Over the last several months I’ve been doing an extensive amount of travel for work. While it’s great to get out and see the world, something for which I feel very fortunate, it can wreak havoc on my routine. Conversely over the same period of time I’ve been going to great lengths to establish a set routine each day to ensure I avoid any opportunity to fail at the 75 Hard program. This includes (relatively) set times that I complete each of my two workouts, get my reading out of the way, meditate, write, even ensuring I have set amounts of water consumed at certain times of the day. All this is well and good when I’m home and can easily control, and influence, the times for such things. However, when I travel it’s a completely different beast.
Firstly, when I travel, especially when I’m travelling with someone else, my routine cops a significant hit. My mealtimes change, I struggle to consume my water and end up running out of time each day. Now, I do manage to get everything done and this program is meant to be hard, so I can accept my part in managing myself better to ensure I meet the objectives I’ve set for myself.
Secondly, being in the office and being at a site are completely different. How much you interact with others increases dramatically and your time, or lack thereof, is dictated by the needs of others. Once again, this is manageable to some degree.
So, you’re probably thinking what is the point of this blog then, the point is this; There are times when your routine is going to unravel before your very eyes. You could stress over such things and overcomplicate what should be a straightforward process (you’ve got a established routine after all!). But it’s becoming more common for people to default to defensive mode when things are taken out of their control. Which in reality hasn’t happened, what has happened is you’ve failed to acknowledge how much your time will be impacted and failed to plan for this and develop a contingency plan.
Yes, sometimes you can’t account for those odd things (more so, odd conversations) that always come up when your caught up in someone else’s world. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work though a plan to ensure you achieve all the things you’ve committed to do.
Here are some examples of things I account for, and in some cases use to my advantage when travelling:
- Sleep. When I travel, I don’t sleep very well, I like to flake out early and I’m awake early, generally with a splitting headache, but that’s a whole different conversation.
- Writing Time. I normally write late in the afternoon in the gap between the end of work and the start of my evening workout. Writing my blog is a bit of an exception on occasions, so its no big deal that I’m writing this one at 8pm from my motel room!
- Workouts. These very depending on the daily commitments, but as a general rule I do my morning workout slightly earlier than I normally would, mainly because of the sleep issues noted above. My evening routine is the one that fluctuated the most, as general rule of thumb if it’s a heavy workout, I’ll do it before dinner and if it’s light I’ll do it after dinner.
- Reading. I always do my reading late in the evening before bed with one exception. If I’m flying that day, I will do my reading during the flight as I find it the best way to pass the time, especially after you’ve watched every single thing available in the inflight entertainment.
- Water consumption. I start this much earlier when travelling. In my normal routine I start the bulk of my water consumption after breakfast. However, when I travel, I start that from the moment I get up. And yes, I do need to pee as soon as my morning workout is done, and again at breakfast, and again as soon as I get to site. It is what it is.
Having your routine unravel on you occasionally should never be seen as a bad thing. Being forced to mix it up a bit could lead you to a better way of doing things. It could also confirm that your current routine is working. Either way there is learnings to be had and we should always keep learning.
So next time you do something that you know is going to mess with your routine , don’t wait for it to occur and then try to figure out how the hell your going to get everything done. Instead, get ahead of the game and plan for as much as you can, make use of the idle times and maximise those perceived deficiencies, you never know what might unravel before your eyes.
‘til next time…..Cheers!