Productivity is an important part of building a successful life. One way you can improve your productivity is by having daily routines to keep you anchored and driven.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Emma.
Emma: Hey, Brittany.
Brittany: You know, part of the way of understanding the world works, which is of course what this podcast is called is understanding how you can contribute to the world by being the best person you can possibly be in, you know, achieving success and creating value not only for yourself but for everybody else. So one thing that I’m pretty obsessed with is making sure that I optimize, which is another word for making the most out of my day, so that every day when I go to bed I can look back and say, you know, I did everything I could do today. Now, this doesn’t always happen. I’m not, you know, perfect. So there are definitely days where I’m like, oh, I didn’t do very much today, but I like to do everything I can to set myself up for success. because I don’t only work a regular job and I’m sure you’re the same way where you have your job and then you have all these passion projects or maybe, you know, contract work that you do. And so you don’t wanna be stressed out or worrying that you don’t have enough time to do all these things. So, what I wanted to talk about today is the importance of having a routine. And of course, a routine is when you do a set of things in your day every single day, that’s like an anchor. Think of an anchor on like a boat, right? An anchor keeps a boat attached to the docker, wherever it is you are. And a routine keeps you anchored in life so that you always have that thing keeping you grounded. And it’s also a really good way to stay productive and to make sure you’re making the most out of your day. Now, this might sound like something that is only helpful for grownups, but routines are important for everybody. I know when I was a kid, especially in like junior high and high school or, even younger, I still had routines that kind of helped make sure that every day I was setting myself up for success. So I know a lot of our listeners are also homeschoolers and unschoolers, which means a lot of your days for the kids are self-managed So I think this will be especially helpful for you, but I think it’s helpful for everybody. So to kick us off for I get into it, Emma, I’m curious to know, do you have routines that you follow every day, whether they’re morning, night, or both?
Emma: Absolutely. I have both. And I even have routines during the day that I follow because most of the time I work from home. So that really helps me stay on track. So I can relate to especially, the homeschoolers and the unschoolers. Sometimes it’s hard to focus when you’re in the space that you live in, trying to get things done, trying to learn and improve yourself. but first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is I go make a cup of coffee and I drink a big glass of water because you get super dehydrated overnight. Yeah. And it’s important to drink plenty of water and keep yourself healthy. And then I take my dog for a walk around the block and I always find that the fresh air helps me wake up and obviously dogs need to be walked. she’s getting taken care of as well. It’s part of her routine. And as soon as I go to put on my shoes, I see her start freaking out and running all over the house. Cause she knows it’s about to be the best time of the day. So I get back and then I settle in and I get into my workflow a bit and I’ve, you know, a few things that I do throughout the day to keep me on track there. A big one that I do is I make lists for myself. I have lists for work, I have lists for stuff that I need to do in my house, my laundry and cleaning and all of that. But then I also have lists for my personal life to help keep me on track and keep me involved in the things that I care about and making sure that I’m not just doing work and then cleaning up and then going to bed. So that’s kind of the day. And then in the evenings, I always like to turn my phone off or turn off my notifications as I get sort of into the like nine o’clock zone, getting ready to wind down. And one that’s really important to me is making sure that I go to bed on time. Same, I used to stay up so late and it didn’t bother me, but the older I get, the more I realize I feel a lot better when I get a good night’s sleep. So I try to not be on my phone before I get in bed. Sometimes it’s hard to stick to that if there’s a lot going on in the world. But I think it’s important to get that good night’s sleep no matter what you gotta do to get it. some days I get more sleep than others, but I always find that the nights when I really get good rest are the ones when I have a really productive day the next day. So there’s my whole day basically in a nutshell.
Brittany: you said two things I liked, well, one thing we’ll touch on a little bit later, which is that Jeff Bezos is the same thing about sleep, but we’ll talk a little bit more about that later. But, also the water thing. So I don’t even let myself have my first cup of coffee until I drink a whole water bottle.
Emma: Me too.
Brittany: It’s so hard to let yourself, you can get dehydrated so quickly. But, so just a little bit about what I do. So I wake up and I do social media for a living and I also love it, but I don’t check my phone. So the first thing I do when I wake up is I meditate, which is where you just kind of sit and you breathe and you don’t really focus on anything. You just kind of let your mind be free for a little bit. and then the next thing I do is make my bed, which was not something I used to do. In fact, I used to think like, why would I make my bed? I’m just gonna mess it up in a few hours. But I was listening to a lot of people. First of all, Jordan Peterson always says, clean your room. But there’s a name Naval Admiral, his name is William McRaven. And I really love this commencement speech, which is like a graduation speech that he said in Austin, Texas. He said, if you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. And I really liked that. So then I do something, called the Five Minute Journal, which I’ve talked about before and I’ll talk about again. And what I love about this, and I’ll put this in the show notes, is they have a version for adults and they also have a version for kids. So there’s two things. So you fill out half of it in the morning and half at night. So in the morning, the first thing it has you do is write three things you’re thankful for. So every day I do that. And then you set your goals or your intentions, so what you want to do that day. So maybe if you’re struggling in math, you wanna really work on your division skills or you wanna master a grammar rule, you know, whatever it is you’re doing. But that way, you know, at the beginning of the day, what your goal is, what you’re aiming for. And when you know what you’re aiming for and you write it down, you’re more likely to hate your mark. So I think that’s really important. And then after that, and I have to admit this is like on a good day, this is the part I always forget, but, I tried to do yoga for 10 minutes, like just a little bit of stretching, get my body ready for the day. And then, and this is my favorite part, so I try to be reading four books a day, but I don’t read all of them. So I do about 30 to 40 minutes of an audiobook while I’m like putting my makeup on or you know, getting dressed Or if I just finish a book, I’ll do a podcast. And then I start my day and like you said, in the middle of the day, I go running. So I have that. But then at night I do a whole other routine. So I shower and get ready for bed. And like you said, I make sure that I have, I get to bed like a good time, like by nine I’m like getting ready for bed. I love being ready for bed, my favorite for the day. But then I’m a really anxious person, especially when I have a lot to do. So I actually meditate again. And when I do it at night, I usually do it for a longer period of time. And meditation isn’t just for adults. I know a lot of kids that do it, and it just really helps them calm down and have a better night’s sleep. So I do that and then I do the other, like half of my five-minute journal and that’s where you write down whether or not you achieved your goals, you know, what you could work on to be better tomorrow. And then this is where the heavy reading starts. So first I read an informative non-fiction book. So we’ve talked a lot about Carl Yung, cause I’m obsessed with him. He’s the like hero’s journey guy. He talks a lot about that. So I usually read a book from him. Then I read a fiction book as like a present to myself. Like, okay, you’ve done so much work like, relax Your brain with a fiction book. And then when I turned the lights out, I do 30 minutes of an audiobook. I set a timer while I’m falling asleep. So that way I’m actually reading four books at a time. Nice. So that makes, yeah, that’s something I’m like, yeah. Ok.
Emma: That’s Impressive.
Brittany: Yeah. Pretty impressive. Now it takes longer obviously to finish them all, but then I finish four books at once. So to kind of segue into why this is important, you know, we talk so much about entrepreneurs and the role they play in creating value for everybody. and all of us benefit from that. But one reason I’m so passionate about routines is because almost every single successful entrepreneur has a routine they follow every day. And a lot of them credit these habits to their success. And there was a time when I was not being very productive in my life and I was kind of stuck and I didn’t know what to do. And once I started instituting these routines, you know, my life got better. But yeah. I don’t know if you have any thoughts on that, Emma.
Emma: Absolutely. Yeah. I think I’m the exact same way. I used to not have any real routine. I would just kind of do what needed to get done and, you know, I didn’t think through anything ahead of time and stuff starts to catch up to you when you don’t have order in your life. Yes. And I know that’s something that Jordan Peterson, who we both love is really big on, is creating order and creating a sense of pride and sort of like that commencement speech that you talked about, having those little victories that start to add up and they give you that, that feeling of, ugh, I accomplished something. I got it done. Now I can do this next thing now too. And it’s, especially in the mornings when you start your day out Yes. With something productive, it just gives you this sense of, ugh, I’m on a roll. I can do this all day. And I really do find that the days when I wake up and I have a good morning and I get through my little routine and there’s some days where I’ll go to the gym or some days where I’ll just take a walk, but moving my body in some way really, really helps with that. Yeah. So kind of like the yoga that you mentioned, even just 10 minutes, it makes such a big difference. that just really goes a long way. But it’s different for everyone. And one person might have a totally different routine that helps them from the next, you know, prime Minister Winston Churchill used to start his day by working on his paperwork in bed. And a lot of other people though would rather, you know, wake up and do their stretches and drink their coffee before they start getting to all of that. So it’s different from person to person. We’re all unique and we all have different things that work. But I think finding those things that work for you, maybe try a few different ways out of structuring your routine. You can really create this sense of order in your life and look forward to the little things, but also look forward to getting done with the big things that maybe you don’t even like to do in the first place. You know, I don’t like folding my laundry. Yeah. But now I sort of look forward to getting it done because I know I’ll feel so good when I get it done. So it’s, I think routines are just a very powerful thing for positive change in your life and kind of looking at the things that maybe you’re not so great about and saying, how can I work this into my routine and not make it so hard for me to wanna get it done? That’s a super powerful way to sort of harness that concept and work it into your daily life.
Brittany: Absolutely. I’ll link on the bottom or on the show notes to some ideas that are that famous entrepreneurs use because I, again, I just love learning from other people who are more successful than me. We had an episode on mentors and I think that’s kind of where this leads right? Is you want to model after people who’ve kind of mastered this, who’ve done, you know, a lot of great things with their lives? And so Ben Franklin was also a fan of routines and one thing I loved every evening, he asked himself, what good have I done today? Mm-hmm. And he also believed, this is another thing a lot of entrepreneurs do. They take cold showers instead of hot showers. And I hate this, but I’ve done it a few times and it actually is really good in the morning. It is kind of like picking a cold walk, right? Like in the cold.
Emma: It’s, great. Yeah.
Brittany: Yeah. So I don’t do that anymore cuz I hated it. But a lot of people have found that it makes their mornings better. So if you’re a morning shower, that could be something you do. The CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, he wakes up every morning at 3:45 as part of his routine. And I can’t even imagine because wow, I’m a night owl, so sometimes I’ll stay up writing and like, not even go to bed until three or four. But you know, like you said, everybody has something different that works for them.
Emma: Yes. And even Jeff Bezos, he always, wakes up early and says that he likes to putter around in the morning, which, if you’ve never heard that word, it basically means just kind of milling around and doing the things that you wanna do and taking some time for himself before he sits down to breakfast with his family and getting his important meetings out of the way early in the morning before he gets too tired with work. And that’s something that I really try to do as well. If I have a meeting and it’s in the morning, I am going to be so much more sharp and alert and on it. Yes. Versus in the afternoon, I know myself, that’s typically when I start to sort of lose my steam and lose my energy. So knowing those things about yourself is a great thing to do. But some of the best ways to find those things and learn those things about yourself, especially as you’re growing up, you’re figuring out how the world works. One of the best ways to explore that is through a routine.
Brittany: I think that’s absolutely right. And, again, I like what you said on trying different things because what might work for someone might not work for another person. You know, I used to start off my morning by eating breakfast and I learned that I actually don’t like eating before I work out, so I don’t eat breakfast anymore, first thing. So I think, yeah, it’s really important to try things out. So yeah, I think that that’s all I had to say. Emma, if you have any closing thoughts?
Emma: I would say just look into a few different things that you can, you can do for your routine. Maybe Britney and I in the show notes, we can give you guys some starters on maybe things you could try out and work in. But again, it’s a matter of what works for you, what makes you the most productive, and what makes you feel like you’re really doing your best in life. That is the ultimate goal of a routine. So we’re gonna wrap it up there, but definitely check out the show notes. We’ve got plenty of interesting stuff for you guys to check out and we will talk to you guys again soon. Thanks, Brittany.
Brittany: Talk to you later.