The last week or so I’ve been working hard to maintain three simple pieces of discipline. Or perhaps not discipline, but routine.
Why routine and not discipline? Because I hold that discipline is a whole lot harder to maintain than routine. Something I’m sure I’ve written about, somewhere along the line. If I haven’t, I certainly should.
Anyway, lately I’ve been trying to maintain these three simple things:
- Proper sleep
- Write and publish every day
- Record and publish every day
Sleep is one of the foundations of your life. Poor sleep equals poor health, poor habits, second rate work, lousy temper, and a whole lot more. So number 1, get a good night’s sleep.
How am I doing this? Routine. Again, not discipline, routine. Every day I
- get up at the same time.
- consume no caffeine after 11 am.
- go to bed at the same time, planning for 8 hours of sleep.
- turn off all screens at the same time as the bedroom light
- listen to a Ben Settle or Troy Broussard audio in the dark and quiet
With these simple steps, I’m hitting over 7-1/2 hours of sleep every night, and awaking refreshed and ready for the day.
I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes at nine every morning
Was this actually Faulkner? Maybe, maybe not, there is some dispute there. Doesn’t really matter anyway.
What matters is the idea, and that idea is to write at the same time every day, as a part of your daily…you guessed it…routine.
I can’t write every morning at 9am, I have a real job. But I can write every day at lunch, when I lay aside my engineer’s tools and fancy myself an ink stained wretch.
One of the keys to being able to write a piece or two, every day, is described over here. The short version of the linked video is, I’ve cultivated an attitude of abundance. Simply put, the more I write, the more ideas I generate to write about.
In fact, one of my problems now is that I have too many ideas, and too little time to get them all down. Lunchtime only lasts so long, don’tchaknow?
Every day I have determined to record and publish a video on YouTube. This is actually the hardest of the three, although perhaps not for the reasons you think.
Recording a video takes 5 to 7 minutes. Mentally framing it out takes about 2 minutes. Setting it for upload, another 2 or 3 minutes. Grand total time input is less than fifteen minutes, something easy to fit into my lunch break, or afternoon tea.
The trouble is that uploading the damned things eats a LOT of my internet, so I can’t do them until after work. Because my VPN also eats a lot of internet.
Add in that I often forget my afternoon breaks, and suddenly I have two problems; recording and upload. In a house with 3 very active boys, it can be hard to find 10 minutes of peace and quiet to get the recording done.
However, in spite of that, so far, so good, and maintaining these simple routines has me getting out more content, in less time, than I’ve ever been able to do previously.