To Have a Routine or Not to Have a Routine: That is the (Worst, Most Annoying, Head-Pounding) Business Question

At 5am, I write.
Around 11am I go for a jog.
I never eat the skin on a chicken.
And on Sundays, after a morning fuck, I do my accounting.

I used to think that habit & routine were for the birds. I used to think that doing certain things a certain way all the time was the equivalent of jail. I used to think that predictable was for boring people, and methodical for the scared. Scared of life. Scared of new. Scared of the spontaneous.

Until one day I finally realized?

I was the one who was scared.

Scared of the pressure. Scared to hold myself accountable. Scared to “have to” do something. And scared I’d let myself down, over and over again. I’d never been good at the whole commitment thing, after all.

It wasn’t until I finally settled down in Costa Rica, nearly four years ago, when I looked around and thought, Oh, shit.

I needed a routine. I needed something to give my days structure. To help me switch on when I needed to be on, and off when I needed to be off—a brain-smouldering, mind mashing challenge for every business owner.

I had spent so many years constantly running. Running to new countries. Running to new cities. Running to new friends. Running to new events. …And running from routine.

So, I did a little Go, Go Gadget Self-Discipline, and I began waking up every morning to write first thing—come hell or the highest water. I began booking dates with myself, and making them the highest priority. I began convincing myself that things like regular exercise—god forbid—were actually a business activity. When your brain works that much better, and when you get paid for your brain, you better keep it fit.

And, slowly but surely, I became one of those predictable, boring, methodical people. AND IT’S BEEN GLORIOUS.

It’s glorious because I get things done now in a week that might’ve taken me a month before. It’s glorious because I keep promises to myself every single day—and that feels good. It’s glorious because I know I can trust myself these days, and that spills over into everything I do.

Being able to trust yourself is not a luxury; it’s do or die.

That new idea. That bold move. That business loan. That hunch.

You can’t take risks if you don’t trust that you’ll be scrappy enough to pull it off.

Weirdly enough, not taking risks with my time has been the #1 thing that’s helped me take risks in other places. Places that matter.

Turns out, it’s not about pulling off the big stuff once or twice a year. It’s about pulling off the small stuff every day. Because the small stuff inevitably becomes the big stuff.

…Whether you were looking or not.


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Quit your job. Work remotely. Travel the world. Find your f*cking self.

Every weekday morning at 8am Eastern you’ll get 3 ideas to help you make big moves and big money. Written by Penguin Random House author, entrepreneur & digital nomad, Ash Ambirge, who likes to believe she still has standards.

The Middle Finger Project has helped over 500,000+ unconventional subscribers ditch the crock pot & go on an adventure. Established 2009 from Santiago, Chile.

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