ASH AMBIRGE

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

In: Productive Mother

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.

May 30

2017

How to Be the Most Productive Motherfauxer in the Room

When I first started working for myself, I was like: OH HEY I HAVE ALL THESE HOURS! LOOK AT THEM IN ALL THEIR GLOWY DELIGHT! If the idea was to “be booked,” then great—I would be motherfauxing booked. (Get it? It’s the faux fuck, and it’s coming to a screen near you.) The surprise, of […]

In: Productive Mother

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Jul 2

2015

Turns Out, You *Can’t* Do it All—So How Do You Pick?

You know who’s funny? People who try to do everything. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship with time. Contrary to popular opinion, time is not always there for you when you need it. Yet, then you are all cute, telling yourself you’ll just “fit it in”—whatever “it” might be that day. Why does everyone think they’ll fit it in? […]

In: Productive Mother

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Jul 31

2015

The 140 Character Email: An Experiment in Sanity

You know the email. The one you’re dreading responding to—not because of what it says, but because the second you open it, all you see is A GIANT, LOOMING TSUNAMI OF TEXT lurching at your face as if the sender had taken the entire Sunday edition of The New York Times, reformatted it into one […]

In: Productive Mother

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Oct 12

2017

We Are Overthinking EVERYTHING

We’ve all got these really exhausting mental scripts we tell ourselves. For example, earlier today I was telling myself I was going to exercise, but then I told myself that, well, maybe notttttt, because I had something heavy for lunccchhhh, so I probably wouldn’t have the energggggy, and then it’d be harder than usuaaaal, and […]

In: Productive Mother

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Aug 7

2015

The Answer To: “Where Do You Get The TIME?!?!”

Me: I’m writing a book! People: Where do you get the TIME? Me: Every morning! People: WHERE DO YOU GET THE TIIIIIMMEEEEEEE?! Me: It’s in my schedule. Every morning, from 5am to 8am. People: But I could never cooooommmmmiiiiiittttttt to thaaaaatttttttt. Me: So what do you do when you have a client that needs something, […]

In: Productive Mother

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