In theory my days are fairly unpredictable. I don’t really answer to anyone, and I don’t have more than a couple of pre-scheduled meetings each week. Despite that, I do seem to fall into the same patterns day in and day out. I’d like to think I get a lot done each day, but sometimes I really do wonder if I’m achieving anything at all! I keep my self-belief up my writing a weekly summary each Sunday and reviewing what I’ve actually done. It’s generally more than I realized, although sometimes I do have to admit that I’ve spent waaay too much time working out. Here’s a typical day in my life ..
I try to get up around 7.30am most mornings. I don’t usually manage it, mind you, in large part because I never quite tear myself away from the computer until well past the witching hour the night before. But you can read about my surprisingly un-holistic night-time habits later. By about 8.30 I manage to spring out of bed. I make sure I lie there and psych myself into the day so that I do, in fact, ‘spring’. I refuse to get out of bed with a negative attitude toward the day, and I find it very effective to force myself to contemplate the excitement of the day ahead, even if I have to make it up a little! This morning rule has, on a couple of occasions, meant that I haven’t made it out of bed at all, but that only happens every few months.
First stop of the day is always a great coffee shop. I love my long macchiatos, and I am insistent on only the best blend, preferably Fairtrade Organic. My laptop boots up before I’ve taken my first sip, and I check my ICalendar to see what’s in store for the day ahead. This usually freaks me out as I’ve scheduled an impossible amount of things (got to learn not to agree to every possible business venture or idea someone suggests to me – and especially got to learn not to insist on doing every written element of it myself!), so I quickly start deleting or moving items around. I’m getting a little better at being strict on this, after tracking my time for a couple of weeks and realizing I was spending over half an hour each day just on ICal.
Next I check my emails, my Feedburner account (statistics for this blog), and my banking. I used to check my stocks at this time, but lately that’s just more and more of a joke so I only do it once or twice each week. If I’m not careful I can easily spend my entire morning on email, so I set a 20-30 minute (MAX!) rule. This works sometimes. I know what I really need to do is not check email until I’ve completed one important piece of writing each day. I did this for a few weeks and was super-productive, but lately email has been pulling me back in.
If I’ve ordered breaky (poached eggs, half an avocado, grilled mushrooms, no toast), I eat it about now, and read the Business section of The Age at the same time. I love love love the opinion page. You’d be surprised at the creative use of analogy and metaphor used by some finance writers! It keeps me entertained, often even sparks article ideas for BodyIncredible.com, and I usually learn something at the same time.
By the time I get through that I’m realizing that it’s nearly time to head into the city and I still haven’t done any ‘real’ work (writing or marketing). In a panic I log into the editing section of this blog and try to summon up my creative genius. Although I constantly berate myself for leaving it till the last minute, I do find I write quite well under pressure. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself to justify my email addiction ..
11AM – 12.30PM
If I’m training at the gym then this is the time I generally workout. I like to do around 45 minutes of functional weight training. I enjoy circuit style training, and focus mainly on power and speed work, with a little strength stuff thrown in now and then. I never use machines, but focus instead on cable, barbell, swiss ball work. I also use some more interesting toys like rings and kettle bells now and then. My style is quite similar to that of Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulance Training. I often finish my weights session with 15-20 minutes of interval running, and am proud to say I can now comfortably run at 17 or 18 km p/hr, or up to 20 on a good day. I’m happy to boast about this as I’ve worked hard to get there! In large part I can thank my trainer Dan Lempriere for this. He definitely knows his stuff! Let’s just say there’s not many people I would pay to train me when Personal Training is a big chunk of what I do to make a living.
12.30PM – 3PM
After training I have a quick coffee (or resist the urge if I’m feeling especially virtuous, but that’s not often!), and then it’s time to train my 1on1 Personal Training clients. At the start of this year I cut back my available hours for 1on1 clients, and now spend around 10-12 hours per week Personal Training. I find this is a good amount – I enjoy working with people to achieve their personal fitness goals, but am not consumed with a day in the gym, and now have enough time to focus on my writing which is – as I hope you’ve gathered – my other great passion.
3PM – 5PM
The mid-afternoon is a bit of a down-time for me mentally. If I have nothing scheduled I try to get some writing done but often waste time trawling the internet instead. Instead of pursuing that fruitless activity, I try to schedule meetings with one or all of my 3 apprentices during the afternoon. It’s a down-time client wise anyway and it also allows me to take a break from my own stuff. My meetings with Andrew, Andray, and Bronwyn are both business and practical related. Sometimes we do a workout together, sometimes they train me, or I train them, or one of them trains the rest of us .. the workouts are always very high intensity, and definitely a good challenge as the 3 of them are all super-fit and I have to make sure I stay ahead! It does get a little competitive ..
Once a week the four of us meet to develop new projects and ideas for them to use in their business. At the moment we’re working on a 3-session plan for Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching that they can use with their clients. It’s based on my knowledge in that area, but I’m making sure they put in the effort to research and create their own ideas as we gradually put together a team manual on the topic.
Once a week I take time out from all things fitness related and go to my Italian class – where for some reason my addled brain continues to spit out French words even though I was never quite fluent in that language! I’m thinking about following some of the language advice from Tim Ferriss, who is one of my most revered online mentors, a fellow blogger, and author of simply the best book I’ve ever read, which is The Four Hour Workweek. Tim has written several times on why language classes don’t work, and shares his own ideas on how to learn a new language here.
5PM – 7.30PM
Monday to Thursday this is 1on1 client time again. In the evenings I often run small group Personal Training sessions, which are more economical for my clients, and a lot of fun for me. Nothing quite like standing in a crowded city gym at peak time while 4 clients sweat, moan and grimace in front of me! They love it though 🙂
If I haven’t had a workout (or just haven’t had enough!) I’ll often go to an evening Bikram Yoga class. Bikram yoga is a 90-minute class, without break, and is performed in a heated room. The temperature is usually around 38 degrees Celsius, with a humidity upward of 60 degrees. Suffice to say, it’s not hard to get a sweat up! I find yoga a great way to rid my mind of the day, and just breathe .. even if I do continue to think about writing and work in between breaths!
If I’m not going to yoga or meeting a friend for dinner, I generally head to my boyfriend’s fantastic Italian restaurant. Sometimes I meet friends there but more often than not just enjoy a nice meal, a glass of Shiraz, and get a couple more hours of writing done. I also try to get on top of my emails and any business admin at this time.
Due to the late hours of the restaurant I often keep my laptop going until mid-night or later. Even if I’m working at home I’ll tend to stay logged on until at least eleven thirty. I’m not much of a TV person, and although I love reading, I often find my mind too full of ideas for all things blog-related.
When I eventually do hit the hay I’m pretty much already so excited about the upcoming day and all that it holds that I find it difficult to fall asleep (seriously!). Could it be that my life is too full?! Actually, writing this piece has been a bit of an eye-opener. I’ve just given you a basic Mon-Thurs/Fri rundown but the truth is that on the weekends I’m actually even more writing and training occupied! The only day I can remember this year when I didn’t walk around almost surgically attached to my Mac was my brother’s wedding. But I guess it’s okay to be a workaholic if you’re doing something you love, and that’s one reason why I’ve put a lot of effort into planning my life to the point where it runs this way. Of course I still have those times when it all feels like too much, when I can’t possibly get through my list, or when I wonder if there’s even any point.
But it wouldn’t be a life worth living if it wasn’t full of question, would it?
Life is Now. I’m pressing play every day –