I call them empty days. Days where I have no obligations except those I impose upon myself. Days during which I have nowhere to be, but things I’d like to do.
Here’s how my most recent empty day went. I’ll break it down into four blocks.
BLOCK 1 - Creating and Producing
0430 - Alarm goes off. Stumble out of bed, turn it off and reset it for an hours time. (Shut up. I was tired.)
0530-0600 - Get up, make a peppermint tea, complete the loop of social media and email.
0600-0720 - Publish a new piece on the blog and draft two more.
0730-0820 - Continue research on a section of the next book.
0820-0835 - Eat some yoghurt, nuts and fruit.
0835-0940 - Edit and give feedback on a friend’s article.
BLOCK TWO - Intangibles
0945-1200 - Go for breakfast with Molly.
1200-1330 - Flit between reading, talking, browsing the web and drinking more tea.
BLOCK THREE - Black Out
1330-1430 - Read.
1430-1500 - Feel anxious. Consider all the open loops in my head, the things that I need to do over the next week. Junk my plans to continue editing the next interview and train in the garage.
1500-1630 - Eat some hummus and crackers whilst watching stand up on Netflix. Nap intermittently.
1630-1800 - Procrastinate. Heavily. Social media and email checked frequently. Random articles saved on Facebook and Reddit read. Thought about and decided upon reorganisation of the study. Time spent on Ikea and r/roomporn. Read about Japanese sitting positions. Found a floor mat for meditation practice.
BLOCK FOUR - A Brief Spurt
1800-1900 - Read
1900-1945 - Make and eat dinner whilst listening to a new album.
1945-2015 - Think about and plot out changes in my online strategy.
2015-2045 - Pick Molly up.
2045-2130 - Reading and drinking tea.
2130 - Go to bed.
Good days are, well, good. I create. I get things done. I make connections. I move the needle on projects and figure stuff out. I’d like to have more of those days.
The above was an off day. I’d like less of them, but despite my best efforts, they still come around.
After many, many of these bad days, I’ve realised that it’s not only the good days that give me something. The bad days, the off days, the shit days, they give me something too. I just need some distance to help me recognise how they help me. How they nurture me. How, often, they teach me more than the days where I kill it.