Time for New Daily Rituals

At my last update I had grand plans. Then my summer was turned upside down.

What happened to me?

I came back from my first backpacking trip in august to find out my manager was leaving the company. A few days later the CTO asked me to take over the software development manager/project manager position. I assumed that role mid-august. From there it has been a whirlwind. There are several in-house developed/maintained software products that need regular attention – outages, investigations, bug-fixes, and changes. In addition, there are some larger business projects underway that have IT components. Our internal team of 6 developers rotate between products and projects (more on this operating model in another article). It’s a bit chaotic. My work habits have been less than ideal since that time. Often I’ve been working till 10pm – management work by day, development work by night.

What else?

Type 1 diabetes onset has been progressing. Since summer, my nightly injection dose has tripled and my mealtime dose has doubled. Each time the pancreas degenerates further my blood sugars rise and I have to slowly increase doses each day until I can stabilize at the proper level. In the meantime it feels crumby to have high blood sugar and it is stressful. The problems are compounded by summer farm projects, over-activity, and low blood sugar attacks which lead to panic, overeating, weight gain.

Working late means I’ve been tired in the mornings. I haven’t been doing any polyphasic sleep or getting up early. In fact I’ve been actively avoiding it. It occurred to me that the only true lifelong polyphasic sleeper I know had stroke at a young age and now walks like an older Muhammad Ali (no disrespect intended). Recently I’m hyper aware of health, stress, and the increase risk factors associated with type 1 diabetes (48x the risk for cardiovascular disease, 4x the risk for cancer, 3.5x risk for kidney disease, 80% chance of vision impairment, >10 year lower life expectancy). I’m trying to take it as easy as possible.

Daily Rituals

Now to daily rituals. This week I heard a podcast where the speaker discussed how daily rituals are their superpower. In a conference session he was asked to write his daily routine on post-it notes. He was the only participant that could do it; the others just sat there staring at each other.

I can’t list off my daily patterns either. Life is just sort of happening. So I started crafting a new set of daily rituals for myself. By following this routine for 3 days I was able to write this update post.

I set out a few rules for my daily routine.

  1. I need 8 hours of sleep per night. This means 8.5 to 9 hours in bed.
  2. Daily exercise is essential for my long term survival. 30 minutes is preferred but 15 minutes is better than nothing.
  3. Take a lunch break. I need to start taking a lunch break.
  4. No weekday personal or farm projects. These projects throw off my good patterns. I had a backhoe breakdown in September and I worked it obsessively – at a cost of sleep, exercise, and professional development time.

Now, the schedule

06.00 – Wake up. Listen to news. 5 minute journal.
06.15 – Shower/shave. Listen to an inspiring general conference talk.
06.45 – Unload dishwasher and make breakfast.
07.00 – Writing/study/reading
08.30 – Goats
09.00 – Work
Lunch break – 1 hour between 12.00 and 14.00
17.30 – Supper
18.00 – Kids time. Play chess with kids. read with kids.
20.00 – Time with my oldest. scripture study.
20.15 – Goats, exercise
21.00 – Ready for bed
21.30 – In bed. reading. listening to a happy/motivating podcast
22.00 – Lights out. quiet