New Retirement Blog By Michael Worsfold, Retirement Coach

September 25, 2023 | Metkel Kebede


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“My secret (to personal productivity) if I have one, is routine.
I try to do the same things at the same times every day or every week.”
- Fred Wilson Venture Capital Investor

 

 


Increasing Productivity and Calm

 

 

A bit of context. I live with my wife Raymonde at Gibsons Landing on the Sunshine Coast, BC. We moved here from Oakville in 2008.

This story concerns the Family Day holiday weekend in February of this year.

 

Saturday was taken up with a visit from “The kids”. Even with the chaos of our grandson playing with the dog, we enjoyed “adult” conversations.  After lunch, we went to the beach and played with the drone that I’d given my 43-year-old son for Christmas. For years I’d given him books, but recently he’d started listening to audiobooks so I was back to toys :)  It was good to see him enjoy the play and forget his business. We had an early dinner, and they caught the 6:45 ferry home to West Van. So far so good.

 

Sunday morning Raymonde went Dragon boating and I cleaned house. That’s our normal drill. My little secret is that I like the routine of house cleaning. It takes about an hour.  I treat it as a light workout. I find the cleaning routine quite satisfying.

When Raymonde doesn’t paddle for some reason it changes the dynamics. She’s a Perfectionist in the Enneagram Personality model. I call her my quality supervisor. Let’s just say I prefer it when she paddles.

 

Monday was the holiday. After breakfast, we took our dog Taj for a long walk. 
After lunch, I was feeling sleepy so I had a short nap. Just down and back. Any more and I won’t sleep. I noticed that the sleepiness persisted. I practised some guitar, but I had difficulty concentrating and getting into it.

 

Around 4 o'clock I remembered Fred Wilson’s blog about laying out the week’s routine in Calendar. Not my normal habit. I book appointments, but not other things like my writing. I thought I’d give it a go.

This is what Tuesday morning looked like:

 

6:30: Rise. Quiet time. Coffee. Read Cohen. Stretching. Breakfast, Shower and dress.
8 am: Write this week’s Toastmasters talk. 
9 am: Work on New Retirement blog.
11 am: Review GoDaddy account
11:30 quick guitar practice before lunch.
Afternoon long dog walk. Practice speech on the beach.

 

Observations Monday bedtime.


Turning in, I noticed that I felt settled and was looking forward to the next day. Putting my week in Calendar got me to book time for priority tasks that I enjoy and some marketing tasks that I don’t love.

It was calming to have it allocated.

 

According to research, routine settles the nervous system. I noticed as I entered into tasks, I felt more prepared and focused. I suppose I’d been preparing unconsciously. I got into flow easily and was more productive. There was not anxiety about what to do next.

The biggest factor for me was committing 50% of my time to the work I love. I also booked time for tasks in don’t love I tend to avoid if I don‘t commit. I find that the hardest thing is to keep focused on priorities. There are so many distractions.

 

The last word to the master.
    
“Religion, teachers, women, drugs, the road, fame, money... nothing gets me high and offers relief from suffering like blackening the pages.”

- Leonard Cohen. The Flame.
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New Retirement coaching information:  www.enneagramcoach.ca