It’s just after 7am, my alarms just going off, and I wanted to show you guys this sunrise is awesome. If you only need one reason to wake up early, then look no further than this. you one of my productive days in January. Now wanted to repeat that with a more detailed breakdown of how I manage my time the day. So let’s get started. So it’s about 705 now, and I’m downstairs, and I’m going to start by making myself a coffee. I find if I can get ahead of the world by waking up many hours earlier than I should. And the coffee definitely helps.
My coffee routine is pretty simple. And some of you have asked about my coffee frother before, I’ve covered this already in another video. So I’ll link to that here, and in the description. But basically, I tend to just have freeze dried ground coffee from South America, it’s faster than making coffee from scratch. And to be honest, I just prefer it alone my coffee a little sweeter. And I found that the Arabic burns from Latin America just tend to be a little sweeter than other blends.
Once I’ve got my coffee sorted, try and sit down to do some journaling at about 715. I do this first because I find this is when my mind is most fresh, unable to write freely. If I’m not in the mood for journaling, and I’ll do some YouTube script writing. Basically just anything that requires some creativity and thought I tried to get done early. One thing I don’t do first thing though, which I’ve seen other people recommend is looking at my to do list or emails, personally, I think should just kill your day if you do this first thing. And I like to prioritize creativity in the mornings.
For the same reason, I almost always do this with my phone around. Because I found if I look on my phone first thing, I just fall into a place of scrolling and replying to people and I just get distracted. One tip for this, by the way is to use your phone’s bedtime or focus mode, both iOS and Android have one of these. It’s just a great way to make sure your phone is on Do Not Disturb or sometimes even have my phone on airplane mode the day. Because most of the time people leave your voicemail or an email, and you can follow up on time which suits you best. PS, I did this Mr delivery, so it doesn’t always work.
The other thing to mention here is that he was trying to write somewhere different to my desk. I know that sounds strange. But for me having a separation to my desk where I work. And somewhere else where I can write just really helps routine and mindset to stay creative. For this reason. I usually do most of my writing on the iPad, there’s just a different feeling to being on my computer. I usually give myself about 45 minutes to an hour to journal write notes before stopping to get on with the rest of my day. So what about ATM, it’s time to get out for a walk. So I filmed some of this video towards the end of FEHB when we had a big dump of snow in the UK.
So the scenery looks pretty awesome at the moment. And I wanted to show you guys, I said this before, but I find getting out for a walk first thing just really helps to clear my head. This is where I start to think about the things I need to do for the day. There’s a lot of research out there to suggest that people have some of their best ideas while they’re walking. Steve Jobs did this. And this is definitely the Case for me, I tend to have some of my most creative thoughts when I’m out in the fresh air just gets my brain ticking if my body is moving at the same time.
By the way, if I do have a really good idea, I’ll capture voice note on my watch. And again, I’ll try at this Point not to bring my phone out with me unless I need it while I’m waiting for a specific call. So usually walk for about half an hour. And that takes us to about 830. Once I’m back from the walk, I’ll quickly have some breakfast. And if I have some free time, I like to start with some reading. If you haven’t seen my video on how I read and commit things to memory, and definitely go and check that out because I cover the 3 basic tools that I used to study. Now some of you guys asked me last time what type of books I read first thing in the morning? That’s a really good question.
I don’t read fiction in the morning only before bed. And in the morning, I tried to read heavier books that really challenged me and get me thinking. So I usually spend about an hour doing this, by which Point it’s about 930 and I’m ready to start getting into my tasks. So this is the first point at which I’ll check my to do lists and tasks for the day. And then I’ll do a really quick check of my emails. When it comes to my to do list. This is something I’ll try and plan the night before It means I’m not wasting time in the morning, going back through it. If you’ve seen some of my other videos, you’ll know I used to do it a task manager to capture my to do lists.
And again, here, I’ll try and stay off my phone for the moment. so easily check this on my iPad. So there are some tasks which are automated everyday things like go for a run, do yoga, or check my eg workflow. And then there are some bigger tasks, I try to make sure there’s no more than three big tasks on my to do list for given day, is there always unexpected things which can come at you and disrupt that flow. Sometimes, I’ll put on a podcast in the background at this Point as well. Back when we could, I used to really like working in coffee shops. So I find the background noise really helpful. Checking up my emails can be an absolute time sink. So I make sure I limit this time to 30 minutes max, before I get on with the big tasks for the day. So it’s now 10am.
And this takes us to the first big work slot of the day. Generally, I’m working flat out for about 10 until 12. So two hours of pretty solid working these two hours is when I tried to break the back of my regular design work and my big tasks of the day. I might have some cool sheduled to catch up on work and to brainstorm new ideas. But I tend to try and cover off anything related to my business during this time, which again, mean making calls or designing things around 12 ish, I’m starting to slow down. And this is what I know it’s time to get out for a run. I usually try and do a quick run before lunch.
Even if it’s just 20 minutes of exercise, I find it really helps set me up for the afternoon means I avoid that horrible afternoon slump. PS if you haven’t seen my review of the Apple Watch si yet, and definitely go and check that out here. After I get back from the run, this is where I’d jump in the shower really quickly and do a proper head to toe clean. Next, I’ll try and take a really quick lunch break for about 30 minutes, we’ll try and catch up with the news or watch a bit of Vici. Whilst I’m eating. I sometimes replied some eg comments at this Point, if I have time, and this usually takes me up to about 1pm.
At Point, we’re getting into the second big works lot of the day for me in the early afternoon. This is where I usually get lots of work done. I start by going back through my to do list onto this to make sure I am covering off all my tasks for the day and haven’t been distracted. Now look at my workflows and Trello if you haven’t seen my productivity apps video, and definitely go and have a look at that, I go into a little more detail about some of the apps I’m using and why I’m using them. Basically, the key I found was work in the afternoon to try and get yourself into the flow situation where you can just churn out content quickly. This means no distractions turning off your phone and just finding a quiet space to think the other thing I found about the afternoon is not to be too rigid with your tasks and to go with your own momentum.
If you’re anything like me, it’s really easy to get distracted in the afternoon. When your mind start to wander really easily. As long what you’re doing is in some way adding value that I think that’s fine. My opinion, it’s much better to go during momentum, if it means you can stay your flow state. But definitely Also make sure you’re having some breaks for me break in the afternoon sometimes means doing some YouTube shooting, a creative outlet for me allows my brain to switch off a little. It’s when the light happens to be really good. PS, I’m going to be doing a video soon on how I shoot my YouTube videos and my workflow. So definitely. So anyway, the afternoon slog takes me to about 5pm, where I tend to have a break or so for an hour before eating dinner.
Finally, when it gets a bit later, and I feel like my creativity is sad. I’ll fire up my MacBook and start the editing. I’ve said this before, this is something that takes way longer than people realize. So for me doing it in the night means I’m not under time pressure. And I can just sit down, relax and just edit to my heart’s content. When I really had enough, I usually clock off and sit in front of the fire and read a book or watch something on TV.
I’m not someone that likes to work late into the evening I don’t think it’s healthy for anyone to do that. I like to just switch off and get a good night’s sleep. So guys, that’s it for this article. This is what works for me that not work for everyone, but I just wanted to share how I manage my time. I’d love to know what a productive day looks like for you guys.