My Habits, My Choice

My most productive days are the ones when I can work all day at home.

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.

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  • Olga

    Exactly. Stay-at-home-all-day routine can work wonders for productivity, but it makes things worse in the long run. Standalone brain will not work for long, feet and leg and the rest of the body need to move to get the brain new food for thought from empiric experience, and not from only reading or contemplating.

  • Mick Maguire

    nice improvement, but you are still working too much relaxing too little – also hardly leaving enough time for good restorative sleep. Try stopping at 20:00 or earlier once in a while 🙂

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