I often get questions about how I manage my life as a full time traveler, dad, solo entrepreneur, author, speaker, and business coach. This post is about how I decide what to do each day.
There are lots of important things that I am committed to doing each day: Spending time with my son Axel, working on my business, spending time with my partner Heidi, supporting the needs of our house (chores), moving my body and staying healthy, connecting with the community here in our new country (Croatia), and learning something new.
It’s really important for me to keep Heidi’s love bucket full and part of that means giving her some time each day for herself (which is often when I get father/son time). She does a lot to make sure our house runs smoothly: taking care of the baby, dinner, laundry, etc. When she isn’t getting love and attention from me and others, the whole family falls apart. So I need to take care of her first so that I have time to do my work.
When you work from home it’s really important to make sure you get focused work time. If I am creating new content three hours a day, that is a win for me. I can work the rest of the day on marketing, coaching, answering emails, networking, you name it. Cal Newport says one of the most rare and valuable skills is the ability to focus deeply on creating something meaningful.
I make sure to set clear boundaries for what times are focus times to not be interrupted. This is especially important when I am doing coaching or recording podcasts.
Sometimes I have to leave the house once a week and work from the coworking space for a change of scenery.
When you work from home, your home environment has to be really appealing.
I’m starting to realize why families love to move to the suburbs so that they can have all this space- because they just want a little bit of quiet and the bigger the house you have, the more place you can get away from those noisy kids!
I don’t know when I started liking quiet so much, but I do know that I was a noisy kid.
One advantage of working at home is that you can have your business pay for the part of your home you use as an office. You can also have the business pay for part of your internet and phone and meals and more, as long as these are in service of growing your business. Another big advantage is your can start work when you want. I haven’t woken up to an alarm in years.
It’s really important for me to manage my energetic state as well. As long as I have energy and am motivated, I can work forever. Part of that comes from moving my body frequently. I try to do some yoga and movement for a few minutes in the morning. I drink lots of tea. I try all different kinds of superfoods and eat lots of veggies. I stand in the direct morning sunshine with my shirt off in the morning to keep my circadian rhythms on track. I go to bed early. I drink a glass of wine at dinner. I keep the bedroom really dark. I meditate and do deep breathing and say positive things in my mind. When I take breaks from work, I dance. In the afternoons and weekends, I’m riding my bike, running, playing Ultimate Frisbee, or walking. I do everything I possibly can to keep my fire going.
For my work schedule, each morning when I do my morning journaling, I start with a basic to do list. I look at what has been moved on from the day before, probably something that I have been avoiding because I have some kind of resistance to it. That’s usually a good sign that it is important. I also look at what would most directly lead to income, since money is a lever that can be used to make all kinds of other things easier. You can buy time with money (an assistant, better equipment, a house keeper, a nanny, etc).
In the book The One Thing, Gary Keller talks about what is one thing by which doing would make all other things easier? You can consider if you only got one thing done in the day, what would make you feel satisfied? So I find the most important things and I try to start with it. It’s really hard not to just start with answering emails or urgent feeling things – messages that have turned up overnight or something.
If I do a morning meditation, then I feel in control of my day. Instead being on the back foot of responding, you are in charge. It gives me a lot of energy when I feel like the leader of my day.
In the mornings I also have a gratitude practice. When you are being grateful for things then you can’t really be thinking negative thoughts. Lots of days I do a brainstorming session in the morning as well, to get my creative juices flowing.
Usually in the morning I will do some reading to help introduce some new ideas that I can incorporate into my work for the day. I save the fiction reading for evening, but these days I’m reading a lot more non-fiction stories.
Whether you work from home or an office, having time to focus is so important. In the book Daily Rituals I noticed two types of artists: those that worked really hard for three hours in the mornings, and those that worked at all hours into the night and did lots of drugs or drank, etc. Do whichever one works for you, but I like to look at the long game.
Say you want to write 400,000 words this year or make 300 podcasts or coach 100 people or whatever it is, then you need to think like an endurance athlete, taking plenty of rest, recovery, and then pushing yourself from time to time so you can get to the next level.
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