Routine. It symbolizes the polar opposite of everything which is exciting and fun about life. It's boring and monotonous. People cite the dreaded routine as the thing which killed their relationship... Who wants that?
The last year of my life lacked all traces of routine and stability. I gave up my comfortable Paris apartment in April of 2018, put all my things in storage and took off for Asia. I spent time in Singapore, in Bali, and backpacked through Vietnam. I came back to Europe a few months later and vagabonded through France. In the summer, I traveled to India to advise a startup in which I am an investor. Then I was in Canada for a while, then Romania, then Berlin, then Prague and back to Canada again, then Switzerland, then Canada again. I rarely slept in the same bed for more than a week. The year 2018 was a roller coaster.
Taking time to travel last year was probably the greatest thing I've done in my adult life. I discovered so much, learned a lot about myself and met people who became close friends. I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity.
As 2018 came to a close, all I could think about was getting back into a routine. In January, I rented an apartment from a friend in a major French city. Since I don't know anyone here, there's no temptation to go out. With this new-found stability, I'm able to focus on building a morning routine and sticking to it.
Here's what it looks like (on most days).
- 6:15 wake
- 6:30 gym or run
- 7:45 breakfast
- 8:00 meditation
- 8:30 read news
- 9:00 writing
- 10:00 get to work
- 22:00 to 23:00 bed
I also found it helpful to have a weekly routine with days allocated to certain activities.
- Monday: meetings and planning
- Tuesday: research/creative/learning
- Wednesday: business development
- Thursday: admin
- Friday: community outreach
This is probably the first time in my life I have such a structured routine and I can already see the benefits. My next goals will be to incorporate more elements of GTD into my personal organization and define clear monthly or quarterly goals.
The Asian Efficiency Podcast is a great learning resource.