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Here’s what my day used to look like back in my workaholic days:

  • Get up to a 5am alarm.  No, not for the gym but for work.
  • Shower and get ready
  • Walk to the train station at 5.45am
  • Sit on the train drinking a coffee and reading my emails on my Blackberry. The average number of emails I’d get overnight was 120. Yes, 120 unread emails between going home yesterday, and logging on today……
  • Arrive at work in the city at 6.30am
  • Heat up a quick bowl of oats to eat at my desk whilst also sipping a coffee I bought on the way in. Do this concurrently with setting up a conference room with a laptop and audio visual equipment for a 7am meeting with my overseas colleagues
  • Chair the 7am meeting
  • Then go to an 8am meeting
  • Then a 9am meeting
  • Then a 10am meeting
  • Spend an hour at my desk getting all the work done that’s come out of the 4 meetings I’ve had already today
  • At noon or so, I’d run across the road and buy a quick sandwich or take-away Thai and bring it back to my desk and eat it whilst I was still working.
  • I’d then try to get a bit more work done, before heading into another meeting at 2pm.
  • I’d then (finally) get about 2 hours straight to work again, through to ‘home time’.
  • I’d rarely leave before 5.
  • Most likely I’d leave at 5.30/6pm. I’d grab a take-away or a microwave meal on the way home.
  • I’d eat as soon as I got home, chat to my husband on the phone (back then we didn’t even get to live together, given how much I needed to work, and given he lived a 2 hour commute from my office……)
  • I’d perhaps fit in an hour of TV, then go to bed – not sleep at all (3-4 hours would be a brilliant night’s sleep) – then get up and do it all again.

All day, every day.

I’d travel every 4-5 months or so, across to my teams in the US. I’d do the flight in my own time (i.e. over the weekend) – arrive exhausted but then have to get up bright eyed and bushy tailed for an early Monday start. I’d do a week ‘flat chat’ in Chicago then a week in Vegas. Fly home ‘on my own time ‘ again, then get one day off in lieu before returning the office.

Don’t get me wrong.  I adored my job.  LOVED IT!  But I was tired.

Fast forward to now.

I’m in a bit of a holding pattern right now as I prepare to finish up at my day job next week. Long story which I’ll save for another time. Regardless, here’s what I’m at now.

  • Get up to a 5.30am alarm, but this time it’s for the gym (which I’ve established at home, no less). I get an hour to workout!
  • Shower and get ready at 6.30
  • Catch the 7.10am train. Relax on the train whilst eating my healthy breakfast.
  • Work from 8am.
  • First meeting is not until after 9.30am (compare that to the ‘old days’!)
  • I block off at least 2 hours every day in my calendar so that people cannot book me for meetings during those times. This is non-negotiable.
  • I eat lunch wherever I want. Yes, sometimes it’s at my desk on busy days, but other days it’s not.
  • I leave at around 4.00 – 4.30pm
  • I get home and do 1-1.5 hours worth of work on my Certificate III/IV of Fitness and on my business.
  • I take time to prepare a healthy meal.
  • I take an hour or so to read, and an hour or so for TV.
  • I head to bed and sleep at least 7 hours every night.

How’d I make such a change? Well it certainly was life changing but it’s the little things that count. I’ve come up with so many ways to really put a stop to the workaholism and start living a life for me.
For example:

  • I block off the first hour of the day and will not go to meetings until 9.30am or after
  • I block off 2 hours of the day to do work instead of being in meetings gaining more and more work!
  • I take time to get away from my desk for lunch if I can
  • I mentor and nourish my team and delegate responsibilities where possible
  • I exercise and eat better. This therefore puts me in a better frame of mind, I feel better about myself, I’m able to cope more with the day to day
  • I sleep better
  • I consume less caffeine and less fast food

Just to name a few.

What’s your day like?  Have you made changes to your routine so as to live a healthier life?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.