Taking control of my daily schedule

I have been working from home for seven months. Working in online learning in Higher Education, the period has been the busiest of my working life. Still, it has also allowed me to take control of my day in a way that the daily commute and traditional working day never allowed. I read more, I am healthier than ever, and my team and I have helped more the organisation we work in forwarding many years to deliver good quality blended learning under government social distancing guidelines. 

The Goals

At the start of the year, I wanted to achieve three big goals:

  • I want to be strong, healthy, and full of energy.
  • I want to master my specialism around learning, design, technology, and digital strategy
  • I want to build something the lasts and makes the world better. 

A modest home gym in the garage and some Dan John books have helped me to develop a strength routine. A commitment to run almost every day and reach a total of 2000 miles this year, with the help of Jon Albon, has forced me to leave the house for my state-approved daily exercise to get into the countryside and get some fresh air. A copy of the book Be fit or be damned has filled in the day with other times to stay engaged and healthy.

To master my area of Learning, Design, Technology, and digital strategy, I read a lot; online courses, books, articles, and newsletters. I have begun to read books on Kindle and almost everything else on the read later app Instapaper. These apps allow me to highlight key points and export these to Readwise. Readwise is a more recent addition to my tech stack; collating all my highlights and sending me spaced reminders in a daily email. My highlights sync to Roam research, where I collate and organise them into themes. I have started to write directly into Grammarly and will begin to publish on this daily blog. 

In May 2018, I started my current role leading the online and flexible learning at a large University. I was given a blank sheet of paper and asked to create a plan to move the organisation towards hyper flexibility. The groundwork before March 2020 and a growing team has allowed the University to change and adapt to the lockdowns and social distancing to deliver a significant proportion of all courses online. 

The schedule

A rough working day with timings is listed below. Most days I wake up at five when my wife gets up and go back to sleep, and might wake up at six or sometimes seven. Some days when I am tired or sore from the previous days training, I open my phone and cyberloafing, reducing my learning time or meaning I start work a little later. Sometimes my scheduled meetings or a hard deadline mean I do not follow this at all and work into the evening. Each day is different, but I am slowly finding ways to become less reactive and take control of my time. 

  • 6:00 -wake up
    • 10-100 sit-ups
    • 5-minute activity to wake up and get the heart rate going
    • weigh myself
  • 6:20 – Get a coffee and start learning
  • 8:20 – Shower etc. 
  • 9:30 – Team stand up
  • 12:00 – Running or a walk
  • 13:00 – Back to work
  • 17:00 weights or some tonic work (stretching or mobility)
  • 18:00 – Cook, eat, and spend time with my wife
  • 21:30 – Bedtime 
    • Clean the kitchen
    • 10-100 Sit-ups
    • Read in bed on the Kindle – running or mountaineering biographies
  • 22:00 – Sleep

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