I’m working on a longer post about that whole SF State white guy dreadlocks thing at the moment, but it’s not quite where I want it to be, so this blog post is going to be about what I would consider to be the ultimate schedule. Or at least the ultimate schedule for me.
Pretty much all I want to do is read, write, exercise, and hang out with my wife. Not a bad way to spend a day. Things I don’t want to do include dishes, walking dogs, laundry, going into an office, cooking, and grocery shopping.
Last year I read a book about creative people’s schedules called Daily Rituals. It’s a pretty cool book if you like to geek out on productivity and creativity rituals. Many of my favorite writers worked early in the morning, but only for about three or four hours. Then they spent the rest of their day filling their brains with new information through reading and conversation. This makes a ton of sense to me.
The way I organize my day for copywriting is fairly similar. I try to do most of my actual writing closer to 9am and get as much quality work done as I can until 12:30pm. I often take lunch at my desk and read through various blogs and news sites relevant to whatever I’m working on. For the middle part of my day, I try to get through emails, follow up on anything that needed to be done after a meeting, do more copywriting on less taxing assets, and gather research for projects.
From about 1pm to 4pm I proof files, listen to radio ads, answer questions about projects, work through drive-by-requests, and whatever administrative work I might need to accomplish. Meetings are liberally peppered throughout the day, but have been relatively light lately. From 4-5pm I clear out my inbox, make my to-do-lists for the next morning and wrap up any projects I can. Usually I check in with my team to see if anyone needs anything and I bounce. My work days are usually jam packed.
When I get home I deal with our god awful dogs, eat with my wife, and work on this blog and any freelance projects I have. My freelance work has really picked up lately, so I usually try to block out time to do it on the weekend if it’s not on a tight deadline.
To wind down in the evening, I either read or watch movies. Sometimes I go down a YouTube or social media hole, often with less than excellent results.
The biggest thing missing from my current schedule is an exercise routine. For me, the best time to work out is early in the morning at like 6am. My favorite so far was when Mrs. Lott and I were doing yoga every morning before work. I felt great and I was totally done with exercise before most people even drag themselves out of bed. It didn’t hurt we could walk there.
I’d really like to get back into some sort of martial art, but not much of anything is offered before 9am and my neck is still pretty stiff from getting stacked at Jiu-Jitsu last year. I think Jiu-Jitsu is probably the best martial art to participate in because it works and the culture surrounding it is really fun. Yoga and Jiu-Jitsu are great together, but I’ve never been able to scrape together the money to do both at the same time. I guess I could do a yoga video or something, but I prefer to go to a studio. I also feel like at some point adding in weights would be good, but who has time for all that?
My ultimate schedule isn’t totally off from what I do now, which is pretty cool. The big difference, or the thing that would need to change is how I make money. Instead of going to my job (which I really enjoy) and doing freelance, I’d prefer to write books. Either funny pop culture stuff or genre fiction. As long as I was pulling down $100,000 a year, I don’t care which. So here’s the schedule, assuming I was writing books for a living.
5am: wake up, take the dogs out (I assume I’ll still have them and my wife will continue to be no help), have a cup of coffee head to workout.
6am: yoga or something
7:30am: breakfast, shower, etc. I think when you work at home, it’s good to get dressed
noon-1pm: lunch, phone calls, emails. Maybe extend this if I want to catch up with someone
1pm-5pm: read, research, edit
5-7pm: Jiu-Jitsu/Kickboxing/or some other physical activity
7-10pm: relax at home, chores, watch a movie, hang out with the wife, have friends over.
10pm: sleep in a completely blacked out room with no one else in it. I like cuddling and all, but I’m prone to insomnia and my wife tosses and turns all night, invariably waking me up at least five or six times a night.
Wakeup whenever, probably early.
Spend as much time outside as possible, trail running, riding bikes, etc.
Visit friends and do something cultural (museum, play, see a band)
Sleep, relax and recharge. Basically do as little as possible.
So that’s pretty much what a perfect schedule looks like. I read somewhere that if you write down your goals, you’re more likely to make them happen. Well, here it is: I want to write for a living and keep the schedule as described above.