What does a typical day for me look like?
I could write about a whole day but usually every day is different. The time that remains the same almost every day is the morning.
Mornings are sacred to me.
I block out at least the first four hours of the day for creation and learning.
This blocking event occurs on 90% of the time. On days where this doesn’t happen I’m usually doing something special such as going to the beach early in the morning to watch the sunrise.
I wake up between 5:00a.m. and 7:00a.m. depending on the time I went to sleep. I don’t sleep with an alarm most days, I just go to bed at a reasonable time.
I have no problem going to sleep because I exhaust myself during the day.
One of my goals for 2017 was to average at least 8 hours of sleep. I’m not actively tracking this but I would be very close. Some days I need more, some days I need less, it depends how hard I’ve worked during the day.
Immediately after waking up, I go to the bathroom. Then I begin 20 minutes of meditation using the Headspace app. Right now I’m on the kindness series.
Following meditation, I journal.
Reading and Writing
For journaling, I use a two page spread.
On the right hand page is the closest thing to a typical journal entry. This can be literally about anything, usually it’s an explosion of thoughts that come rushing back in after meditating. Why do I do this? I find that writing my thoughts on paper makes it easier to decipher the signal from the noise. I’m also sure to add at least one sentence about something I’m grateful for.
It’s impossible to be angry when you’re showing gratitude
— Tony Robbins
The gratitude sentence also has no rules, this morning I was grateful to feel the comfort of the chair. Something small. The small things are the big things.
On the left hand page, I write the date in the centre of the page, in large type. At the top of the page I write same affirmation five times. This affirmation is related to whatever I’m currently working on. I write affirmations because it reminds me what my current goal is. Even if my thoughts are scattered, I find that writing the same thing out five times brings me clarity on where I want my focus to go. The affirmations are also a method of visualisation. Writing it down every day helps me to visualise my goals.
If you see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.
— Various Sources
After journaling, I make my bed. Making my bed means that I’ve already completed the first task of the day. Even if everything goes to shit, I still get to sleep in a made bed at the end of the night.
For further reference, check out this YouTube video:
Once my bed is made, I read a page from The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman.
Over the past year I’ve begun digging more into Stoicism. It has changed my life. There is a piece of wisdom in this book for every scenario in life. It’s hard to believe that most of this was written 2000 years ago and it still holds true today.
Reading a page from this book gets me thinking. Often times, because of how the world works I’m able to relate it directly to something I’m dealing with at the current moment. Just like when you read your horoscope and it somehow always speaks to you.
Following The Daily Stoic, I flip to a random page in Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. I’ve already given this book to two friends. It’s filled with so much knowledge and wisdom. The best thing is, I’ve found that flipping to a random page is actually an incredibly fun way to read it.
This book was created after Tim interviewed over 200 world class performers. It is a compilation of all of their tips, habits and wisdom. I consider it a book filled with 200 mentors. Every time I open it, I learn something new.
Tasks For The Day
Following the bed making, book reading and meditation. I list the top 3–5 things I want to get done during the day on a small whiteboard in my room.
I’ve used apps and other to-do techniques in the past but so far this one is the best for me. The visual aspect is the key factor here. Having my goals visible all day and not hidden in an app, is great for me to focus.
I also put another affirmation on the top of the whiteboard. This is so it remains visible for me throughout the day, much like with the journaling.
From here, I’ll brush my teeth and start to make some tea.
Tea and What’s Next
The current cocktail (courtesy of Tools of Titans) involves 1 teaspoon of green tea, 1 teaspoon of pu-erh black tea (with ginger), 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. This is an absolute brain bomb, not to mention the fat burning benefits. Be careful with the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) in the coconut oil if you haven’t been to the toilet yet, I wouldn’t advised a heavy squat workout after drinking this.
With the tea I’ll begin my day, which usually involves me starting to take care of what’s on the white board. I take care of the most intellectually intensive tasks first. I use the pomodoro technique and try to dedicate at least 3–4 hours of deep work to whatever is on the white board.
I won’t check email or anything to do with my phone for that matter until at least 12:00p.m. (ideally).
I constantly reflect and contemplate on how I could improve this routine but for now I think I’ve found something that works for me.
This whole process takes about an hour but after I’ve completed it I feel as if I’ve already won the day.
I’d love to hear about your daily rituals, you can find me @mrdbourke :)