Routines and Tools, part 1

Yesterday I wrote a bit about my morning routine. Today I want to share a bit more about that and list some of my “tools”.

My routine does have some variance, because of my fluctuating work schedule. I work second shift 3 days a week, and first shift 2 days a week. One of my first shift mornings follows a second shift evening. That, and the fact that at this juncture in life, I either walk to or from work or depend on others for transportation, leads to the fact that I must be flexible. I try to work with that flexibility as much as possible. Also, I must get at least 6 1/2 hours of sleep, and try to get 8 if at all possible.

Let’s say I shoot for 5:00a as a wake up time. I set one alarm at 3:00a, and my second at 4:45 or 4:50. At 4:50, I’m usually able to immediately wake up, feet on floor. I take care of bathroom duties, drink a glass of water, and make my bed. At 5:00a I’m ready for my routine. Recently I’ve been walking at the nearby park, one lap around its path. So before the walk, I dress appropriately, (which today entailed about 5 layers of clothing, and two toboggan caps.) I plug in my Academy playlist on Apple Music, (Academy playlist consists of all the awesome music played by favorite bands that they will play at my after party when I win my Academy Award…) or I listen to a book on Audible, or I listen to a Tim Ferris or Accidental Creative podcast on Apple’s Podcast Player or Overcast. My walk is about 45 minutes, sometimes longer if I take photos and post to Instagram.

When I get home, I strip off a few layers, fix a cup of hot tea, and then read my Morning Decision, which comes from Andy Andrew’s The Seven Decisions Perpetual Calendar. The Seven Decisions are 7 full page statements that read like affirmations. Every morning and every evening, soon after rising and soon before retiring, you read one of the seven decisions, for three weeks, and then move on to the next decision. Twenty one weeks later you finish, and begin again. I began an August 1st and have not missed a day, and will complete it on Christmas day. I will begin again on January 1st. I’ve found it to be highly effective in helping me keep a positive attitude, health self esteem, and a hopeful outlook for the future. I read this on my PDF reader on my iPad. This is about a five minute read.m

Next I read a page from a book, The Early to Rise Experience, by Andy Traub. This book is exactly what it sounds like. It encourages you to wake up early and get a start on your day. Well written and peppered with humor and practicality, I’ve found it helpful in my waking up journey. This is my third read through at the moment. It takes about 3-5 minutes to read each day’s entry.

After these readings, I don the headphones and listen to my Daily Calm, on my Calm app. This is an excellent Meditation app that I highly recommend. I also recommend Headspace. Daily Calm is a ten minute meditation that also includes words of encouragement on a certain topic, like Peace, Gratitude, Concentration, etc. I’ve written about meditation before, and it has become a very important practice for me. This is about 10-12 minutes long.

Next, I get my iPad, and open my YouVersion Holy Bible app, and read from a plan. Right now I’m reading The Cell Rule of Optina, which takes me through the New Testament in 89 days. I will be ending in December 31, and on January 1, I’ll begin The One Year Chronological Bible. This takes about 15-20 minutes.

Next, I pray. I’ll be starting a book soon titled, The Two Chairs, by Bob Beaudine, which describes his intimate prayer practice, and I hope to implement some of his tidbits into mine. I pray for about 15-20 minutes.

Any remaining time I use to read whatever book(s) I’m currently reading. Also, between 6a-9a, and 11a-2p, I read from The Divine Hours, by Phyllis Tickle. This is a prayer book that covers the Daily Office Prayers from liturgical traditions. I’m not associated to one one of these traditions, (currently a member of a Southern Baptist Church, where I was baptized,) but this practice of Saying prayers at set times of the day has really focused my attention spiritually. I’m currently reading the Advent edition of her books. This takes about 5-7 minutes.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this or after I shower and dress and apply deodorant. 25-30 minutes.

So, that’s my morning practices, habits, ritual, routines….whatever you want to call them. Tomorrow I will write about my work and midday routines.



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