We all have different struggles in life right now. Some of us are working, some of us aren’t. Some of us are watching every news story to see when we can open our business, some of us are developing our business. Small business owners know this feeling all too well.
Business owner or not, we all need a routine. I know people who aren’t working, that have made a big schedule for their day. It looks like: wake up, eat breakfast, go for a walk, workout, eat lunch, go for a walk, do yoga, eat dinner, stretch and watch television, go to bed, repeat.
They’ve created a routine out of nothing.
I’m definitely guilty of struggling to keep my own routine. As much as I’ve demanded myself and others to create it and stick to it, I’ve failed. These are my struggles.
My biggest struggle so far, waking up at the same time and being productive. If i don’t have meetings or obligations, I can easily find the day slipping away by 10-11am because I’ve watched too many episodes of something or I’m screwing around on social media. We all know this feeling, and the sarcastic self talk that coincides sounds like, “wow, I’m being SO productive today. I can cross ‘check instagram 45 times’ off my list.”
Next, my bed time. If I fall asleep too late or stay up too late on purpose, there are consequences, just like before. I trick myself into thinking, “I know I don’t HAVE to be up at a certain time.” Then the swift boot of tomorrow comes in to kick me. Thus, a vicious circle of struggle one and two; stay up too late, sleep in too long.
Hanging on the coattails of big struggle number one, limiting entertaining screen time. I’m a sucker for YouTube and the rabbit holes I find myself stuck in. The 90 minutes gap between sessions, meetings, or tasksI have to get done is a dangerous amount of time. Ten minute videos really add up when I need to know what coffee tastes like when Tobasco sauce is run through a coffee maker.
I’m trying my best to not go on YouTube and procrastinate. Just because I know I can get whatever needs to be accomplished done quickly. All the more reason to do it now and keep being productive. When I can actually wind down for the day, it feels like I’ve earned it. The feeling of wasting time at my desk to then sit on my couch to do the same thing isn’t there anymore. If there is anything I’ve learned in this wonderful career, it’s that there is always something to be done.
Following suit, finding motivation to workout. I can understand why people aren’t working out during all of this, it’s so easy to sit and take it easy. But, at the same time, I can’t see why people wouldn’t want to. I’m hearing and seeing more people want to go for a run, go for a walk, do their 4 second bursts of exercise (that’s an actual thing going around, Google it). Exercise helps pass the time AND improve health, in all areas.
Side note, I don’t like working out alone, working out alone is hard. Luckily, I have my wonderful wife. Nonetheless, there is no one else to push you. and it’s okay to “let yourself down” because no one is watching. What I mean by that is to not push yourself too hard in the workout, granted some movement is better than no movement. But, when we can all come back to the gym, I want something to show for my time at home. However, motivation is fleeting, I’ve had times where i just didn’t work out, literally no excuse, I just didn’t. But, the feeling of accomplishment I had after a workout outweighs the feeling of “relaxing” because today was “just too much.” I’m all for mental health in any way it can help you, but ask anyone within the Frictionwalls if coming to the gym or doing their FCF home workout made their day worse, a common answer will follow. “No, it only made my day better.” That isn’t me tooting our horn, exercise helps the mind. Even I need a reminder of that. If I’m stressed, I’ve learned that working out will make me feel better, relaxing will not. Granted, again, it varies from person to person. For me, relaxing will only make me ruminate on what’s bothering me. I need to do something intense, and my mind and feelings will become clear and positive.
Moving on, snacking, yikes. I’ve learned to make my grocery trips short and simple following one giant rule, don’t buy crappy food that I know will be my “stress eaters”. For instance, Oreos, can’t buy them. I ate a whole package in one day during quarantine, not proud of it (but I kind of am). If you ABSOLUTELY NEED to have that snack or curb that craving, buy the smallest package of what you’re craving, and then eat it. Just a little taste is probably all you needed. From my vast experience with Oreos, if they’re in front of me, I’m going to eat them. No matter how large the serving, my mental toughness serves me well to power through a whole package (somebody has to do the dirty work around here). Lessons have been learned, just don’t buy the crappy food. Out of sight, out of mind.
Next, treating my body with respect in regards to stretching and mobilizing. It seems like an obvious statement, but practicing movement and stretching really makes me feel better. My joints hurt and my muscles ache more if I don’t move. My body, and yours believe it or not, are use to moving and exercising. I need to give my body what it wants, because if I don’t, my sleep suffers. It’s true, because my body doesn’t feel worked. I haven’t slept incredibly well during this quarantine because I feel restless. Now, I have to sit most the day instead of being on my feet, working out, and conducting training sessions. I have to fool this vessel into thinking it’s tired by stretching and moving throughout the day somehow, some days work better than others.
Lastly, the use of google calendar to fill in hours of work, hours of relaxing, and hours of exercising has been so helpful. There’s a rule out there you should know, work will always expand to fill the amount of time given to it. If i have two tasks to get done in my “8 hour” day, I’m gonna use all 8 hours to do it. If I give myself a scheduled hour to get those two tasks done, they get done. After they’re done, I can move on and do other things! It gives me the clarity to see how easy that task really was. The discipline to get tasks done quickly elicits the freedom to do what is wanted later in the day, without the weight hanging on the shoulders of, “I didn’t get this done, but oh well”.
I’m not perfect, but the pursuit of improvement is a worthwhile chase. I know I’m not running this race alone, thanks for tagging along.
See you soon,