Establishing A Daily Work Routine

Time is on my side. Especially when it is made from a Chang beer can!

 

It is 10am on a Sunday and we should be still sleeping in or at least going out for brunch. But we aren't. We are completing the last few hours of computer work that we were meant to do for the week. Twenty hours a week is typically all we work. We generally spread this out over 4 hours in the morning per day, Monday to Friday. But sometimes things come up and we have to extend the hours to the weekends. Not a big issue. Every day is a weekend for us!

Establishing a daily routine for yourself can be very hard when you start to work location independently. Especially when you are combining work with travel. With no one standing over you and lots of tempting things outside your door it can be easy to let things slide. It took us over two months to really get into a routine that works for both of us.

Our daily routine is pretty simple. We complete at least four hours of work per day, mostly in the morning. This leaves the afternoon and evening free to do anything we want.

It does change slightly depending on the local conditions. When we were in Langkawi in Malaysia our work day was more like:

08:00am to 10:00am - Work
10:00am to 10:30am - Break and swim at the glorious beach
10:30am to 12:30pm - Work

In Chiang Mai, we have been working in cafes or restaurants often, so we get fed at the same time. Our daily work routine was more like:

08:30am to 01:00pm - Working with little breaks for eating and drinking banana and peanut butter shakes

Sometimes, these times just don't work out. Perhaps there is a dentist appointment you have to keep that is at 11:00am or you really want to go to that Khao Soi restaurant that is only open between the hours of 7:00am and 1:00pm. Then the work routine has to change. When this happens, we just work a few hours in the afternoon or make up for it over the following few days.

Same goes for when we are travelling from one place to another. Although we try to move on the weekend, sometimes it is cheaper on a weekday or just not practical to wait until the weekend before moving. If we travel on a week day, we always make up for those hours we missed in the days that follow, sometimes working on a Sunday if need be.

Sticking to a daily work routine means we won't get behind in our work. Well, not too far behind anyhow. Try to never get more than two weeks behind. Ever. It is too hard to get back on track.

Also, do not forget that there is an awesome world away from your computer. While its great to go with the flow when you are in the zone it is important to know when you need a break. Short or long.

Our daily work routine works for us. What works for you?

4 comments

  1. John Hunter 31 March, 2012 at 10:12 Reply

    I do think a daily work routine is helpful.

    However, I also think one of the great benefits of working outside the constraints of an office environment is to just give up sometimes when working right now just isn’t of much value. And working long hours when things are clicking and I am getting great things done.

    Partially these work in combination, if you only didn’t work when it wasn’t going well that might be problematic. But when you can adjust to working when you are most productive no matter when that happens to strike it can be very useful.

    • Tanya 3 April, 2012 at 09:03 Reply

      Hi John, you are certainly right.
      People who are location independent have different ways to get themselves working (when they need to of course).
      We personally find a daily work routine useful for us. It isn’t for everyone, just like it isn’t for me (Tanya) to work for 8 hours a day one day and none for 2 days after!
      This working location independently has been a learning curve 🙂

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