I woke up at 5:30 this morning after a weird dream about Professor X and Wolverine.
It was one of those mind reading things. Wolverine was trying to save the day from something (whatever it was), but Professor X knew about it and wanted to stop him. Wolverine was trying to sneak out.
I think I was Wolverine, maybe. I don’t remember.
Anyway, I got asked the other day on Facebook about my habits:
Would love to see a blog (or just a reply) on your morning routine and nightly routines…
I know the epic 5,000 post covers this is some details.. but I’m noticing how “good” days and “bad” days can largely be guided by how we start and finish the day.
PS Let’s see a picture of the finished ink!
Right. Here’s what I do.
My life is structured around a set number of goals to complete every day. Some of those goals are tiny, others are large. Here is an incomplete list in picture form:
As you can see, I have tiny habits, like “Smile at a stranger” (which breaks my usual pattern of looking grumpy all the time), and then I have large ones, like “Finish all to-do’s,” which is a pointer to a another HUGE list in another app.
When I finish all of my habits for the day, like the ones in the list at right, I’m done. But there’s more to it than that.
I also deliberately plan the order in which I will do these, and the reason I do this is because it helps keep me cheery and motivated to do more.
So I wake up and immediately floss and weigh myself. These are like little wins that get me started on my habit building. Then I go into “Process mail” and maybe “Take fish oil” (very good for you btw).
Then my day is started and I’ll go into my calendar and see what my day is going to look like.
I also force introspection every day through a habit of free writing, which helps me think about my own path, or my work, or whatever else I feel like putting some thought into. You cannot trust yourself to think through important stuff in your head only. Because we are so distracted, it simply does not work. So this forces it to go on paper, where I won’t quit until I hit like 750 words.
So it’s almost like my day is structured with easy win > hard win > easy win > hard win-style loops that will keep me from feeling exhausted. Some stuff is easy, others are hard. With breaks obviously. And of course I forgive myself if ever I don’t get everything done. I draw a lot from Alcoholics Anonymous style ideas so that I can think one day at a time.
The final thing I wanted to mention about this is that often, at night, it is a great idea to just do one more thing. It can be small or big, doesn’t matter, but it helps set you off on the right foot and feel like you were extra productive today. For you that could be anything, maybe doing pushups, or writing a blog post.
It’s like bitch slapping tomorrow’s to do list with a kind of “OH YEAH? I GOT IT DONE TODAY” type attitude. Not sure why, but it works.
P.S.: The tattoo he’s talking about above, by the way, is a memento mori sleeve I got done by Yann Black, a well-known tattoo artist who happens to live 5 blocks from my house. It’s early in the morning right now, so I’ll put a picture of it in another post.