Ever since the pandemic threw the world in chaos, I have been consciously thinking about my work and life and how interconnected they have become, partly due to WFH, partly because I am growing old. Pre pandemic, I never really cared much about daily routines, other than basic things, like I need my coffee by 9 am to function, or, I need to go gym atleast twice a week to not feel shit through the week. However, I have come to appreciate the profound power of routine and structure on my overall mental health and thus in turn on my relationships and the work I produce. Here is my current daily routine,
Early Morning (7 - 10 am)
- Wake up
- Stretch + Meditate
- Breakfast + Coffee
- Define my intention for the day in the daily log and work on the most important tasks first
- Focussed work
I avoid looking at any news or internet in the morning and try to conserve my mental energy for the most important tasks of the day. This usually starts by me quickly taking stock of all my main tasks of the day and then setting an intention to complete the top priority task first thing in the morning on my daily notes. I tend to do atleast 1-2 30 minute focus sessions during this time. I follow pomodoro technique for my focus sessions and usually have slack off till 10am.
Late Morning (10 am-12 pm)
- Focussed work
- Read/respond on Slack
This is where I pick up steam on the context gained from morning focus sessions. These may not be the most creative hours for me but I tend to be most output geared during this stretch and it involves either getting clear answers to the tasks I resolved to do in the morning or copius amounts of note taking to make sure I don't miss things. This is also the time when I respond over slack and plan my lunch for the day. If weather permits, I always tend to go for 30 min walk in this stretch.
Afternoon (1p - 5 pm)
- Admin tasks
- Knock out small dev tasks
- Read/response emails
- Read/respond slack
This is the time when I can feel the slump slowly creeping in. This is also the block of time when I have the most amount of meetings scheduled. I try to knock out atleast 1 or 2 focus sessions again but it's a rarity. During this time, if I haven't made huge breakthrough on my main task in the morning, depending on the urgency, I will shift gears and start focussing on low hanging fruit style things, for example, fix the documentation here, rework the build file there kind of stuff. I also use this time to go over my emails of the day and read or respond to any pending slack messages.
Evening (5pm - 10 pm)
- Spend time with my wife
- Personal Project or Reading
- Reading news (mostly twitter)
In the evening, I like to spend time doing non work stuff. This time block ins unstructured and I usually let my mood decided what I feel like doing. Some days it's cooking, other days I spend my time watching something on Netflix or listening to a Podcast. I try to priortise majority of this block to do atleast one thing with my wife, whether that be playing a board game or watching a TV show. Cooking together has also been a fun activity to do together. As far as news is concerned, I tend to avoid doomscrolling and have no social media apps installed on my phone. If I need to browse twitter I open the web app on my iPad.
And that's all. Hopefully this gives you some motivation to structure your day as well!