I had a habit of getting up at 8:30, and then, after breakfast, working throughout the day until 23:00 (or later), only interrupting myself to have lunch and dinner. I used the final hour of the day to do a bit of non-fiction reading, before going to bed at 01:00.
This worked wonders for my productivity, but not for my physical and mental health.
I always felt sad I had too little time to read novels. And I rarely allowed physical exercises into my day. I was too busy!
However, this week I decided that habits are a choice. My habits don’t have to grow randomly around me. I have a choice to develop them, and to make them fit my purpose.
And so I’ve decided to change my habits.
Now I get up at 8:00 (half an hour earlier). Around lunch time I take a fast walk into the city (20-30 minutes), and in one of Rotterdam’s many café’s I read a non-fiction book for an hour or so. Then I take a (high-speed) walk back (again 20-30 minutes), work some more, have dinner, and work until 23:00 (sharp!). Then I force myself to finish the day enjoying a novel.
Interestingly, after doing this for a few days my productivity throughout the day has not dropped noticeably. But I did manage to add some physical exercise and relaxation into my schedule.
Now it’s only a matter of making the habit stick…
p.s. In case you're wondering… I plan my non-work-related social activities in the weekends, when I don't work. I like a bit of clarity and regularity in my calendar.