Ever since I’ve been making a living online doing what I love, people have been curious about what a typical day in my life looks like.
At first I thought it was just one or two people who wanted to know, but as time has passed, more and more have asked.
I even had a coaching client ask me last week what a day in my life looks like, so I took that as a sign that I needed to address it in a post and let it all out.
The problem with writing about my typical day is that my schedule tends to change depending on what routine I feel good following, and what my mood is like, but I’ve gotten into a good groove the last few months that I’m going to spell out here.
Even though my schedule changes, the same parts are still there, though they may be in different places at different times of the year.
I do my best to keep my life simple, and relaxed, while still getting things done. I don’t worry about being amazingly productive. I focus on doing what I enjoy, going with the flow, and trusting the process.
Now, obviously I’m not constantly doing what I love, because there are tasks that aren’t fun, and I’m not completely balanced all the time, but usually I don’t worry about stuff as much as I used to.
And as you travel further along this path, you will also realize that trusting what happens is the only thing you can do, because you cannot force the outcome or predict what’s going to happen.
With that said, let’s take a peek at what my life looks like as I write this on the 13th of June, 2011:
Before Bed Routine
I cherish my before bed routine, because it works, and it’s amazingly simple.
What I do is I have a pad of paper where I write down two to three high-value tasks that I am going to accomplish the next day.
These could be writing a blog post, a guest post, doing an interview, or working on a product.
I’ve found that this gets me focused in the morning and ready to go. I don’t have to think about what I am going to do because it has already been decided (by me).
I also find that it’s easier to decide before I go to bed than in the morning when I wake up, because my mind tends to want to focus on easier tasks if I do it in the morning.
The problem with easy tasks is that they don’t produce results. If I want to give you value and help you improve your life, I have to focus on what truly matters.
You see, you don’t have to work all day to produce results. You only have to work on the right tasks for the right amount of time, and that is what I do.
Sometimes I work more, sometimes less. It completely depends on what I feel like on that particular day.
08AM to 09AM
The first thing I usually do in the morning is to make a cup of green tea, because I found that it helps me focus and it’s a nice substitute for eating in the morning.
I’ve been doing intermittent fasting for a while now, or a loose version of it. Intermittent fasting for me means that I start eating at 12 noon and stop at 8PM.
It gives my body time to rest for the 16 hours I don’t eat, and it helps me focus and produce inspired work in the morning.
When I sit and sip on my cup of green tea, I usually check my email and see if there are any urgent customer messages or technical glitches that I need to take care of.
Sometimes I sit there marveling at how good life can be. I recently found a life purpose self-test I did two years ago (In May 2009) and I saw that I was pretty much lost in confusion, which is normal when you’re beginning on “the path.”
Now I know what my purpose is. I know where I want to go, and I trust myself and the universe much more.
Other than that, I spend the first hour waking up, and relaxing.
Sometimes after making my early-morning check up, if I’m not grateful for life, I might read something, or listen to an audio course to get my brain into the creative zone and feeling good.
09AM to 12 Noon
I usually work from 09 to noon. It completely depends on my mood and how inspired I’m feeling. Some days I may end up working one hour, while others I’ll work and suddenly the whole day has gone by.
But the standard for me when I’m really producing a lot is three hours a day, because after that I’ve found that my creative juices run out.
And I’ve also found that working in the early morning hours before eating anything big improves my ability to be inspired to write and have that extra bit of clarity which helps me focus on just the right tasks.
I used to be a night owl, but I’ve lately found myself liking being up in the morning more. However, sometimes I find my daily rhythm drifting and I might find myself working later than I want to, and I’m okay with that.
I don’t force myself to wake up early, and I don’t force myself to stay up late. I simply do whatever it is that I feel like doing.
Forcing yourself to do anything is not going to help you in the long-run.
And I realized that it doesn’t really matter if I wake up early or go to bed late, because what matters is what I do with the time that I have.
12 Noon to 1PM
After my work done, I eat some food, relax, and spend some time looking out the window and wondering what I feel inspired to do next.
Two or three days a week I go to the gym at this time. I’ve always liked lifting weights and pushing myself to the limit, so I really enjoy doing it and it helps me re-energize and burn off some steam (if there is any).
This is really an in between time for me, because I just sit wondering what I’m going to do and I might think about the work I’ve done and if there’s anything I can go back and fix that I have forgotten.
In general, I take it easy and just enjoy what is. Now, sometimes I feel overworked, overwhelmed, and frustrated, but I do my best to stay in the present and be with what is.
1PM to 6PM
This is usually my learning and exploring time, which includes meditation. Also, I often book coaching client sessions around this time, because of the time zone differences with the people with whom I work.
I don’t worry about having a rigid schedule, but I have found that during some times of the day, I’m more creative than others, so I pay attention to that.
The learning varies wildly from month to month. For example, currently I’m into improving my coaching, so I’m studying NLP/HNLP, and the feedback I’m getting from my coaching clients has been nothing short of amazing.
Other months I might spend time reading books on personal development and finding new ideas that I can incorporate to my own life and help others do the same.
The common theme within everything that I’m learning is that it improves my life in some way or another.
It could be learning about improving my health, improving my productivity, releasing emotional blocks, or whatever I happen to “bump into.”
It feels weird to me to schedule my time like this, because after I’ve done my work in the morning, I’m very spontaneous about my time. I tend to trust my intuition and do what inspires me.
But for the sake of this article, I spend the late evening hanging out with friends, family, or my girlfriend.
I still often get excited and inspired, which brings me back to my computer or forces me to capture my thoughts so I can work on them later.
This is the beauty of doing what you love, because there really are no set times that you work or don’t work.
You might have a burst of inspiration while you’re sleeping, or you might realize that you don’t really want to work this morning, so you do something else and find yourself inspired while you’re outside taking a walk.
It’s all about trusting your heart and trusting the path that you’re on.
As you can see, my day is very simple, relaxed, and intuitive. And that’s the way I like it.
Your day might look different, and that’s okay, because you have to find something that fits for you. But I’ve found that I really enjoy a lot of learning and alone time.
I’m truly grateful for everything that life has offered me. I’ve never worked a real day job in my life, so I’ve always been able to design my day the way I want to.
And if you’re looking to increase the freedom of your life and go after your passion, you know what to do.
You have to take action, because that is when the puzzle pieces will start falling into place.
Image by Dave
Sounds like you have good schedule.
I also find that I can only be deeply creative for a few hours a day. The trick is to determine when those hours are and grab them.
Right on, Shlomo!
Sometimes I can work more, while some days I don’t want to work at all. It’s crucial to listen to yourself, or at least it has been for me.
Esther van der Wal says
Some very interesting ideas here, Henri! I love the thought of not forcing yourself to a certain schedule, but working by each day’s flow and how you feel at that moment. It sounds like it gives a lot of breathing space. Not everyone has the opportunity of fully determining their own schedule, but to some extent I think many of us can get something out of your routine and adapt it to our own lives.
I also love the broad timeframe you allow yourself each day to learn and develop. The self-development will eventually pay off in your work as well, so that sounds like a smart choice. Like you said, it’s not about the amount of time we have – it’s about what we choose to do with the time available to us.
Exactly! And you always have to remember that this is what works for me, so test it out and find what works for you.
Some people rock a rigid schedule, while others can’t handle it at all.
Enjoyed reading your daily happenings. (I noticed you refer to 12AM a couple of places in your post that I think is 12PM?). I have invested in your online income mastery course, I look forward to beginning this journey. Thanks for sharing ….
You’re correct. I always get 12AM and 12PM mixed, so I went back to the post and switched them to 12 noon and 12 midnight. That way I can’t go wrong (I hope) 😉
And thanks for buying the course. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts.
Jennifer Minar-Jaynes says
Thanks for sharing your day, Henri! Loved it. You always inspire me.
The Q&A will be up this week. Will send you links once they’re available.
I’m looking forward to it, let me know when it’s available 🙂
Erick Cerda says
Henri, I enjoyed reading the post. After reading it I felt that you don’t worry about deadlines, bills, screaming kids, etc. Which is awesome, but for most many of these pressures are very “Real” and overwhelming. But what I am beginning to understand is that this chaos doesn’t have to be our reality – we have a choice. But after being conditioned and programmed this way, it can be hard to make that shift into simplicity, calmness and awareness. I am looking into transendental meditation to help me calm the monkey mind. What would you recommend to center the mind?
I think transcendental meditation looks awesome, so if that resonates with you, then go for it! I personally have been using Holosync CDs for a couple of years and they’re fantastic.
Wow… Pretty cool routine you have here.
You make this sound pretty incredible though for my life now things can get hectic and when I feel as though I want to do something on the computer I can’t always do so as was the case over a year ago.
My schedule isn’t actually as hectic as some might think since I’m a stay-at-home dad but it has its own share of ups and downs.
Thanks for sharing!
Archan Mehta says
I was curious to know about a typical day in your life. It was an interesting read. Nice job.
Your life is simple, functional. I like the fact that you follow your intuition–what feels right.
That is great about you. You have great self-belief and you are a confident person.
I suppose your time-table will not work for everybody, but every person has to find out what works and does not work for him/her. That is why we are on our journey.
Like you, I also like to enjoy alone time. I enjoy solitary activities. Personal growth is a priority and so is professional development. Good luck on your creative work. Have a nice day. Cheers.
Daniel M. Wood says
Having a structured schedule is great for your efficiency and I like your exercise with the notepad in the evening. It activates your subconscious and gets it working on your tasks, that way you are motivated in the morning and often filled with ideas I bet.
Having all that free time must feel great, it is what everyone dreams about. I like that you have chosen not too work too much. Most people have that problem, especially as an entrepreneur, they keep working and working without leaving any time to relax.
Erick Cerda says
Daniel, you are so right. As an entrepreneur, this is exactly the part I can’t get my arms around. Working less actually produces more – it is just so counter-intuitive that I can’t seem to slow down. Especially if finances are tight, you feel like you need to work harder, not less. I need a life line.
marc van der Linden says
It is interesting to notice that your daily decisions are based in the first place on what you “feel” and not on what you “think” as most people do.
In your “before bed routine” you state that you write 2-3 high-value tasks down. For some time I also write my high priority actions on paper. I do it in the morning and it is not so easy to keep doing this as in the morning I’m not so focused. I feel it would be a good idea to try to do it before bed instead. But I’m surprised that you write only 2-3 tasks down. In my daily routine I do 5-7 high priority actions. I wonder how 2-3 is working for you? Is it easier to get them done? Do they give you better focus performance during the day because 2-3 is more simple?
Sometimes I do more than 2-3 tasks, but I always think about if I only could do 2-3 things tomorrow, what would they be? This keeps my focus on what’s important.
What I often find is that once I finish my daily 2-3 tasks, if I have energy left over, I’ll do more. What often seems to happen to people is that they put too much stuff on their to-do list, so it becomes unsustainable and they burn out.
In the end you have to listen to yourself and see how you feel.
Jonny Gibaud says
You inspired me. I wrote a similar post about a day in the life of a travelling entrepreneur.
Good stuff, Jonny! 🙂
Stephen Guise says
I like the way you do things. You day sounds like it is full of relaxed productivity and thankfulness. I admire that.
It’s interesting what you said about going to bed late/early and how it doesn’t matter because time is time. You also said that you tend to like being up in the morning. I’ve naturally been a night owl when I “let myself go”… but I have recently had a spurt where I was getting up quite early and going to bed earlier as well.
I noticed a huge positive boost in my productivity, happiness, and decision-making when I rose from slumber earlier. Lately I’ve fallen back into night-owlism and I’m working towards getting back to being a morning person. I find the whole morning/evening differences fascinating.
I just stumbled upon this post.
Wow, Henri, I’m impressed. And surprised at the same time,as the schedule you lay out here resembles my own favourite schedule almost to the letter. Even the times are identical 😀 Unfotunately, I am still stuck in a (pretty grueling) day job, so I can only follow this schedule on my days off. And those days are always happier, more relaxed and more productive at the same time. So thanks a lot for posting this, Henri, it reminds me of where I do want to end up ALL the time.
Would love to have a schedule like that.. But I have kids and 2 jobs.. It was nice reading.. I like your idea on intermittent fasting and writting down 3 to 4 things I need/ want to do the next day..