I personally do not have a routine. But I am seeing every single productive pundit out there is recommending to have one. It helps reduce the decision fatigue. Agatha Christie’s (a popular English writer known for her mystery novels) hero - Hercule Poirot, a famous fictional detective, always insist on
method and order. He will have his routines and process on how he approaches his murder cases. It helps him to have a mind which is like a still water. Calmness in his approach. This he claims to be his mantra for being productive and successful in his business. I think by having routines and there by keeping your mind free of clutter is how you stand out of the crowd.
Routines should fit your lifestyle and create one that work in long run. But I went ahead and thought to see what routines and practices of people I see as productive or done something worth while or distrupt norms. I am not particular about time they lived. I am curious about “how they think” and “what they do” and “why they did”. Here are some of the routines of my interesting people I have read about.
A swiss influential psychiatrist in the history of Psychiatry, psychology and religious studies. He collaborated with Sigmund Freud , the founder of Psycho-Analysis. In terms of housing, he built a basic 2-storey stone building with no carpets, with wood heating and water from near by lake and boiled. Lighting was from oil lamp using kerosene. He was a workaholic, working 8-9 hrs seeing patients. But he took time off.
“I’ve realized that somebody who’s tired and needs a rest, and goes on working all the same is a fool,” he said
Jung started his morning at 7 am with focused breakfast prep. 2-hour focused writing and spent his evening on a elaborate home cooked dinner. He wrote
“… I have done without electricity, and tend the fireplace and stove myself. Evenings, I light the old lamps. There is no running water, I pump the water from the well. I chop the wood and cook the food. These simple acts make man simple; and how difficult it is to be simple!”
Who doesn’t know Elon. If you don’t know, you are not catching up. As a workaholic, he is no different than others. He consumes more calories at night and skips breakfast. But when it comes to sleep, he says
“Sleep is really great. I find if I don’t get enough sleep I’m quite grumpy. I could drop below a certain threshold of sleep, although I would be awake more hours I would get less done because my mental acuity would be affected.”
There is another thing Musk doesn’t skip. Shower. Every morning starting the day with shower and claims he got many of his great ideas in there.
He co-founded, in 1998, Pay Pal. That was the beginning, which was sold to eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion. Team he assembled is called PayPal Mafia. People went on to build many companies like Tesla, SpaceX, LinkedIn etc.
He believes that by keeping his routine in check and getting out of bed at the same time each morning, he programs his body for optimal mastery of the sleep/wake cycle.
On Routines, he answered in an interview he is unstructured and tries to have a conversation with smartest people every single day to develop his thinking. These conversations are not one off but more sustained in nature. Tries to learn everyday.
He co-founded Twitter and now CEO of Square. He meditates for 2 hrs a day. He fasts from Friday evening to Sunday evening to stay alert. He heads to ice bath once he is out of bed.
On Routines, he said to FastCompany
All my days are themed. Monday is management. At Square we have a directional meeting, at Twitter we have our opcomm [operating committee] meeting. Tuesday is product, engineering, and design. Wednesday is marketing, growth, and communications. Thursday is partnership and developers. Friday is company and culture. It works in 24-hour blocks. On days beginning with T, I start at Twitter in the morning, then go to Square in the afternoon. Sundays are for strategy, and I do a lot of job interviews. Saturday is a day off.
On training he mentions
I do the 7-minute workout. I usually do one to three iterations of that or I get on the Tabata bike. The thing I love about the 7-minute workout is I never have an excuse. I don’t have a personal trainer. I don’t go to a gym. I travel a lot and all I need in order to do a workout every single day is a chair and a wall and my body weight.
CEO of Disney from 2005 to 2020 ( he stepped down ).He was the reason for the resurgence of Disney.
My job demands a lot of my time and a lot of energy, and so I’ve adjusted my daily routine over the years to enable me to do my job effectively. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is I workout. And I workout in solitude, typically in a darkened room, listening to music. There’s a television on, but there’s no sound. That’s probably not necessarily a great commercial for our television programs, but I tend to use the music sort of as a means of meditating in a way.
He exercises 6 days a week as he was motivated by his illness prone parents. He wanted to live healthy and live long. Iger will have his coffee, read the newspaper, and generally be in the office between 6:30-6.45am.
“I travel a lot so I’m not at the office every day,” he said. “But when I am in town, which is in Los Angeles, and I have an office day planned, I tend to be the first one there. I turn the lights on and make the coffee.”
I want to write a profile of him one day. He is co-founder of Basecamp, creator of Ruby on Rails web framework, race car driver. He is strong proponent of 8 hr work day and still be productive.
He starts his morning is calm. He likes to start slow. Work starts around 9:30 am after driving his kids to school.
“I’m kind of a slow crank. The mornings are for dealing with inbound. All the emails, requests, PRs, chat rooms, blah blah,” DHH told Lifehacker in a 2017 interview. “Catching up, chiming in, and then, if I’m lucky, getting my own work started around noon or so.”
“If your day is chopped up into tiny work moments of 40 minutes here and an hour and 20 there, you will get nothing interesting done. You can get routine work done. You can’t get interesting, creative work done.”
He likes to be in state of flow much like Elon Musk likes to be in missing appointments when they are in flow.
Tennis star who prioritizes mental health and personal well-being above all. She has been vocal about it.
Her schedule is eating breakfast and warming up from 9 am. Take breaks when you have given all out there. Healthy snacking and going to bed with a book has been a highlight of routine. Uses music to help her with anxiety.
“I also enjoy drinking BODYARMOR LYTE because the potassium really helps me stay hydrated,” she told PureWow in 2021.
“No matter how late you’re running, no matter what’s going on in the world, you can’t argue against doing one push-up. Come on. There’s no excuse. I often find I just need to get over that initial hump with something that’s almost embarrassingly small as a goal, and then that can become a habit.”
Matt is known for being original lead developer of Wordpress, that powers 25% of world’s website.
How can I leave out my personal favourite. On his morning routine,
In the morning, I work out, and however long it takes is how long it takes. I do not start my day until I’ve worked out. I don’t care if the world is imploding and melting down, it can wait another thirty minutes until I’m done working out.
To summarize, Tim a famous podcaster and successful writer and investor and productivity guru. He has interviewed and made 5 common patterns he found in successful and smart people.
- Make your Bed
- Do 5 to 10 reps of something
- Prepare Titanium Tea
- Pu’erh aged black tea
- Dragon well green tea (or other green tea)
- Turmeric and ginger shavings (often also Rishi brand)
- 5 minute journal
This is the summary from his notes you can find here
I will try to come back and profile more such routines. But if you find there is a pattern
- Do something in the morning. Nothing specific but do something to get you primed
- Breakfast or no, but do same thing over time.
- Stretch or Yoga or 1 push up.
- Be in state of flow when you can.
Share your routine I will like to learn and improve and create my own routine.
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