Updated: Aug 16, 2020
A super important component to incorporating a ton of superhero habits is creating a conducive daily schedule. Now don't get me wrong, I love spontaneity and hate being tied down to a strict schedule. It’s YOUR superhero life, and you deserve your freedom and time for hobbies and friends and great joy! If you observe your days, though, you might find that we are generally happier and more satisfied when we complete a to-do list, wake up at a reasonable time, and keep an overall more consistent schedule. It’s all about balance. Here's my typical day with a 9-5 job, but shift for your own schedule.
7:00am: Wake, exercise, meditate, prepare for an awesome day
8:00am: Get ready, make breakfast, write, commute
9:00am: Meet with team, knock out priority emails and admin
10-1:00pm: Get the BIGGEST work of your day done
1:00pm: Lunch, walk, learn, read
2-5:00pm: Meetings, admin, emails
5-8:00pm: Commute, walk/workout, decompress, volunteer, dinner, friends/family
8:00pm: Devices away, food and drinks away, get ready for bed, read
I'm not a morning person. I mean, yeah, I do love a good Saturday morning with some eggs and bacon and fruit and coffee and a great book outside, but that's ideally at like 9 or 10. I still roll that routine on many a Saturday (even though I know that bacon is not great for you and it's better for your circadian rhythm to stay on a similar sleeping schedule - oops!).
Still, I know that mornings are really important. It's going to be pretty hard to have a superhero day if you start out with a rushed, stressed, drive-through breakfast kind of morning. So, all about that flexibility, but you've got to wake up earlier to have an in-control morning. It can be twenty minutes, thirty minutes, or an hour, but you must set aside time for yourself in the morning. This time is to be alone, listen to your heart, and grow in so many ways. Your morning routine must include three components.
20 Minutes: When I'm in a hurry, I'll do 10 minutes of hard cardio and 10 minutes of meditation. I still get the rush from exercise and some mental time and solitude from meditation but without waking up too early when I have a lot else going on.
30 Minutes: I often take time for 10 minutes of each in the morning. What this looks like for me is 10 minutes of a cardio video to get my heart racing, get my sweat on, and wake me up for the day. Then I’ll meditate for 10 minutes. Then I'll either do 10 minutes of yoga to wind down and build strength, or I'll write or express gratitude for a bit.
1 Hour: When I have the time, I take a full awesome hour. I'll start with a 15 minute cardio exercise to get my heart rate up, get sweating, and let those sweet sweet endorphins course through my body. Then, I'll do 15 minutes of yoga to build strength and balance and flexibility while taking me into meditation for 15 minutes. With the time I have left, I like to write, express gratitude, breathe in the sweet morning air, and center myself for the day ahead. A full hour, alone, just me.
I like my job. I don't love my job, but I know that I'm really lucky to have it and it gives me satisfaction and routine and money that helps me continue to grow, and I'm so very privileged to have such a good job. I enjoy it quite a bit most days, and I'm able to pursue opportunities like writing, eating great food, and spending quality family and social time away from work.
Someday, I intend to work for myself, but for now I really appreciate the job I have. So I want to work hard at it. And, fabulously, when I work hard at my job, I feel pretty good about myself. I'm proud of my hard work, pushing through the stress, and creating/doing something of great quality.
I want to set up my work days for success. I want to feel awesome when I leave at the end of the day and know that my work is valuable and I’ve done well. This should be the case no matter what your job is. If you’re in customer service or retail, kill it. Smile big, be curious and helpful with customers, know your products well, and help make people's lives better every day. Cubicle job? Same. Lawyer, doctor, teacher? Do your best freaking work. I know that not every day is easy, and some days you just feel like nothing is going right. Do your best. The goal is to feel proud of your work and yourself, no matter where you are.
I am lucky enough to typically have a bit of control of my own schedule, so I try to set my days up for success, and then I remain super adaptable for whatever meetings/projects/tasks/people are thrown at me. We have our most energy in the mornings before we've had to make too many decisions and dip from lunch, so break your work day up into a few sections.
8:30-1:00pm: Within the first hour, meet with the team and plan for the day (check and revise to-do list, respond to important emails, etc.), then knock out the biggest, best work you’re going to do today. Yeah, really. Just knock it out of the park. I really love when I can create something great that I'm proud of in the morning, but at the least I knock the biggest tasks and projects off my to-do list.
1:00-2:00pm: Have a great lunch. I do what I can to take the full hour. I bring my lunch from home so it's cheap and quick to grab and take the time for myself. Top tips: bring a book or notebook or hobby and make the most of your lunch time for you, as stepped away from work as you can. Learn something new in a book or podcast, or, better yet, spend 30 minutes leisurely eating, then go for a 30 minute walk outside. Get that sunshine; get those steps in; you are amazing.
2:00-5:00: Knock out administrative tasks and emails, and create a to-do list for the next day. I also consider this time as reserved for meetings. When I schedule something myself, I shoot for 2:00 or 3:00 so as much of my morning can be spent on the big stuff as possible.
My evenings and weekends are for me. I don't think it's selfish. I'm happy to stay late at work or put in extra hours now and then, but I do what I can to make the most of my time for me. It's so freaking easy to feel like your days are taken up completely by work, and your evenings punctuated by exhaustion, TV, a quick unhealthy dinner, and staying up too late before waking up on ‘the wrong side of the bed’ to another stressful day.
Nope, that's not the superhero life for sure. Your time after work is your time. You go to work, you work hard, and then you get to choose to make the most of your personal time. Please don't waste it. I mean, yes, absolutely sit in front of the TV and watch your favorite show and eat some noodles or pizza or whatever with a big glass of good red wine. But don't do it every night.
Make the most of the time you have. One great way is by incorporating a quick workout, yoga sequence, or outdoor hike right after work. This 'reset' will break down stress and refresh your mind for a new section of the day. If you have a commute (mine can be an hour long some days), use this time wisely. Find an interesting podcast or audio book and educate yourself. Get your mind on something you're into and excited about, and it'll shift to be ready for some awesome, personal, creative time ahead.
After work, use your time in a variety of interesting ways. Some days, go for a walk, write or practice a hobby, make an awesome healthy dinner, and read. Some days, volunteer and then grab a quick dinner. Some days, go to a totally delicious happy hour with friends or family and laugh and really live in the moment and the joy. Some days, grab leftovers, park in front on the TV, and watch your favorite Netflix show. All about that balance.
8:00pm is typically a good cut-off though. At this time, I recommend turning off the TV, committing to barely being on your phone or other technology, and discontinuing eating and drinking. This is time to clean things up, read, write, shower, and get ready for bed. You've got to have a good night's sleep to have a brilliant morning the next day, so set your night up for continuous success.
Right before you fall asleep, when all of your devices are plugged in and put away, express gratitude for your day. Think of, write down, or tell your partner 5-10 things you’re grateful for. For me, this has a huge range. Some days, I’m grateful for the super ripe peach I had after dinner, the air I'm breathing, or my sweet affectionate kitten. The what doesn’t matter do much as the doing. Practice gratitude often and you will bring positivity and energy and light and magic into your life. It’s awesome.
You probably know where I'm going here. Your weekends are for you. Use them well. What that means is so totally up to you. I always recommend some time outdoors, as little time on your butt as possible, lots of reading and learning and exploring your passions and hobbies and interests, and real quality time with people you love. If you can find a way to incorporate some volunteering, giving back, picking up trash, or any form of making people's lives in some way better, you're doing a really awesome job.
I like to carve out a chunk of time - depends on the weekend, but often Saturday around noon when I'm feeling pretty stellar - to knock some shit out. I clean up, do laundry, and get chores done. It usually doesn't take that long, and, if I knock this stuff out early when I'm still feeling the good weekend vibes instead of the Sunday scaries, I can really enjoy and feel good and productive for the rest of my weekend.
Sometimes I do some meal prep too. If I can make a big ol' pan of chicken and roast veggies (takes like an hour with chopping), or a big pot of soup or some mason jar salads (same or less), I can really knock some time out of my days. I almost always make some hard boiled eggs and a batch of brown rice or quinoa or lentils or hummus. They're quick and easy and awesome to have around to throw in snacks and meals and just have some healthy food (with protein and fiber and vitamins and minerals and stuff) in my fridge.
Most importantly, I really try to enjoy myself. My days away from work are truly for me and those I love, and I get to use the whole thing in the way that I choose and desire and get to feel great about. Whether I'm at home reading and listening to music, or I'm at my friend's sister's baby shower, I'm going to enjoy myself. I'm going to live in the moment, be kind and generous to those around me, practice self-love and patience, and express gratitude for the bad and the good that comes my way.
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How do you set up your life to make the most of the time that you have? Do you think this schedule is one you can see yourself implementing? Tell me your thoughts below!