Some people have asked me how I make time to write in my blog every single week.
Here is my secret: I have a very strict routine.
Every day I wake up at the same time (6am) – I pack my gym bag the exact same way, I get on the same train (6:35am F train), I do the same workout at the gym from 7am – 8:05am – Spin on Mondays, Weight lifting Tuesday-Thursday (yes, the same exact weight lifting schedule each day).
I get to the office around 8:40 and go through the same routine each morning – eat 2 hard-boiled eggs and a bagel. I read and respond to emails from 8:40-9am, I check our global ad metrics from 9am – 9:15… – you get the idea.
The reason I’m so adamant about my routine is because having this routine allows me to maximize my intellectual capital.
Let me explain.
Remember the last time you tried to do something new? The example I always think of here is learning a new pen trick (e.g. flipping your pen over your thumb) – but riding a bike works too. At first it’s very hard to do, but then as you build up the muscle memory it becomes easier and easier. Eventually, it will be hard to imagine that you were ever unable to flip your pen (or ride a bike).
Building up muscle memory allows you to literally make new connections in your brain to more easily complete a task. When you try something for the first time it takes a large portion of your overall brain to do that task. However, as you do a specific task over and over – you use an ever-decreasing portion of your brain. Eventually you may find that you complete a specific task with such a small portion of your brain – you may not even remember doing it (think – locking your car, or brushing your teeth in the morning). Doing your required daily tasks over and over again (and sticking to a strict routine) allows you to minimize the amount of your brain that is used for those tasks and frees up your brain to do other things.
By sticking to this disciplined routine each day, I minimize the amount of brainpower it takes to do my core tasks, like commute, exercise, pack my gym bag, etc.
My goal is to spend all non-work hours with 95% of my intellectual capital available to think about non-core thoughts.
Everyone wishes there were more hours in the day, but as it is we all have a hard stop at 24. Cut out eight hours of sleep and 11 hours of work – that leaves us with only five hours, or 300 minutes of non-work, non-sleep time. If you cut the floating load on your brain down from 50% to 5% during your “free” time – you will end up with 135 extra “thinking” minutes per day. For me, that time is more than enough to think about something to blog about. When I get inspired, I write a few thought starters down on a notepad or email them to myself. That way, when I sit down on Sunday to write my entries, half the work is already done.
It’s also worth noting that I was originally inspired to blog weekly by David Sable: (http://www.weeklyramble.com/) who has been publishing his weekly blog since 2005.