With my office closing down and cricket season taking a hit, I have had more time to indulge in my hobbies like reading, writing, podcasting, and cooking.
I’ve been working from home since March and this set-up shall continue at least a couple more months. Personally, this lockdown has been fruitful.
A few of my friends had asked me about my daily routine during this lockdown. They wanted to know how my normal day looks like and what keeps me occupied.
I have a morning and evening routine that makes me productive. While my morning routine helps me start the day positively, my evening ritual focuses on gradually shutting down work-mode.
Morning Routine –
|7.00 – 7.15||Refresh|
|7.15 – 7.30||Exercise|
|7.30 – 7.40||Meditate|
|7.40 – 8.00||Drink Tea, write TO-DO list and chat|
I have realized that using my phone to check emails and messages early in the morning is an energy-drainer. It is highly addictive and before you realize, an hour has passed. So, I use my phone only for music & stopwatch.
For the 15-minute workout, I use the 100 HIIT workouts by DAREBEE shared in my cricket WhatsApp group. I have also devised some workout plans for myself. Occasionally, if I am not in a mood for anything, I go out for a nice jog or even a stroll.
I try to keep it simple. I close my eyes and start focusing from toe to head, pretending to eject all the stiffness out of my muscles and invite positive energy into the body. Then, I take 11 slow, deep breaths. Sometimes, I even try guided meditation videos on YouTube.
After meditation, I sit with a hot cup of tea to write down my chores for the day. My to-do list is simple and it looks something like this:
As soon as I finish writing this list, I immediately strike off the first two tasks. It feels good that the day has started well. I even write something easy like “no sugar” or “eat healthy food” because it serves as a reminder when I put it down on paper.
I also use this time to chat with Kavi (my wife). We usually sit by the balcony and gaze at our apartment’s communal garden or the sky. The calmness and serenity we get from a quiet, unhurried morning is bliss.
Work Routine –
|8.00 – 4.30||Work, cooking, lunch, books (optional)|
I maintain a flexible work schedule. I usually start and finish early, and take a break in between to cook lunch with Kavi. On most days I have enough work to keep me busy. But, if I manage to find some time, I pick up whatever book I was reading.
Being a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique, I use a Tomato Timer to work without distraction.
Evening Routine –
|4.30 – 5.30||Wrap up work, shower and call mom & dad|
|5.30 – 6.30||Walk|
|6.30 – 8.00||Cook and eat dinner|
|8.00 – 11.00||Watch movie, do blogging/podcasting, play games|
Following 8.5 hours of focused work, I prefer wrapping up on time. After a quick shower, we call our families back in India. We talk about our day, what we had for lunch, and get news updates.
We are naturally concerned because COVID-19 is becoming a huge issue in India now and our parents are growing older. Likewise, parents being parents, they always worry about their kids and so, talking to them twice a day helps big time.
This has become one of our favorite activities. We choose different paths and explore a lot of new places in our neighborhood. It is amazing how much I’ve missed all this time. It feels like it has been hiding under the plain sight and I was so busy to admire the place where I live.
We also have a couple of friends only a mile away. We often catch up and walk together in the park. I always try to leave my phone back at home so that I don’t stare at digital screens for a while.
As Kavi prefers eating freshly cooked food, we cook a nice dinner every evening. This also serves as our personal time. We love cooking together, cleaning the kitchen, and listening to music as we make our dinner.
Movies, blogging/podcasting, games
The last three hours of the day are dedicated solely to our hobbies. If we are tired, we watch a movie or some web series and indulge in some fun activities. We play cards, draughts, or continue making a photo-album Kavi bought for me.
Otherwise, I go back to my book or work on the blog while Kavi does her podcasts. Blogging and podcasting are time-consuming and interesting. It enables us to go into our zone for a long period of time. It’s like meditation.
A lot of books talk about doing activities that make you enter the flow state and we are happy we have found more than one.
A couple of things that help me:
1. Never miss twice in a row – We all feel bad when we miss a day of dieting or exercising in between. But, habit creation is more about consistency and not perfection. So, it’s okay to miss once but make sure you get right back on track.
2. Abolish the all-or-nothing approach – We make the mistake of believing that sticking to good habits is an all-or-nothing game. If we usually run 3 miles a day and one morning we feel not motivated enough, we end up not running at all.
To overcome this, have a fallback habit. If I am too tired to do my morning exercise, I end up going for a walk or do some easy stretching. If I cannot meditate for 10 minutes, I simply lie down on the floor and close my eyes for 2-3 minutes.
My routines are not written in stone. I try to mix and match to make it more fun. Some days I tend to write a blog post as soon as I wake up and do my exercise/meditation later in the day. Or, I skip my whole evening ritual and go to my friend’s house for dinner. So, just play around and find what you like doing!
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– Kavi & Ninja
7 Comments Add yours
Thanks for sharing this Ninja. It really helps. Abolish the all-or-nothing approach is my takeaway. Keep sharing.
Thanks a lot, Jey. Thanks for always pushing me to do better. Much appreciated 🙂
Awesome da niruu..☺️ doing great nd my whishes.
Thanks, Aravindan, so good to hear from you after a long time. Been almost 13 years since we studied together? Nostalgic. I hope you are having a fab time.
Of course ur hope s true…. I remember,do you?? the incident tat happened to you after watching 2k3 world cup final match.sry to share this in ur blog da.
Wow. you are a rockstar. lot of learnings.
Thanks a lot, Shubhankar. I am elated that you found this useful. Please keep following us. Subscribe to my blog.