In this issue, I’ll be talking about how I optimize my days and routines so that I can spend less time on client work and more time upskilling, pursuing my hobbies, working on my personal growth, and spending time with friends and family.
Since January this year, I’ve been trying to optimize my routine and build a habit that can help me work more efficiently.
And so, I’ve been tracking my time a lot. Turns out that I only spend 4 hours a day working.
So that made me wonder. If I only really work for 4 hours, how do I use up the entire work day?
That’s because I didn’t have a proper routine to stay focus and fight distractions.
Now? I tend to finish most of my important tasks by 3PM.
Here are the 4 things that helped me do this 👇🏻
My routine helps me stay focused, energised, and calm.
The reason why it takes me so long to do 1 task is because I usually start my day distracted or tired.
My routine used to be out of wack 😅 Sometimes I sleep at 12AM, 1AM, or even 5AM.
This is how my day and night looks like now:
8-8:30a: Wake-up, wash up, coffee and breakfast
8:30-8:50a: Meditate, Plan and Journal
8:50-9a: Learn (Listen to a podcast, watch a course, read)
On days when I’m not busy, I spend more time learning.
My morning routine is based on the 20/20/20 Formula from The 5AM Club.
For the first 20 minutes, which I’m still working on, add movement.
The second 20 minutes is a time to reflect.
The last 20 minutes is for personal growth.
Here's a breakdown from the book itself:
Now here’s how my night routine looks like.
10:45-11p: Reflect on the day
11-11:15p: Get ready for bed
My night routine is designed for me to slow down.
I tend to get excited when I watch videos or scroll through social media, and that makes it harder for me to sleep 😅
Peak times are basically the times when I have the most focus and energy.
For most, this can be during the first 90-minutes of our workday.
That’s because as the day passes, we most probably used most of our energy and focus in the first tasks of the day.
Here’s how you can find your peak time:
For 1 week, note down your energy and focus by the hour
Note down each task you did, how much time it took you to do it, how fast you did it, how focused you were
By noting these down, you’ll be able to find times when you’re least distracted or more efficient.
Outside my peak hours, I like to do less important tasks like admin work or client meetings.
I used to let clients and prospects book a call any time between 9am-5pm.
As creatives, we usually need a big block of time distraction free time for producing creative work.
So when I have too many calls, I don’t really get to productively explore my designs.
Now I only allow calls on MWF, 9:20am-11am for Strategy Sessions and consultations, and 3pm-5pm Discovery calls and unimportant meetings.
This makes sure that I have time for deep work.
I tend to overbook my week with unimportant tasks or calls like coffee chats.
That’s why I regularly check my calendar for things to eliminate or simplify.
When eliminating, I ask myself these questions:
Is there a task that I don’t actually have to do?
Is there a call I can postpone?
Is there a meeting that can be a simple e-mail?
When simplifying, I look at recurring tasks and ask myself these questions:
Can I create a system for this?
Am I making things more complicated than it is?
Is there a software/app that can make this easier/faster?
Can this be simplified? If yes, I keep simplifying it.
Some tasks I simplified are:
My content creation process. I created a system that helps me create content faster and more efficiently.
Onboarding process. I created templates and a system to keep things fast and organized.
Identifying peak times
Set times for client work and client calls
Eliminate or simplif