In November last year, due to a rather unforeseen and unfortunate situation, I was thrust into freelancing. It was probably the best un-decision I’ve ever not made.
I’d been wanting to start freelancing for a few months already, but the comfort of the day-job salary was hard to give up, especially at 35, being a single dad. Responsibilities and all that. But I was tired and uninspired and really just not that amped to keep at the slog. The commute was killing me (at ~3hours/day it really chewed into my ‘living’ time) and although where I worked was awesome, I’d been there for 3 years and my on-the-job learning & growth had slowed considerably.
And so, being thrust into freelancing rather unceremoniously, but thankfully directly into a few chance-jobs that really saw me through, I strode boldly forward.
Initially, it was easy to keep discipline up – I had work to do, and the new environment meant it was relatively simple to introduce new habits. But over time I got lazy – and by last month, I was really starting to feel it. The lack of routine was really affecting my day-to-day focus and there was just so much I wasn’t getting to.
Thankfully, I stumbled on a medium post lamenting the same thing, and the author stated how much having a daily morning routine had helped. Tim Ferriss speaks of the same, as well as a few others – the benefit of having a Morning Script and how much that helps set things out for the rest of the day. So, I started
And so, with the start of April, I’ve started to get my day in order. Earlier in the year, I’d created a google calendar that maps out my ideal work-week – when to work on what, time for admin, planning etc – but I’d stopped using it, ignoring the constant updates and just carrying on as normal.
This week that’s all changed. I’ve created time for blogging, personal projects, training and reading. All things I’d wanted to make sure I focussed on, but I allowed the ‘busy’ to consume me, and so it slipped by the wayside.
It’s early days, sure, but so far it’s been a lot of fun. I always get amped for my work and for life in general when I read – I’m currently finishing off Seneca and Jab Jab.. by Gary Vee. I’m especially enjoying Seneca – it’s a introspective look at bettering oneself – which speaks right to where I want to be. I’ve learnt as we only have one life – a continuous view on bettering oneself is something I want to remain focussed on.
Along with my morning routine, I’ve also started forcing myself to leave the house – taking a walk down to my favourite local coffee shop (Fred and Max) for my daily read and sometimes planning session. And a few weeks ago I started a Thursday coffee/breakfast date with my good friend Ian. By time-capsuling each of these, it’s allowed me to focus on my personal and technical growth while still having time in the day to get the work done.
In future posts, I’ll be walking through my current weekly calendar, what my morning ritual looks like – and why I’ve found it so helpful, as well as my renewed focus on stoicism and journey into daily meditation (it’s still early days) as well as a few other little life-hacks with a goal of growing my discipline. I read a poster on Pinterest which is fast becoming my mantra: “If you learn self-control, you can master anything”. If I have one goal for 2015, it’s that.
That and survive. Damn, this freelance thing is tough.
I’m excited to be blogging again, and it’s great to have a set time to do it in – I’ve had “Blog once a week” on my trello board for a good 5 months now – and this is the first one. It seems all this focus on routine is doing me good.
I’m thinking I’ll probably start posting these to Medium as well. Figuring out what should go there and what belongs here is going to be interesting, but we’ll see how that goes.
And that’s that – my first post and really just a brain-dump of where I’m at. I’d love to hear your routines and what works for you in your day-to-day and keeping productive.