Not even two weeks ago I was going to bed anywhere between 12 am and 4 am. Up until bedtime, I would sit on the couch watching one YouTube video after another hopping from topic to topic. I'd sometimes start with some political commentary, then an hour later find myself watching a video about black holes (I'm a huge astrophysics junky). Once I finally fell asleep, I would wake up 6-8 hours later and feel completely unmotivated.
The one upside for working for yourself is you can create whatever schedule you want. Unless I would have a client meeting scheduled for the morning or a wedding to shoot, I had no reason to be a "morning person". In addition to all the shitty sleep I was getting, my days did not have any structure to them what so ever. After waking up if I felt like laying down on the couch for a couple hours and watching the news that's exactly what I would do. If I felt like going for a run at some point in the day, sure! Every day was different, but that's cool, right?
I've been pretty focused on working to build new businesses, that all the effort was leaving me exhausted. It was a cycle of getting motivated > doing work > exhaustion > rest > finding motivation. So in order to break the cycle, I needed to take action on changing the way I was living out each day. I started reading a book called "Design Your Day" by Claire Diaz-Ortiz. "Design Your Day" hit on a lot of great information and tips on how to maximize your productivity, set goals, and structure each day to work best for you.
I have a lot I want to accomplish this year. Launch new businesses/products, travel, run a marathon, etc., but I realized I would never set myself up for success if I kept using the time I had each day unintentionally. I needed more structure, discipline, and consistency. Luckily, after finishing Design Your Day, I got to work and started doing just that. I wrote down a schedule of what my ideal day would look like. I filled it in with everything I ever said I wish I had time for and literally gave it a time during the day. In this schedule, I included a block of 5-6 where it consisted of just work. Within these hours I would take a break now and then, but I would focus on one task at a time and work on checking them off my list.
Other than work, I also set aside time to meditate, workout, and work on any personal projects or ideas I might have. I would often feel guilty for doing anything other than "work", and that was no way to live an enjoyable life. Each day I'm refining my schedule here and there for what works for me, but having the intention to treat my time with more purpose has already benefited my productivity, happiness, and energy. If you too feel like you're having a hard time becoming focused, consistent, and just lack energy, you can make an adjustment to change that. All it takes is some discipline and willpower to turn it all around.
(I'll share in a more in-depth post about what my "ideal" day looks like in the near future!)