My typical day
How my daily routine stacks up.
A bunch of people over on Twitter sharted sharing their posts about their typical days. Colin Devroe was the one who started it. I've always wanted to add a daily-routine page on this website so I thought it was nice to chime in.
My schedule is pretty consistent and I like the pattern I developed over time. I like accomplishing at least one or two 'big things' each day. But, I also listen to how I'm feeling and adjust my plans accordingly so the schedule below isn't set in stone. Without further ado here is mine.
On most days, I wake up anywhere in this time slot. My alarm defaults to 7:00 but I snooze so sometimes I go straight out of bed, on other days I like to lay down for a little bit longer. I get up and make a good quality cup of coffee. I don't eat breakfast. While sipping on my coffee I like to listen to a podcast, read some articles, do a quick Oak meditation session or pick up my book to read. I’ll let my mind wander during the first hour of wake-up. No doomscrolling, no news.
When the caffeine kicks in the next hour is spent doing some stretching with some gym equipment or a small walk around the house and getting myself dressed and ready for the day. During this time I also like to do some cleaning around the house. Make the bed, take out the trash, clean up the office, etc. I can't work when things are cluttered. During the pandemic, I'm able to do this. Otherwise, this time is spent commuting to Amsterdam by train.
I do at least 3 hours of focused time. I am very protective of these hours when scheduling meetings. I don't open up e-mail, I don't respond to messages. This is 3 hours of deep work. I focus on doing my Highlight for the day that I set in Notion the day before. But on most days this time is spent teaching students and giving lectures.
Lunch. I get away from the computer and sit in the kitchen. I either do some light reading like browsing Twitter or again reading articles. I'll sometimes watch a Youtube video. I like to spend some time making unique lunches. I enjoy cooking and lunch is a great opportunity to be a little more creative and try out quick recipes instead of eating a plain ol' sandwich.
Another three hours of very focused work. No e-mail, no messages. I continue working on my Highlights or any high priority tasks that need to be finished. At around 15:00 I'll often have a quick break to grab some fruit. But again on most days this teaching students and giving lectures.
If it's a 'quiet' day I'll either continue working on priority tasks but otherwise at the end of the day I plan my meetings (catch-ups, 1:1's), do some more administrative (shallow work), and respond to e-mail and messages. All communication has flowed into my inbox and I can batch process most of these things in one clean sweep.
Daily review time. I have a Notion board with a list of things I go through. Like reviewing my calendar for tomorrow, checking my tasks, writing in my journal, reading feedbin, and any other social media stuff.
Dinner time. Cooking, doing the dishes, the usual. I try to make my dinners device-less but it's very tempting to fire up the television and watch a series.
Another small focused sprint that I usually spend working on personal projects or more physical DIY projects. Coding and designing work on any of my digital products or open-source projects.
Teatime and a cookie.
Another small sprint to work on personal projects. But not as intense as the first sprint. This is where I do most of my writing, work on my personal website or do some learning (online course for example). I allow myself to work on whatever I feel like working on.
Wind-down time. It usually consists of me reading a little bit and then watching a series. Or this hour is spend playing a video-game on my console. It takes me a long time to fall asleep so I like to wind-down (lay in bed) first and usually fall asleep around ~23:15.
My days consist of around ~6 hours of actual working hours. That's quite reasonable and I'm very hyperfocused during those hours which is a skill I very much glad I developed over the couple of years.
The other ~3 hours in the evening are me working on personal projects, products, or writing. These are very flexible. Some days I skip it altogether and hop on the couch or play a video game. I like these sprints in the evening so I always make some time in my day for play and exploration. Knowing that my 'important' work is finished relieves a lot of stress for me.
Interested in how I work? I've written a whole user guide about myself on how I communicate and work with other people.
- I usually take a walk or spend a couple of times at my 'home gym' in the garage but I don't have a rigid sporting schedule. One thing I would like to do better is to develop a more consistent cardio habit.
- I need a lot of time to 'get started'. That's why I start my days pretty late. But I also like to continue a little bit longer in the evening.
- My weekends are schedule free. I do whatever the hell I want on Saturday and Sunday.
- This is my day during this pandemic thing which leaves out commute time. Whenever things get back to 'normal' the morning and evenings are filled with 1-hour commutes.
- I rely on my calendar to time box my tasks. I should write another post about how I schedule my calendar.
- I'm hard on myself when I don't complete the tasks I wanted to do. But I'm getting better at embracing flexibility and feeling ok when things don't go as planned.
- Being 'productive' and doing 'as many tasks as possible isn't relevant to me anymore.