Something I enjoy reading is The Cut’s “How I Get it Done”, a column where they interview a successful woman on how, well, she gets it all done. I love max efficiency. I love plans. I love guiding principles. I’m a Virgo Rising and it’s the only thing that keeps my life from descending into chaos. (I’m a Sag Sun and Leo Moon so I’m literally on fire most of the time). As someone who frequently gets asked the same question “But how do you do it all?” I thought it might be intriguing for me to do my own version of this. I’m going to follow this post up with a peek inside my planner.I think HOW people schedule their time is also very telling and interesting.
I am a huge nerd for this stuff, if you couldn’t tell.
On a typical morning
I wake up between 6-6:30am most mornings. I’ll occasionally give myself a break and sleep in, because I’ve been converted to the cult of “listening to your body.” I was once someone who would push no matter what, but I’ve calmed down a little as I’ve gotten older. Part of this is learning to love the snooze button. I never snoozed until I met my boyfriend, Frank, four years ago. He’s the master of the snooze and I’ve learned to love it. We start our day with 15-20 minutes of cuddling, it’s one hell of a way to start the day. I work out most mornings, it clears my head and wakes me up. I work out at home using the Tone it Up App or doing a yoga session with Adriene Mishler. I rarely take classes and if I do, it’s on the weekend. I am extremely lucky in that Frank makes our breakfast and coffee most mornings, always a green smoothie. Then I get ready, walk Ajax for the second time (Frank does the first) while listening to The Daily podcast, and head to the office.
I take the subway every morning. I have a long commute, about 45 minutes from Queens to SoHo, and this where I get all my reading done. As you can tell from the above, I love to multi-task by listening to The Daily while I walk the dog. That way when I get on the subway I can dedicate a full 45 minutes to reading. I read on the way home too. From doing this alone I read about a book a week!
On the work day
Since I love efficiency so much, I rarely take a lunch break. I always bring my lunch in from home. I don’t need to waste time thinking about what I want to eat, walking to pick something up, or ordering for delivery. I can eat when I’m hungry and cut the decision making time out. It takes more time than you really think it would to pick a place to eat. I also like to leave work at a decent hour, so skipping a long lunch break allows me to dip.
I have to be in a good mood to really WANT to write. But I do make myself write when I don’t want to. Sometime the constraint creates really interesting work. What’s the saying? Pressure makes diamonds? I am a firm believer in another saying (what can I say, I am an old soul sometimes): the pennies add up. Writing for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour… whatever… a day starts to add up when you think about 30 days in a month.
On social media
My greatest time suck. I am like anyone else my age. We use social platforms to connect with each other. I even get work assignments over DMs sometimes. It’s a different landscape and it is becoming increasingly hard for me to focus. For my day job, we communicate over 5-6 different platforms every day (WhatsApp, Slack, Text, E-Mail, WeChat, and sometimes IG too) so when I pick up my phone I almost always have something pending a response. Not to mention the myriad of group chats I am on AND my social presence which is small (roughly 4K followers) but still can take up a good chunk of time if I let it. I’m actually in a phase now where I’ve realized how much time I spend there and I’m trying to figure out how to limit it. I haven’t figured it out yet though.
I do not travel for work as most as some, but I do quite a bit, and it all tends to stack up and happen at the same time. The most important thing I do is try to maintain some semblance of routine. I try to workout every morning. I also keep myself fed. I’ve found that if I am hungry, I am not productive. This is hard because I am a Celiac so I try to keep snacks in my backpack so I can stay focused through 12-14 hour days.
On decompressing from it all
I used to be very good at this but because I am accessible by virtually all platforms now (see above) I find it harder to accomplish. I also used to use walking the dog as my greatest unwind tool, but he is almost 12 now and does not enjoy the miles long walks he once did. Cooking dinner is something that really relaxes my mind and transitions me from work-mode to home-mode. I also find puzzles so inherently relaxing! If I have a puzzle going I am the happiest girl in town. That reminds me, I must go out and purchase a new one soon.