At my last health and wellbeing update, I talked about how going back into lockdown and then having to change my office location has forced me to find new daily routines.

What worked previously for my health habits was now conflicting with my new commute and work pressures. In particular, my exercise suffered but I also increased bad habits like drinking alcohol too often.

This month I’ve had to completely rethink my daily routine and how I can optimise it to help me meet my values. I also finally got around to reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits (Disclaimer: affiliate link) which is a great source of inspiration and gave me a few ideas to try.

So, here’s my new daily routine (or at least the routine for my two gym days per week):

  • 6.45am – 7.10am Wake up, put on gym clothes, brush teeth, take medication, drink 250 mL water, pick up work clothes, work bag and lunch bag.
  • 7.10am – 7.30am Morning commute.
  • 7.30am – 8.30am Gym session consisting of about 30 mins running, 15 mins weights and 15 mins stretches. Drink 250 mL water.
  • 8.30am – 8.45am Shower and change into work clothes.
  • 8.45am – 9.00am Plan my work day and clear emails from the day before, drink another 250 mL water.
  • 9.00am – 10.30am ‘Deep’ work session and drink a coffee.
  • 10.30am – 10.45am Light breakfast (a banana or rolled oats with a teaspoon of honey) and another coffee.
  • 10.45am – 12.00pm Check emails, responsive/other work, 30 mins using standing desk.
  • 12.00pm – 1.00pm Lunch whilst reading articles/development material, drink another 250 mL water, wash up lunch things.
  • 1.00pm – 3.00pm ‘Deep’ work session if possible, otherwise responsive/other work.
  • 3.00pm – 3.15pm Cup of tea.
  • 3.15pm – 4.00pm Admin work, 30 mins using standing desk.
  • 4.00pm – 5.00pm Responsive/other work, action or schedule all email tasks.
  • 5.00pm – 5.20pm Commute home, drink 250 mL water.
  • 5.20pm – 5.30pm Repack work bag and lunch for morning.
  • 5.30pm7.00pm Personal time to write, go for a walk or work on a project, drink 250 mL water.
  • 7.00pm – 8.00pm Make dinner and eat, drink another 250 mL water.
  • 8.00pm – 9.30pm Watch TV, brush and floss teeth in between shows.
  • 9.30pm – 10.30pm Read in bed.

I rarely have a perfect day, and my work time in particular is usually disrupted by meetings and urgent ad-hoc things. But I find it useful to at least have a plan of how I’d like things to go, and it helps me understand if the habits I’m trying to set up are actually achievable.

What elements of your daily routine are key to your habit building?