What is your actual routine? And your ideal routine?

Starshine

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Inspired by reading ersio's recent account, I want to give an update about my actual routine. This period (March April) was really productive and I felt quite grounded and balanced between all the things I wanted to do. I found some kind of homeostasis!
Then we took a week of vacation out, which didn't happen since a long while. Great from a social bonding point of view, terrible for the routine and diet.

Hay fever kicked in right after we came back, and we had to prepare our homecoming, which was quite something, we were expecting 80 people, and apart from the celebration itself, we had a lot of diverse things to do all over the place. I progressively stopped updating my done list, to focus only on my to-do list. So I began to fall off-balance, having less time to read and less free space in my mind to focus on the forum. I can say I still succeeded to check it regularly, but it was far less, and I felt progressively more tired with my running thoughts. Bad sleep and much anticipation, more alcohol and carbs consumption.

Trying to deal with Hay fever this year, I tried reducing my histamine-containing food consumption, and then I suddenly stopped coffee. No willpower needed, I just stopped for 2 weeks, me who thought that was a terribly hard thing to do. I had headaches and a nagging hip pain for a few fays. This digression is over since I succumbed at an offer the night of the homecoming.
Then the session came and it motivated me to try intermittent fasting 9AM 3PM, which is not our normal meal time. We are used to doing 12AM 8PM. I didn't last long, it is weird to eat alone and not sharing the meal with one's family. That plus not having coffee with them and being crippled with my allergy syndrome, I can say my routine has been shattered, and it certainly troubled me.

This is where I wanted to get at. It has been a period of massive improvements to me. And it has been followed by this step-back. As mentioned in HDT, after expansion there is always a contraction. During this contraction period, the echo-chamber effect kicks high in and the risk is always to fall back to bad habits of all kinds, which can leave you hopeless with well-known thought loops of guilt and self-sabotage.

As we've learned here, the brain works better when shifting from focused mode to diffuse mode regularly throughout the day. What I notice too is that there seem to be bigger, longer cycles, which last for weeks or months, and are kind of the same, at least for me:

  • Focused/Expansion/Future: Where you can learn a lot with ease and flow, do many things productively, be proactive. The risk being obsession.
  • Diffuse/Contraction/Past: Where you're more reflective and you are driven towards introspection, a time to absorb and process. The risk being the echo-chamber.

This contraction phase always seems like a step back, and can be quite overwhelming. As I said on the carnivore diet thread, I tended to be partial, meaning I used to only report my improvements, not my regressions. It is a phase lived alone, and it grows out of silence. Just writing this frees my heart!

Does this idea of long cycles talk to anyone?
Thank for reading!
 

Chu

Administrator
Administrator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Well, the good thing is that you now have something to compare yourself with. The "good" habits aren't completely lost if you miss going back to them. So, you just start again, and adjust so as to make them accommodate your situation better.

I'm not sure I would use Focused vs. diffused in terms of progress, as those are just the names given to two modes of learning. And they are supposed to be more anchored in the present. But I see what you mean, and think it's fairly normal. The point is to get back on track when we feel we're drifting, and after recuperation/processing time when needed.
 

Starshine

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Thank you for your comment, Chu. You're right, at least I know where I want to be and the terms might not be the best to describe that process.
A better analogy would be climbing up a mountain and falling regularly. The persistence to climb up has to remain, then it's a process of learning how to fall better, because you know it will happen regularly and it leads you step backwards. The better you control your fall, the less damage done.
 

SMM

The Living Force
Thank you for this thread! The concept of actual routine and ideal routine, a great and practical one, made me think of Peterson's 'Self Authoring Suite'.

It's been wonderful, useful and thought-provoking to read through and contemplate the feedback. I've had a pretty good morning and evening routine, with something of an afternoon routine, going on for a few months now - since February. I use this planner from Amazon for daily planning. I started an annual a-page-a-day diary this month from a local store. I also have a smaller annual diary for family-related content.

I'll return to this thread to continue posting, including more detail of routines and adjustments that've been effective over here :-)
 

PerfectCircle

Jedi Master
I came across this video on youtube, it is called: "A day in the life of an average Japanese salaryman in Tokyo"
There are more videos, kind of interesting to see some differences but also similarities regarding business and daily routines. And yes, they work a lot :)
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I recently made a custom size and paper bullet journal. I was using a Field Notes notebook, and they don't have 31 rows, so you cannot make horizontally on one page a monthly layout. Mine is only 32 pages, so I estimate it will last until the beginning of next year. I still write on scraps of paper and make digital notes and reminders. But the physical writing down of things helps too. And I have a lot of space to test out pens, inks and calligraphy.

This is geared to bullet journals, but I find the concepts can apply to anything you are procrastinating with or having trouble letting go of:



My summary of the ideas:
  • Is this worth my time?
  • If the task doesn’t do anything for you, it’s clutter. Get rid of it.
  • Give yourself permission to get rid of tasks.
  • Why does this bullet (task) matter?
  • Think about whether it is still worth your time.
  • If it were really that important, you would have done it by now.
  • By eliminating trivial tasks you also make time for the things that really matter.
 

Wu Wei Wu

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
Routines are the big secret to getting great work done. They let the magic of compounding do its work (in this case, compounding skills or knowledge). They are my most important tools in organizing my own life, and the key method for organizing my environment to enhance focus.

Here's my routine, maybe it will be helpful:

I begin each day the same way, with morning exercises for mind and body. Then I take medicines and supplements as needed.
Followed up by breakfast.
Then I start my most important work of the day. That might be study, or some outstanding work task. Attention and willpower are at their height at the start of the day, so I put my biggest, most difficult, most likely to be put off task here.
Then I'll eat lunch.
After that I'll do less important work according to priority. Usually this means emails, followups, etc.
After I do 'enough' work (always a judgement call) I'll do my afternoon exercises and practices.
Only in the late afternoon do I do calls or meetings; These take up a lot of energy for me and have uncertain ROI, so I make sure to put them after I've got most of my work done for the day.
I leave the evening (I often skip dinner and fast) for socializing and events.
At the end of the evening I'll study, do my preparations for the next day, and sleep as early as I can. By the end my willpower is exhausted, so I try to do must-do evening preparations as early as I can.

Using this method of prioritizing regular practices and habits, while frontloading work, I've gotten a lot more done and been more happy with how I spend my time. I put my key habits or skills I'd like to improve as tasks to do everyday, so that they always get done. Sometimes this comes at the expense of other work, and that's ok. Habits, skills, and knowledge building are more important to me than almost all work anyways (and I work so I can do those things) so putting them first and early in the day has been very productive.

I also make a great effort to get rid of 'drags' on my energy. I delegate or just stop doing things that decrease my energy, I have as few things as possible so I don't worry about them, and get into regular and mechanical routines for doing things I have to every day. All these things help me save energy to focus on the things that really matter, which are learning and building lifelong habits.

Hope that helps!
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I could probably benefit to reread this thread. But I've found it lately difficult to do anything extra outside my routine. Even with the lockdown, and I'll admit that it freed up some time to tidy this or do that. But on a whole, it seems like I need to take some days or a week off to get stuff done. I usually do this, and will just read or do practical things when I take a vacation.

It just seems like there is a gargantuan effort to do anything else for me. Even posting this I am rushing because it's more meaningful for me than a few sentence post, but I just want to get it out there. I have difficulty with the "First things first" habit. Also with the lockdown I have been reluctant to share much personal things, instead trying to stay on top of things as well as staying sane.

Cross posting this from another thread because dropping bad ideas can help with routines and time management:

I bought her book, but never read it. I think some of her ideas are interesting, like folding your clothes by rolling them up. But I have been thinking about something when purging ideas.

She says to ask yourself if it sparks joy. I've thought about it more intellectually or practically. "What problem does this solve?" And you can take it further and ask if it's really a problem. So if you're thinking about doing something or buying something, ask that question. It's more for things you've yet to do, but I suppose you could ask it when decluttering too.

Something to try if you have trouble with these things. I find that a lot of my thoughts don't represent actual problems.
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In the session 10 May 2014 thread there is that saying about a vacuum:

A: Service to others. Notice that the people with the most problems that always talk only about themselves and their troubles, are the ones who do and give the least. They do not have confidence in the universal law of LIFE: Get things moving and you create a vacuum in your life into which energy can flow.

And basically, you have to remove something in order to create a vacuum. It can be an object, but it could also be movement, so removing inertia. This was also a good thread that came up, although more regarding clutter: Personal environments; stuff, clutter, negative energies and Feng Shui.

But I came across this article and thought it was a good possible helper in tying up some loose end tasks for myself. There was another article that wasn't really relevant, except one heading that said, "Let go of control."


The Peace of Completion: Tying Up Loose Ends to Free Up Mental Energy

As the CEO of my own small business and mother to a young child, time is one of my most valuable resources... and it is very limited! Thusly, I must make a lot of compromises throughout my day, and, well, let's just say not everything on my to-do list always gets done in a timely manner. Frankly, said list had recently gotten a bit out of control. In creating the bad habit of sweeping some of my loose ends under the proverbial rug to be dealt with "later," as so many of us do, the huge pileup of undones was inadvertently zapping my energy, momentum, and focus. It took me getting pregnant with my second child to get real about all of these pesky incomplete tasks that were roaming around like free radicals in my brain and wreaking havoc on my subconscious.

There is something incredibly motivating about a mother-to-be's approaching due date that will really bring things into focus. It was about halfway through my pregnancy that all of a sudden my many loose ends had come into the light, demanding to be dealt with. For me, my nesting instinct went into overdrive and I set out determined to tackle my to-do list once and for all. Clearly, I was not all of a sudden going to have more free time on my hands once the baby got here. So, I sobered up and my "do it later" quickly became my "do it now."

In the course of a few months, my house went through a major overhaul: rooms rearranged, garage cleared out, nursery put together, walls painted, closets and drawers organized, carloads of items donated, gardens planted. Phew! The cleaning frenzy even carried over into my workspace as I got incredibly clear on the vision for my business and where we needed to be heading with our short-term and long-terms goals. I restructured the organization and refocused where my time was spent. I even tackled my arch-nemesis, the email inbox, and got my number of unread items down to zero. For me, this alone was a huge accomplishment. And it all felt amazingly invigorating!

As I worked through my list, I noticed how much more relaxed I was feeling. New energy was found for jumping into other projects. It was an incredibly freeing process since the energy spent on not doing things was sub-consciously draining me. When you store up a big enough backlog of untied ends and neglected to-do list items, your mental energy becomes drained and new ideas become blocked. It's a very common occurrence and we often don't even realize it is happening. Putting things off and procrastinating robs your of your sense of control. The longer it goes on, the more things pile up and the more daunting the tasks become. The typical reaction to this is to avoid the tasks even more as you tell yourself, "I will get to that later." Instead, you find yourself wasting time in various unproductive ways such as mindlessly perusing the Internet or watching TV. Since it is more difficult to focus when your mind is cluttered and your energy levels are low, even when you do finally decide to attempt a task or two, you might not find yourself as productive as you could be.

Are you ready to stop the cycle? Fantastic! The good news is you don't have to get pregnant to find the momentum to take control of your life. Here are some tips on how to go about tying up loose ends to free up mental energy:

1. Identify the Background Noise

Determine and make a list of all the things you have been putting off. Include all aspects of your life in the thought process: work, home, relationships, future goals and dreams, etc. Really stretch your brain and be sure to include all tasks, big and small.

2. Get Clear
Determine which of your to-dos are even still relevant and important to you. Issue pardons on anything that has already resolved itself and/or no longer serves you or needs your attention. Can it be absorbed by someone else? Great! Be sure to make a sub-list of anything that can/should be delegated.

3. Make a "Just Do It!" List
Now that you've clearly honed in on what your focus should be, write "Just Do It" on top of your list to set your intention into place and let the universe know you mean business. Sometimes even a small acknowledgement like this can set energy into motion and help breathe life into new habits being built.

4. Divide and Conquer
Organize your list: What can be done in five minutes or less? Sub-list those items out and then burn through them in one sitting! Can any other tasks be grouped together? For any items that will take a little more time and energy, come up with a realistic timeframe of how long they will take to complete and then schedule them out.

5. Commit to Completion
Don't wait until tomorrow! Start right now and have a clear endpoint in mind. Declare you commitment to completing these tasks by actually scheduling them into your calendar. Treat these calendar appointments as if they are just as important as any other scheduled event in your life and do not cancel them. If something does come up and you have to skip a task -- don't just neglect it completely. Be sure to reschedule to a new time when you will be able to address it.

As you slough the items off your list and get closer to your goal of completion, be sure to notice your clear head, renewed energy, and increased momentum and focus. Now, recognize your accomplishments and savor your success by celebrating! Our life is a reflection of what is in our mind, after all. Make it clear, free, and vibrant. There is truly peace in completion -- enjoy it!
 

placematt

Jedi Master
Great thread everyone. Just to add my two cents. There is a book called the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. He talks about the importance of morning routines as our willpower is strongest in the morning. His time is spent doing the "Savers". I can't quite remember what they are but "Scribing (journaling) affirmations, visualisation, exercise, rest (meditation). I committed to this a little while ago, up at 5am every morning and its an amazing experience. This same idea could be tailored to what you wanted specifically.

My routine was,
5am - prayer of the soul for 20mins
reading for 20 mins
journalling for 20 mins
goal setting/ affirmations etc

It really did create this vacuum for energy to come into my life. As was stated earlier in the thread, allowed the energy to flow in. And doing it first thing in the morning set out a solid framework for the days ahead and reminding myself of the overarching plan. Also, the really nice aspect is your not using your mental power to decide to do the routine. When it becomes a habit, its solidified and provides a lot of freedom because you know what you're doing for the next hour or day. Clarity is possibly a better word.

Another solid book is called Atomic habits by James clear. The book talks about building habits instead of using motivation. That motivation comes after the action is done. Similar to how we all feel a lot better after we have committed some time to a routine and our lives start to feel less daunting and more within our control.

great thread!
 

Candice

Padawan Learner
Great thread everyone. Just to add my two cents. There is a book called the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. He talks about the importance of morning routines as our willpower is strongest in the morning. His time is spent doing the "Savers". I can't quite remember what they are but "Scribing (journaling) affirmations, visualisation, exercise, rest (meditation). I committed to this a little while ago, up at 5am every morning and its an amazing experience. This same idea could be tailored to what you wanted specifically.

My routine was,
5am - prayer of the soul for 20mins
reading for 20 mins
journalling for 20 mins
goal setting/ affirmations etc

It really did create this vacuum for energy to come into my life. As was stated earlier in the thread, allowed the energy to flow in. And doing it first thing in the morning set out a solid framework for the days ahead and reminding myself of the overarching plan. Also, the really nice aspect is your not using your mental power to decide to do the routine. When it becomes a habit, its solidified and provides a lot of freedom because you know what you're doing for the next hour or day. Clarity is possibly a better word.

Another solid book is called Atomic habits by James clear. The book talks about building habits instead of using motivation. That motivation comes after the action is done. Similar to how we all feel a lot better after we have committed some time to a routine and our lives start to feel less daunting and more within our control.

great thread!
Thank you @placematt for sharing these book recommendations. I will look into them as I dearly need to create a more effective morning routine.
 

SMM

The Living Force
An outline of my routine from waking to sleep:

1. Personal care - brush teeth, face, hair, etc.
2. Move - this can be as simple or as complicated as I wish. It's usually going for a walk to the nearby woods to my house. I usually 'cardio ' i.e. swim, bike, jog, dance, before I do resistance or weight exercises, movements and training. I typically do those exercises later in the day, with 2 possible time slots to fulfill them. I also do breathing and Qi/Reiki exercises and my Morning Reading to the crystals during this walk. On Tuesday, I do a group Qigong (online now) after the walk.
3. Warrior Breath & Pipe Breathing - sometimes i do this in the woods, sometimes I wait until I am back home.
3. Supplements pre-breakfast - the ones that are safe or require to be taken on an empty stomach.
4. ACG Workout or a resistance workout - not daily without fail, about 4 days a week. What I sometimes do is break up ACG and do parts of it, and do other parts later in the day. I love doing the Sun Salutations, 5 Tibetan Rites, all the stretches, headstand, balance exercises and grab Qi and say thank you, so I may just do those and save the others for later.
5. Shower/Bath.
6. SOTT / Forum / News / Online Readings - Check on worldy events on SOTT and other sites, and check the forum. I also do an I Ching or oracle card reading at this point, and spend a short time on social media and checking emails/voicemails etc.
7. Daily plan - Plan out the day. I have a weekly plan so I include that, and we have chores for the house planned out weekly, so those are considered also. I tend to group similar tasks together.
8. Breakfast - Usually 2 fried eggs with lots of ghee, tallow or beef suet. I often start cooking while wrapping up my daily plan.
9. Post-breakfast supplements.
10. The planned smoke and freehand writing - This is the one smoke I take, usually outside, that is intentional. I usually review my plan while doing this and ask myself Q's similar to what @3DStudent posted
here. It reminds me of the G's Preparations and Ben Franklin's 'What good will I do today?'
11. Work on carrying out daily plan - Whatever that looks like. I take at least a 10 minutes hourly, or 5 minutes after 25 minutes. Similar to the Pomodoro technique. Sometimes I am too into it to break, and will take 15 after.
12. Resistance and weight workout - Around 4pm, I will do resistance and weight exercises. Ashtanga and a mix of other yoga activities, BBS-type exercises, capoera, some of the ACG, pilates and I want to add kettlebells eventually or soon. I take a lot of salt and get some red and NIR light in beforehand. I just keep it on while working (usually on working on my laptop).
13. Refresh - if I need another shower or rinse I do so. If I have pre-dinner supplements, then those are taken then.
13. Dinner/second meal - Lamb fillet or beef ribeye steak, 2 eggs and ghee, tallow or suet. Some days seafood. I'm sensitive to pork, chicken and poultry etc. I discovered so these are rarely, if ever, eaten. Even the grass fed variant. I think it's tied to histamines. Red or ruminant meat works better for me.
14. Finish up, clean up, tidy up, prepare space for tomorrow - It helps when I can put everything away so the next day, it's easier to find everything. It's rare I have post-dinner supplements but not impossible. I take those around this time too, usually once I finish.
15. Reading / Hobby - If I have a book I am super into then that's what my nose is stuck it. I listen to a lot of podcasts, audiobooks, music/sounds etc. while working. Most days I'm happy with classical, ambient and jazz. I spend this time doing some quiet (our house is rarely quiet with teenagers here) reading of a book, usually on Kindle. I may play an instrument and do some singing during this time instead. Nothing crazy.
16. SOTT / Forum / News / Online Readings - I check SOTT, the forum, social media and email again, time dependent.
17. More reading or hobby, or spend time with family, time dependant. We usually schedule time to spend with each other, usually weekends.
18. Prepare for tomorrow and review the day. 'What good did I do today?' Sometimes I rinse, bath or shower at this point.
19. Bed time supplements - GABA, glycine and melatonin.
20. Qi/Reiki and EE.
21. Sleep.

That's a rough outline. On the days I work outside of the house, such as the health food centre, I might only get 1-3 then 13-21. I'd be lucky if a bath or 'refresh and relax' happens until I get to 18 on the list.

What helps me most is that movement in the morning; that walk. I could be having a terrible day and it wouldn't matter - I get to walk in the morning. It helps me stick to my daily plan because if something goes awry, I might not have time or have the walk or movement that is needed. It's like I meet myself in those moments and movements first thing at dawn.

Like the C's said:

A: Service to others. Notice that the people with the most problems that always talk only about themselves and their troubles, are the ones who do and give the least. They do not have confidence in the universal law of LIFE: Get things moving and you create a vacuum in your life into which energy can flow.

It took me a year but I've circled back and made a post on my routine 😀
 
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SMM

The Living Force
I su
15. Reading / Hobby - If I have a book I am super into then that's what my nose is stuck it. I listen to a lot of podcasts, audiobooks, music/sounds etc. while working. Most days I'm happy with classical, ambient and jazz. I spend this time doing some quiet (our house is rarely quiet with teenagers here) reading of a book, usually on Kindle. I may play an instrument and do some singing during this time instead. Nothing crazy.

I usually recite the Evening Reading and sing In the Garden to the crystals around this time.

On Saturdays and Mondays, I swap out some activities for the Reading Workshop and EE Group Meditation - those activities commonly fall in the 'Reading/Hobby' category and time slot.
 
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