“I have 4 months to grow and level up!”
Time to time we have a few months in life, when we have to adopt to a different daily routine than the everyday. Maybe even to a completely new environment. If you are my reader, you may want to come out the best version of yourself after such period. An example for this period is a summer vacation for students, or a longer “lockdown” due to an illness or accident. Or when you must sort out your residency status on the other side of the planet – like I had to.
I have already shared some tips in a previous post about how to stay productive in a 10 days long quarantine, locked into your flat. What about a longer time frame, how to get through these months strong, while your everyday life changed?
When I used to live and work from South America -while was sorting out my residency status-, I had to login to work at 3am (to be online at 9am in Central European Time zone). From the European winter, suddenly I jumped into the 90% humid, 38 Celsius degree Paraguayan summer. I had to deal with different currency (guarani), language (Spanish), time zone and climate. I had no other option but I had to adopt to the new environment for the next 4 months. How did I stayed productive and how did I prepare for this journey mentally?
When you are at a door step of a big change in your life, first question yourself; are you strong enough to adopt to the new circumstance and to deal with obstacles – if there will be any? Do you have what it takes to do what is necessary to stay in balance and accomplish your goal? You have to understand you have a mission. Your mission is now to stay strong in this period and accomplish your goal to level up.
I started my life in Paraguay with giving a frame to it. I could have think about this trip as a necessary to get my residency done and while I am doing that, I must pass the time there somehow. I have decided to reframe the “necessary” to an opportunity to grow. How can I make an advantage of being up so early in the morning? During the day I have hours when I must stay inside the apartment due to the heat outside, how to pass this time productive? How to stay motivated at work?
First I sat down with my journal and created a realistic daily routine for the next four months. Important when you plan your daily routine to find the golden middle way – not too easy and not impossible.
Here is a copy of my daily routine I executed (almost) daily in Paraguay.
02:45 Get up 03:00 Login to work and start working 05:00 Wim Hof breathing and Morning yoga on the rooftop with Sunrise 05:45 Coffee and grateful journaling 06:00 Working 08:00 Breakfast 08:30 Working 10:30 Coffee break and practice Spanish on Duolingo 11:00 Working 12:00 Finish working and lunch break 13:00 Learning a new skill on Udemy 14:30 Break 14:45 Continue learning 15:30 Swimming pool time with a self-development book. Take a nap if needed. 18:00 Grocery shopping or cleaning 19:30 Have a shower 20:00 Free time to catch up with friends or relax 22:30 Go to bed. Repeat.
Note: My wife lived next to me a life in “normal” hours, so she usually woke up around 7 and we had our coffee or breakfast together. I tried not living in a different time zone, so adopted and rather had power naps of 15-20 minutes when needed (and when my work load allowed it). With the use of power naps, I could also afford to go to the bed together, about the same time.
Of course, there were days when the discipline was missing and did not learn on Udemy, or the order was different because I had to adopt to my work-load as well. Sometimes I simply lost temporary the motivation but next day I carried on again. I really enjoyed this unique four months in life and this time away from Europe. I must say, I came back as a levelled up man! I came back to Europe proud, I accomplished my goal, grown personally and technically. Learnt a lot about life, about myself while I got my Paraguayan ID. Without such daily routine, days would have slipped without any productivity. Once you have a daily routine, stick to it and take action every day. Vision your goal and how satisfied you will feel after this period once you actioned your daily routine. Also vision how would you feel if these months would have just gone without achieving anything else than your primary goal (my ID in my case) – this really helps to keep the motivation going.
If you are forced to stay inside your flat for the summer period due to an accident or illness, instead of worrying about the summer will pass without you being on the beach, get your journal and take action! Create a new label for this time your are forced to spend locked. Call it a growing time instead of a recovery time. Say to yourself; “I have X months to grow and level up. I will make it!” Think about the long forgotten projects you planned you can do from your room but simply had no time to start. What skills can you learn, how can you come out from this period as a levelled up person – while recovering? Create a new daily routine. You might be locked in to your room but you have a very powerful “equipment” in your head. Learn a new language, learn a new profession or a new skill. Read books you had never time to lift down from the shelf. Come out from this time the best you can: fully recovered and mentally strong and more educated.
If you are a student, be wise about how you spend your vacation. Ok, have plenty of time for fun but is it necessary to spend all time with hanging out with friends or with laziness and boredom? During the summer time, you have no responsibilities to attend on classes but that does not mean you must let your mind become lazy. Imagine investing 30 minutes daily learning a new language, a new skill – that is almost 3.000 hours you spend on your vacation with learning something that gives you a new super power. With this disciplined daily action, you would do something that 9 out of 10 people don’t do. This extra effort why you may will be selected at your first job interview. Maybe this extra skill will bring abundance to your life.
So, plan your days for the vacation! When you want to get up, what to do in the morning and afternoon. When to eat, when to have an exercise. Focus on your wellbeing and try to find a balance between time spent with friends, being bored in your room and the time spent with studying. You can have a part-time job as well if you want to earn some extra cash. This vacation is an opportunity for you to fully focus on you, do and learn the things you want, not what is told! Get ready and start the new semester as a new You. There will be days when you feel unmotivated, it is OK! Decide to rest and get back up again tomorrow or day after tomorrow. After a few weeks, you will tune your daily routine anyway; you may will leave out some activities or add some.
Do you want to live an extraordinary life? Then stay disciplined and do what the average don’t do! Extraordinary life is for extraordinary people and you can be one of them. Success is not going to knock on your door, you have to go after it. Follow your daily routine, even when you feel tired.