Dare180: Make the Time, Use Your Current Habits to Get More Done
I started by changing my schedule up to take advantage of as many hours in the day as possible while catering to my natural tendencies which makes it easier to implement. A habit is change much more easily when the new habit is just slightly different from the old one. In order to make a schedule that truly works for you, you have to be very honest about your natural tendencies whether they be “good” or “bad”. I think I’ve worked out most of the kinks and I want to share mine with you as it might help inspire you to try structuring your day in a way that helps you get the most done without feeling worked over or guilty about what you didn't do by the end of it.
Natural Tendency 1: Rising At An Obscene Time of Day
I naturally wake between 5 and 6 a.m. I can’t explain why. So instead of lolling about in bed watching Netflix or browsing Instagram until I absolutely have to get moving for work, I get my ass up and brush my teeth, let the cats out, and start getting ready to exercise.
Natural Tendency 2: Getting Hungry Later
Despite hours of not eating I’m not ready for breakfast as soon as I wake, but I’m voracious after a workout. So my breakfast is after I clean up after my workout and really need the calories. Every now and then I’ll have a small snack before my routine if I know it will particularly strenuous so that I don’t get lightheaded or nauseated.
Natural Tendency 3: Taking My Sweet Ass Time
I built in lag time for my morning toilettes because I know me. It doesn’t take as long as I’ve scheduled to actually do what I do, but I like to play in the mirror, the cats bug me, I play pretend. I know I’m fully grown but if I didn’t do these things I think I’d go mad. Truly.
Natural Tendency 4: I Don’t Leave For Work “On Time” Ever
It takes me 15 minutes to get to work on a good day. Twenty minutes on a not so good day. Leaving 20 minutes before I need to be there is reasonable, however, I know it’s better to leave thirty minutes early just in case something were to happen on the way in. I don’t do that anymore for reasons. So instead of leaving at 8:00 a.m I leave ten or fifteen minutes after. I have yet to be late by doing this but usually I’m right on time. I admit that’s cutting it close. I also don’t care.
Natural Tendency 5: I Hate Dishes In The Sink
Sometimes breakfast runs late and I don’t have time to wash my dishes before I leave. I absolutely hate having dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink. The evening spruce up lets me tackle that and whatever cleaning I have for that day. It calms me to get these things taken care of and helps me stay in a “work” frame of mind. Oh! And I stopped being paranoid about my dishwasher potentially flooding my house so now I save even more time by using it over hand washing.
Natural Tendency 6: Early To Bed
I love curling up in bed at around 8:00 p.m but that’s really too early so making that the time to start winding things down fits in nicely. I get some relaxation and still get to take care of needs like eating. I tend to pick sleep over food most of the time. [SOURCE] Technically this is totally understandable behavior, scientifically. [SOURCE] However, I don’t need to be skipping meals. I’ll cook and have a leisurely time eating. If I’ve got leftovers or have managed to meal prep (I don’t meal prep) then I get even more time to chill. During this time I can look at my goals for the next day and reflect on what I’ve accomplished so far. I can call friends (for most of them 8:00 p.m is not late especially since many of them are in different time zones earlier than mine) and catch up.
During each week day I can truly only afford to devote two hours to anything not life maintenance related. That means at least eight hours of every work week. On the weekend I can devote at least four hours each Saturday and Sunday so I get 16 hours of free time to work on my own projects every week. The bare minimum is eight hours and I can always manage the bare minimum, but if I hit my goals each day that sixteen hours is going to get me much farther ahead. Doing the eight means I won’t beat myself up for not doing more. Those few hours each day means I’m getting a lot done because I am forced to prioritized the most essential parts of the project since I literally do not have the time to dawdle.
Have you tried analyzing your habits and creating a schedule around them like this? If you haven't I sincerely urge you to give it a try and if you have, how has it worked for you? Let me know down below!