Week One in the Books

…well, kinda. I just concluded my first three days of reporting to nobody and no one. Honestly, I didn’t think it’d feel that much different, as I already worked from home. But it did. In fact, it felt GREAT.

The greatest thing was the lack of distractions. On Wednesday, something [good] came up on one of my sites and I needed to put in a serious 3 hours of grunt work*. I turned the phone off, closed my e-mail tabs, stayed off Facebook, turned off my instant messaging program, dug myself into the cave, and got into the ZONE. No blackberry blinking. No e-mails to care about. No phone calls exploding everywhere. Just pure hustlin’. It was awesome.

I’ll admit it. I hate the phone. Not a good thing for a former sales guy to say, but it’s the truth. With phone calls, you get no documentation, it’s tough to multitask, and there are no benefits of seeing body language. I’ve pretty much had the phone on “All Alerts Off” the entire past three days. I check it at MY leisure. It does not check me. If you want to get a hold of me during “cave time”, you pretty much need to knock on my door.

Another thing is the responsibility factor. I seriously think I just grew up a little bit**. No, I don’t want to play flip cup with the vball crew on Wednesday night. I need my BRAIN tomorrow. I didn’t do this every weeknight in the past, but the fact is that I could afford to. Now, I don’t feel like I can. NOTHING is worth getting a bad night’s sleep right now.

I wanted to start off with a bang by getting into a solid routine. I’m a creature of habit, and the sales job didn’t allow me to properly habitize. Here’s basically what I like to do on a weekday:

  1. 7am wake up. Spend a minute looking at messages and e-mails on the phone and get up. No loafing.
  2. Get some amino acids mixed with a dash of creatine to hold my appetite off. I’m a morning person and don’t need caffeine at this point.
  3. Check yesterday’s sales. If end of the month or around day 15, calculate month-to-date revenues and profit margin.
  4. Do e-mails. Both personal and business
  5. Check all y’alls boring facebook statuses. What’s that, you’re miserable at work? Poor thing, I really feel for you. Oh wait, no I don’t.
  6. Check up on any writing I’ve had outsourced. I will most likely use it three steps below.
  7. By 8am, creating content. One rule I have for myself is that I must create at least one piece of quality content for one of my sites every weekday. This blog doesn’t count.
  8. Publish and social bookmark that new content.
  9. Perform and check on various other linkbuilding strategies. I do much myself, and outsource some. This is part of my secret formula so I don’t share publicly.
  10. ~9/10am. I’m starting to get a headache from lack of caffeine, so now it’s time to do my pre-workout formula. I need to add a few more carbs here.
  11. Workout. Either surfing, swimming, or CrossFit right now. If a rest day, allow myself some R&R at 11am. Still trying to get back in shape from my post Pier-to-Pier swim layoff.
  12. Post-workout shake, shower, then finally eat a real meal.
  13. While eating, check news, see how stock trade are behaving, etc.
  14. Until 3:30pm, work the “main set”, as we swimmers say. Typically this is hardcore writing or hardcore designing. Phone is off. Good chance I already started working towards this in the morning too.
  15. 3:30pm. Naptime. I can tell you when I’m within 20 minutes of 3:30 every time. It’s my natural crash time and I don’t fight it. Good chance I’ll eat something light beforehand, especially if I’m gonna do a 6:30pm swim.
  16. 4:30/5pm. Wake up, cook, and do a bit more design/writing. Caffeine optional. This is usually when I can figure things out that were frustrating me during my 3pm haze.
  17. After that, start slacking off from work, check relevant message boards for my industry, and take some R&R or whatever I feel like doing. I sometimes swim at 6:30 but like the morning workouts better.
  18. 8pm, try to find a good stopping point, and go to a friend’s house, chill out with a movie, TV show, or read. Maybe watch sports and have a beer at the local dive but not too many unless campaigns are REALLY rockin
  19. 11pm/12am – Bed.

Maybe that’s too rigid, but that’s essentially what I like on an ideal productivity day. BUT, I could ditch the routine and spend the entire day writing code, or drive down to San Diego to surf and say screw everything.

And now it’s beach time. Volleyball and cooking out. And while you’re technically making $0, my sites will be banking revenues. Can’t beat that.

* Technical lesson learned – Don’t hardcode anything in. I know not to do this in programming, but I had a ton of links and product names hardcoded into a bunch of pages instead of using a redirection plugin. That is now fixed, so it will turn this into a 10 minute job instead of a couple of hours.

** Note that 8 hours after I write this, I will have quite the buzz on. So I’m not totally grown up by any means.

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