How I Craft My Workday...plus 4 Ways to Work Smarter & Feel Better
5 Minute Read: Daily routine, morning routine, work from home, digital nomad, simple living, scheduling hacks, lifestyle design.
How’s your balancing act going?
For my coaching clients, a common place of struggle is balancing multiple responsibilities while still finding time and energy for self-care and healthy eating.
Most of them have very full lives, both at home and work. Many have kids…and many run their own businesses – sometimes as a second job. Balancing everything and everyone isn’t easy, to say the least!
I SO get this. I run my own business, yes. But the rest of life is also beautifully vibrant + full! Yoga, time in nature, and eating extra sloooowww are essential. I can't fathom adding parenting to the mix – it’s hard enough keeping up with my two siamese cats!
The “perfect” balance is dynamic and responsive. It changes over time.
That said, one way I work with it is to carve out times specifically for my own business.
I also keep creative, administrative and client work separate. They are synergistic and feed each other, for sure. But they also involve being in different “flows,” and cross-flow multi-tasking makes me way stressed and way less effective.
Again, this shifts over time…but at present, the core blocks of my workday look like this:
Every morning for 90 minutes at my desk with bulletproof tea (after first taking a 3-minute cold shower and doing a 15-minute breath and movement practice): This is when I do a quick check of email, Facebook and Insta while savouring my morning drink, gazing at the lake, and listening to birdsongs. I usually get my inbox to zero as well. It’s always hovering close to that, because I stay on it Like. A. Boss. #donthateme. But…it fills overnight #thebattleisreal. Drink done, I close all but one tab on my laptop, turn off my phone, and jump into prime content creation. This is when I work on blog posts, newsletters and other copy. I like to create content before I consume too much of it during a day.
Post morning yoga and lunch: Following a longer, late-morning yoga practice (usually at a class) and lunch, I spend 15-30 minutes on creative “play” and social media interaction, then dive into focused client work. This includes weekly checkins, follow-ups, replies and such. After 90 minutes of that, I take another creative, interactive “play” break and usually a short walk.
Later afternoon: Since my creativity is less sharp this time of day, I devote later afternoon blocks to administrative tasks and business housekeeping. I usually mix home tasks and actual housekeeping in here too. This gets my body moving again and allows for deliberate daydreaming + mind wandering (excellent for reviving creativity and sparking surprise ideas). I also schedule most meetings during these later blocks, whether by phone or in person (also fantastic for reviving creativity and inspiration!). I close my workday with a longer walk – usually on a forested trail; sometimes in silence, sometimes listening to a buddhist or business podcast.
Client sessions: The timing of these varies depending on the week, but I carve out designated blocks regardless. That way, when working with clients, I’m ONLY working with clients and fully in that “flow.” Though I work 7 days a week, I don’t schedule any client sessions for Fridays or weekends. This keeps me loving my job…without burning out as an introvert.
Systems + organization: I organize all this (and my non-business world) using Asana (a free project management tool), Evernote (a free app for note taking, list making and such) and MacBook Calendar. Did I mention I’m a total Systems Freak?!! I tidy and edit my systems weekly, ensuring everything is cleaned up, streamlined and “alive.” I’m planning a full post on that soon!
Four more things...
Thing One: My 15-minute, morning-time yoga practice (the "5 Tibetans") and my longer, evening-time yoga practice are non-negotiable, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This feeds my body, mind and soul. It is the anchor for every other aspect of my life, including my business. Ideally, I get to that late-morning studio class too.
Thing Two: I NEVER work while eating lunch or dinner. And I never work after dinner. This is essential to my wellbeing and avoiding burnout (all the more so given that I work 7 days a week and have a packed line-up). The result: my “on” time with clients and other work is way more effective.
Thing Three: A key piece is doing ONE thing at a time. This does WONDERS for alleviating stress, anxiety and "rushing" energy. It also helps me get more done that's of higher quality.
Thing Four: I honour and protect my non-working, off time. Also my time alone. I need this. It is vital not just to me, but to the integrity of my work and how I show up for others in all parts of my life.
Feel as though you're balancing too much? Even if your schedule doesn't look anything like mine, I encourage you to play with the "spirit" of it:
Carve out separate creative, administrative and client times (or whatever categories make sense for you).
Make some of those times light, playful and low-stress (that can be an excellent way to stay motivated when working evenings, weekends or other times you'd rather be off).
Protect your off time (both for your sake, and to better serve every person and thing in your life).
Develop a daily practice that is non-negotiable (doesn't have to be yoga – find what works for you).
Don't work during meals (your mental state and metabolism will thank you).
Do one thing at a time (even if it means checking less off your list).
Have other balancing tips to share? Meet me in the comments!!