A week in the life of Mike

boy in yellow crew neck t shirt sitting on chair

Edition: January 2022.

In this post I wanted to write a bit about my routine and how I’ve managed to build this into habits which I’ll share in this post and on videos. It might not work for you, but for me I find it works quite well. I’ll start the week in this post on Sunday (but in reality, things start rolling on Monday).

Sunday

Sundays are family days, but I’m an early riser (usually before the wife & toddler) so I’ll spend the first part of my Sunday replying to emails – if you reply to any of my weekly emails, it’s likely you’ll get a reply on a Sunday. Then the rest of my morning is spent planning the week ahead.

I’m not too strict with how long I spend here, it’s mainly just a process and habit. If the little one wakes up I’ll have breakfast with him (which is usually another brew, since I’ll have eaten already – or, I’ll eat a second breakfast, because I’m a fatty).

Most days I wake around 6am and I’ll start by grabbing some breakfast, before heading to my macbook to spend the first hour of my day planning or writing some content. I plan the content in Evernote since there’s times when I’ll have some downtime with just my phone – I’ll be shifting this to Simplenote soon and sharing my thoughts over on YouTube.

Here’s a rare glimpse into my “downtime” with my phone (when the little one won’t nap in his cot) then falls asleep in the car for 2hrs+ which gives me time to jot some notes down and start thinking about what’s next.

I’ll do this for both my personal site, and also the week ahead at Automattic, which is usually controlled by my Calendar. If I have empty slots in my Calendar I’ll go ahead and schedule in blocks of time to spend on tasks – this helps me stay focussed, for example:-

  • If I have free time on a Thursday, I’ll schedule in time to record a few videos for the Jepack CRM YouTube channel.
  • I’ll schedule in some time to plan our content for the Jetpack CRM blog and YouTube channel.
  • Mondays are mainly reserved for Zoom meetings, catching up with the team and working through our plans for the week and longer periods.
  • I’ll schedule “Deep Work” session and turn off notifications so I can focus on a particular area that needs undivided attention.
  • I also aim to keep Wednesdays pretty free for ad-hoc Zooms, slacks, DMs and team 1:1s.

We don’t rely on email at Automattic, since all of our work happens on P2 and in slack. I catch up on P2s from the WordPress reader (via the WordPress app) and I like to do this as often as some folks might check their instagram feed ๐Ÿ™ˆ. So I’m often caught up even before I “start” on a Monday.

At around 7am, I’ll do 10 minutes of stretching focussing on my lower back and hips – I’m about as flexible as a steel rod and I’ve neglected this for far too long which has caused my back to “go” on me – first when lifting the toddler from the bath, but more painfully when doing deadlifts at the gym.

I’ll cover what stretches I do in a YouTube video but consistency here really does help my back feel better and they’re paramount if you work from home and don’t really walk anywhere anymore (hi, lockdowns).

Monday

Each weekday, I start in a similar way – with an early rise, morning wake up routine and 7am stretching. If I’m feeling particularly tired from the night before I’ll start a little later but generally I’ll be at my desk and ready to roll from around 7/8am.

Mondays are Zoom days and catch up on communications that have been going on since Friday. We have our team meeting on a Monday and I’ll use the time to reply to any P2 threads and work on smaller tasks in the meantime (such as code review, or even a bit of code myself).

I’ll end my days around 4/5pm – at which point it’s 100% family time, dinner time with the little one, bath and bed time and then some relaxation (usually watching a little bit of Netflix – currently Cobra Kai) before heading to bed.

I’ve recently started watching some YouTube channels, or reading a blog post while in bed to wind down from the TV.

Tuesday

Tuesdays and Wednesdays the little man is at nursery so 8am – 10am is reserved for nursery drop off and coffee. Here I’ll work from a nearby co-working as a change of scenery. Then I’ll head back to my office at home and work on all things CRM.

Personally, Tuesday nights are game night, where I’ll fire up the PS5 & connect with some friends in a voice chat and do some racing, play some golf, or get wound up at Call of Duty (I do this less often, as I find it’s too intense for just before bed).

Wednesday

Similar to Tuesdays, 8am – 10am is reserved in my Calendar for drop off and coffee , but instead of the co-working I schedule in a weekly personal training session in my garage gym from 9.30am -10.30am.

This is invaluable to me as it saves me both the time of going to the gym, and also makes sure I actually do something – I find I’m pushed way more in a PT session that I would if I just went in on my own.

I might look to extend this to more sessions as even though I do block time in my calendar for the gym, it’s often the first thing to get moved if I need more time for something.

Thursday

Thursdays are probably my favourite day of the week. Usually my Calendar is practically empty on a Thursday but I’ve recently been using it to chat over zoom to customers of Jetpack CRM, learn about their business and how they’ve been using the product.

Since I’m in video mode (= putting on a pair of pants) I’ve been using any free time on a Thursday to record even more YouTube videos on the CRM channel (such as how to double your contacts in your CRM).

Friday

Fridays, the little one has swimming lessons, so I’ll head to the nearby gym and into the Starbucks and do some work while the wife takes him to swimming. It’s a good opportunity to read some books – there’s a ton of recommended reading at Automattic, so I spend some time each week reading – before carrying on with my day.

Fridays are week wrap ups, a couple more Zooms and thoughts for the week ahead.

Saturday

Saturdays is Daddy Daycare once the little one wakes up, before that I’ll write my weekly newsletter on this site but otherwise spend time with the little one.

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