physically move things around at work or for work, you no longer have an excuse why you can not work remotely.

Welcome to remote work.

What took you so long? Did you have too many excuses? Let me clear them up for you.

If you have a hard time adapting to working from home or working remotely, suck it up and start doing it already. You have no more excuses and every reason to work remotely. This is the new normal. Get used to it. The office building does not miss you.

Remote work is nothing new. You were just missing out. Maybe it was not socially acceptable or you were constrained to one day a week because your employer had to justify using their bad real estate investment by keeping you coming back for more… commuting time. The fact is that really you don’t need an office to work nor work together today. Maybe you will realize this over the coming weeks and months.

You can actually accomplish more when working remotely if you:

  1. Have a computer that works quickly today. A laptop is commonplace nowadays so it can come with you where ever you want to work. A laptop might be issued by your employer.
  2. Have access to what you need to work with. Have fast internet bandwidth and steady power is a great start. You can get a mobile hotspot from even just about anywhere your mobile phone can if you don’t have internet available. VPN and permission to directory access to folders you might need are necessary too.
  3. Maintain focus (just like for any work if it is going to be done well)
  4. Manage your schedule for each day with an online calendar. Not just for work since you only have one set of 24 hours each day. Get things done in your life. Not just for work. That is why you are alive. Really.
  5. Work remotely at home and you don’t live alone, have a door that closes to block those living distractions (spouses, children, pets, other household dwellers, etc).
  6. Stop butt dragging. Get rid of unnecessary distractions. Turn off the TV (a crisis will still be there when you turn it back on and there will be a recap if it matters). Mute the phone, including the social media apps too since those are massive time sucks).
  7. Don’t commute to work. Walking further in your home is not a commute. Did you miss the traffic or hunting for a spot in the parking lot? Maybe they missed you. No tears were shed though.
  8. Stay away from the offices (drama, politics and pretend caring are all useless wastes of time) They don’t even justify the real estate spend for one desk nor how many square feet of office space your magic title will be allocated for you.
  9. Connect with people remotely online. That is why I use Zoom. I connect with clients that way, talk with friends that way and even record podcasts that way. Yes, you can collaborate online in a scheduled fashion with the ‘location’ of a unique Zoom link, screen sharing, shared electronic documents, and virtual whiteboard as needed.

If you don’t trust the people you work with, why are you still there? Find a new job or work for yourself.

If I can get 13-year-olds (with parental permission) to 80-year-olds to work via computer from their home remotely with me, so can you. And you thought your age was a good excuse? Think again. Do something productive already. Work and learn remotely.

I have worked from home for years now that I own my own businesses. I decline any new contracts/clients that are not remote. I was doing that well before COVID-19 became too popular. Why? I am a knowledge worker. An individual contributor. I am a consultant, podcaster, and writer. I help people who want to be helped and ignore other distractions. I work in the digital world and have no interest in leaving my digital space.

Adapt to remote work already. You no longer have much choice.

If you want to work together, schedule a call with me here.

If you want me to come work in your office, contact someone else.

What is your excuse for not working remotely now?

Questions?

Schedule a consulting call today