An Honest Day In The Life
I've always enjoyed peeking into the routines of others and thought I would share my own with you as well. But here's the thing ... what I'm about to outline is NOT my ideal schedule. It's in progress. As much as I preach wellness and try to infuse it into my every day as best as I can, I know that I haven't quite yet hit a healthy working groove if I'm being completely honest. Some days are better than others - and I'm continually trying to figure out what works best for me. So for today, I'm going to share my current routine as well as a few goals I have for bettering my work / life balance as a whole. This is my way of holding myself accountable. ;)
8 - 9 AM One thing I realized early on in my freelancing career was that in order for me to dig in and get things done, I need a good night of sleep. I haven't set an alarm for years and instead, have opted to wake up naturally. Turns out, my body likes routine and tends to wake itself up around 8:15 am, give or take.
At this point, I head downstairs for some light yoga, usually for about 5-10 minutes, while I slowly wake up. Ideally, I'd love to practice meditation during this time as well, but have been a bit nervous to commit. Work has a gravitational pull on me and the few minutes of yoga that I already do feels hard enough as it is, so meditation is going to take some patience. I'll give it a try and report back (I've only done it twice so far!). After yoga, I finish getting ready, which more often than not involves yoga pants and a t-shirt. I do, however, notice that I feel much more awake and ready to go when I put a little more effort into what I'm wearing, so I'd like to get into the habit of doing that everyday as well.
9 - 10 AM Around 9:00 in the morning, I pour myself a huge glass of water and make myself a bowl of greek yogurt that's mixed with honey + granola and topped with banana slices. And then, unfortunately, I have a bad habit of eating breakfast at my desk while scanning through emails. As I've said before, it's hard for me NOT to start working right away, because deep down, I just want to chip away at my day. But! I do realize the importance of slow mornings and making sure that you're ready to go, so I'd like to start eating breakfast at our table without any sort of screen to distract me.
I also use this hour to catch up on ALL emails that came in after hours, while I wasn't working. My inbox system helps keep everything manageable, so I start with the oldest starred emails and work my way up to the top until everything is done, which honestly doesn't take that long at all.
10 AM - 12 PM Once my emails are done, I minimize my browser window completely so that I don't get pulled in by new emails or anything on the internet, really. I also don't have any push notifications turned on on my phone, which helps as well. This way, I have a clear two hours to tackle 1-2 big to do items for the day. There are times, however, where I'll extend this time period until 1:00 PM if I feel like I'm really getting into a design groove. But most days, my body is ready for a break by noon.
12 - 1 PM This is the period of the day where I struggle the most, mostly because I'm currently in the habit of only eating last night's leftovers or toast. I then bring the plate BACK to my desk (ugh), where I get lost on pointless websites like Buzzfeed or watch a quick episode of something on Netflix. I absolutely hate that I don't leave my office during this time to give myself a break. Like clockwork, I find myself doing the same thing, every day, shaking my head as I sink deeper into a bad habit.
Ideally, I would love to spend 30-60 minutes away from my computer during this time and even MAKE myself lunch from scratch, rather than taking the easy way out. I think my biggest problem with actually doing this is the energy I "think" it takes to make lunch + clean up. If you have any tips (like meal prepping ahead of time) to make this a little less daunting, I'm all ears.
1 - 2/3 PM I spend the last few hours of my day tackling another big item from my to do list, while also closing up loose ends (like quick emails). My goal here is to keep this part of my day to 1-2 hours, simply because I can't sit at a desk much longer than that without my back or neck screaming. But! There are definitely days where I go longer than that if need be.
3 - 5 PM I used to feel so weird not working during this time, but now I LOVE it. I usually do a long session of yoga, read, run errands, or go for a walk depending on how I'm feeling that day. Alternatively, if I scheduled lunch or coffee with a friend earlier on in the day, I'll use these extra few hours as work time so that things can rearrange without me feeling super guilty about going out and disrupting the schedule.
5 - 10 PM Keeping my work + life balance in check is extremely important to me, so I'm pretty strict about not working during this time. After my husband comes home, we'll make dinner, eat together, and usually go for a long walk with our dog. After that, he always has something to tinker on while I either read, watch TV, go for a run, or roam around in our yard (pulling weeds, etc.). Once it's dark, we almost always grab a snack and watch an hour of TV together. Because TV is good and I'm into a bajillion different shows. ;) After that, I'm officially done with screens and try my best NOT to look at my phone before going to sleep. Sometimes that's easier said than done, but I've found that this helps me (and my mind) calm down a lot faster.
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So there you have it! An honest look into a typical work day. Ideally, I'd love to get my work days down to 4-5 hours tops, but I'll need to slow down my project load a little bit in order to make that happen. But it is something I truly want to do. I've realized that sitting in front of the computer for 8 hours a day just doesn't cut it -- and for the sake of my body + mind, more off screen time is essential. If you've ever wrote a post about your own schedule, link up to it below in the comments! I'd love to take a look. No really, I actually really want to. ;)