On my last post, I talked about the checklist I use for my daily tasks. That allows me to perform them automatically, saving all my creativity and my energy for the stuff that I really need to apply it to, like my writing. Today I'm going to focus on how I make that part of my life work better.
Having a routine is about making the boring mundane tasks automatic, so that you can invest your creative thinking time on the stuff you really need to. Morning routines are particularly important to set you free to do what you need for the rest (or most of the rest) of the day.
I started using checklists for my daily tasks some years ago. I did it so I wouldn’t have to rely on my memory to remember everything. I tried to use 42goals.com to do it for a while in 2012, but the site didn't work well on mobile at the time, and I dropped it after some months. This recent "streak" of tracking my daily tasks using a checklist began at the end of last August.
In the beginning, I just made a list of every one of my daily actions, including things like going to the bathroom, or drinking water. Then I refined the process by taking some unnecessary actions out of it (I was always a heavy water drinker, and tracking my trips to the bathroom wasn't exactly achieving any goals).
I'm a control freak. I am. I don't know if telling you about me having what most perceive as a weakness is a great way to start the first post of my blog, but I'm pretty sure honesty is. I want to set a good tone. I'm a control freak and I like to be on top of anything. Sometimes it helps to be prepared. Sometimes the stress doesn't pay off. But I think I'd be more stressed if I didn't try to control stuff.
When my girlfriend and I started planning our trip to the US earlier this year, I started nerding out on travel stuff. "What is the best X?", "How to Y" and "Top 10 Z". I learned that I could create my own custom maps with Google Maps Engine, now Google MyMaps, and I loved it. It was around June, and we decided we would travel on the next January. I spent most of my waking time in that second semester of 2014 planning this trip, with at least two Google Maps tabs opened in my Chrome window at all times. That level of control freak.
We had to decide where to stay, and, again, I was on top of it. We can stay at this hotel, and that hotel, and that other hotel. But we were talking about a trip to Los Angeles, a big town (probably the definition of a big town), and hotels close to places you want to visit are very expensive. Cheaper hotels are usually 1) not great or 2) farther from where you want to be.
Then, I thought of checking out this Airbnb site (now I realize I was late to the game, even by Brazil standards). It didn't disappoint, and we ended up staying a week in a (for our purposes) very well located apartment in Hollywood. You may discuss whether we chose a good neighborhood to be in. I agree. But given the circumstances of our trip, it was great. We actually miss it now. That's the experience I think Airbnb strives for: to make you feel home.