Daily Routine

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
I believe that making a daily routine can be helpful in keeping habits and being productive. I've tried various routines and have lately settled on this. Everyone is different, with different responsibilities, schedules, etc., so by no means do I think that this would work for everyone. But maybe it'll give you ideas on what you want to prioritize and how you can work it around your schedule. Even for me, I don't follow it to a tee every day, because not every day turns out the same. When my schedule varies, I try to adjust and still get in the important elements. You'll notice that I put times before each activity, but that is really just a rough estimate.
My current job doesn't start until 9am and I'm a morning person, so it works for me to be productive before heading into the office. Nighttime is just used for relaxing and unwinding. I don't run or do strength workouts every day, so that will give more time for the other activities on those days. Also, I have work from home days that will typically be structured differently, as I'll do my workouts during lunch time. I've never struggled to get workouts or runs worked into my schedule, but writing and meditation are two things that I think are important, yet find it easy to skip in time crunches. So I've structured this to get those two activities in in the morning.

5:00AM Wake Up

This is a typical wake up time for me, especially when deep into training in the summer months. Actually, in the summer sometimes I wake up earlier. I am also quick to get going once I get up, which is why the first task starts so soon...

5:10AM Writing

As time goes on, the more I realize that writing is super important. Most of my writing is just in a private journal, but even though it doesn't ever get revealed to the public, I think it's really important to lay out thoughts, reflect on what I've read or personal challenges. I don't have one particularly way of writing each morning. A lot of times I'll write about something interesting that happened the day before, or my thoughts on something I've been reading or thinking about, or work on blog posts. Also, a tip from Tyler Cowen, I'll sometimes write about a perspective that I don't agree with.

5:30AM Cardio and Strength

Exercise is a big part of my life, and not a challenge to get in. If I'm in a time crunch, other things suffer so that I can still get exercise in. That said, I am not running and doing strength work every day. So on days that I'm not doing those, that leaves more time for other activities. Also, I'll often do the exercise around lunch time on work from home days, so I can get outside in the nicest part of the day. Since I'm an ultra runner, the length of my exercise varies a lot too. In the height of my training, even my short runs may be an hour and a half. Once I'm done with this, I'll shower and move on to the next item.

7:15AM Meditation

Meditation is something that I've made a habit over the last year or so. I think it's best to do it in the morning, but after being awake for a little bit, so after exercise seems to be a good spot. Meditation can be beneficial to a lot of different people in a lot of different ways. For me, the main benefit is realizing that thoughts just happen, and the quality of your life largely depends on how you respond to them. There is more to it than that, but that's one of the key takeaways for me. I've used Headspace, but I prefer the Waking Up app lately. I typically do a 10 minute meditation, but may start doing longer ones which will add to the challenge to getting everything done.

7:30AM Learning

This is the least strict part of the schedule. If I'm running and doing strength work, there typically isn't a ton of time for this, and I'll skip it if needed (I still typically get in reading at night). This is where I dig into things that are interesting to me. It could be articles that I saved to read later, digging into a technical book, organizing notes from a book, programming, etc.

8:00AM Breakfast and Make Lunch

I'm often very hungry when I wake up, so waiting to eat breakfast until 3 hours after waking up can be a struggle. But I enjoy exercising fasted, and I like to go at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. It's nice to make breakfast and lunch around the same time and eat right before heading into work so that I can make it until lunchtime without starving, which is a problem that I often face. Finally, I typically leave for work around 8:30.


I hope you got something out of this, and ideas for your own routine are forming. The key is to identify what is important for you to feel like you had a successful day, and then be flexible to ensure that you fit in the highest priority items.