A quick update on this, largely unchanged, technique that continues to be really useful to me: “flow to the door.” Being a cat owner messes it up slightly, as I have to go downstairs at 5 a.m. to feed the cats or they riot, and since one of the cats is on a special diet, I have to keep an eye on them — so that’s when I make lunch.
Then, though, everything starts from the top of the house, with clothes for the day, then exercise, shower/shave, get dressed, do this and other correspondence/hobby computer things, then downstairs, coffee, cat litter… and out the door.
The idea is never go backwards, and I find (other than the cat/pack lunch thing) it’s actually pretty satisfying to do. By the time I’m making coffee, I feel like I’ve got a good head of steam behind me.
Late night at work tonight; one of the disadvantages of being a bit more senior is there’s no overtime, lieu hours, or ways to recognize overwork — the job is what it is and you do what you need to. So it goes.
I made a little box for my nightly checklists; I don’t have Checklist v2.0 to share on this computer, but it’s pretty much the same as Checklist 1.2 but with space for a one-sentence journal entry, a “gratitude/meditation” space, and a dedicated space to doodle something.
Is it useful? Is it helpful? Well, not super much so, but it’s substantial, and I think the physical act of taking a blank piece of paper out of it, writing on it, and putting it back on the “done” side is a ritual that feels good. It feels like I’m doing something.
“Productive” is out of the phone app race immediately — if you don’t set up 100% of your desired habits when you set up the first time, the “add a new habit” feature just drops the “buy now!” screen in front of you and if you clear it, it goes back to the main menu. My wife is trying HabitBull, and I’m taking a look at Momentum (Apple only, sorry).
To be honest, though, I’m not sure these things are for me. The checklist at night feels like plenty, and the “Flow to the Door” system seems like the optimal way for me to get my days started.
Oh — and I’m already altering the “flow to the door” thing. The cats have to get fed when I get up or it’s just not tenable. So now it’s not a perfect flow — up, clothes, then all the way down to feed cats / pack lunch, then back upstairs for exercise and flow resumes. The perfect is the enemy of the good!
A good start to 2019 yesterday; a natural outgrowth of trying a new “best of” morning routine is the return of the old “flow to the door” idea. Basically, “no backtracking” is the philosophy there. It’s pretty simple, but very powerful when I do it right.
The one downside is that the cats get fed downstairs, on the “last station,” so I’m expecting more kitty riots in my near future. And I might be leaving for work stupid early some days, to do personal things from the office to avoid the downstairs-upstairs-downstairs of a traditional morning.
So far, the cats are doing well, and I’m pretty jazzed about the new/restored routine. I feel like there are going to be mornings where a little bouncing around is inevitable, but if I make more use of my iPad and keyboard, and/or bring my work laptop home so I can do things from the kitchen, maybe not. Is going up and down stairs a bit deal? Not at all. But it’s a little psychological thing that does seem to help me feel like my life’s in order.
February Sprint continues! I haven’t had coffee yet, and part of that is for Reasons, but also a revelation midway through the morning.
I shoveled snow for exercise this morning, and did a little spin for good measure. Then I was thinking “just shower now and get it done,” and on the way to do that, it occurred to me that maybe I should organize my morning with an outward flow.
By which I mean do things in the order that lead me to the front door, and then out the front door. I often find I exercise, then go make coffee, then do the podcast, then have a shower and get dressed, then make lunch… wouldn’t it make more sense to exercise, shower, and then just move room to room toward the kitchen and the door out of the house?
I’m going to try that… it means coffee comes later, but that’s not a bad thing, necessarily. Exercise, shower, dress, computer stuff including podcast, then coffee/breakfast/lunch, then out the door. No doubling back.
It make a sort of intuitive sense; so much that maybe most people just do this already and it’s a bit dumb of me to stumble on it now. But there y’go. I’m’a do this.