Roman Malanke

Powerful Daily Routines

One of the things that changed my life for the better during the last year was developing and sticking to so-called “daily routines”. These are simply a set of activities done in approximately the same time of every day. I first came across the idea on Leo Babauta’s blog and became very interested in making this concept work for me.

Now that I have my daily routines up and running for more than six months I think it’s time to share my recipe of constant good mood and persistent feeling of accomplishment with the whole wide world.

I’ll go through each part of a day one by one.


I begin my day getting up at about 6 a.m. Here I must confess that I always use “snooze” feature of my alarm clock. However this is not because I don’t have enough will to get up when I planned. What I do is I set up alarm clock half an hour in advance of the time I actually need to wake up. I don’t know why but it gives me a huge pleasure to realize in my sleep that I have half an hour more to luxuriate in a warm bed. Anyway, after hitting “snooze” button for about 6-7 times I finally get up and run straight to the bathroom to wash up and brush my teeth.

Then goes yoga. As of today I spend about 30 minutes for doing 25 basic asanas. I know that it’s too fast of a tempo and I will definitely start doing it more slowly as soon as I teach myself to get up earlier. In the end I also do popular 8 minutes program for abdominals, the cheerful music from which is now the inseparable attribute of a morning for me.

The next big thing is breakfast. I always prepare something light and healthy (as if it could be different given that I am a vegetarian :)). My typical meal is something like cottage cheese with fresh fruits and honey or maybe some cereal with nuts accompanied with a glass of grapefruit juice or a cup of herbal tea. After breakfast I dress up, pack my bag and head right to the swimming pool which has become a kind of second home for me.

At the pool I spend 45 minutes in water following self-developed syllabus and strictly measuring results with a stopwatch. As of now the program is following — 800m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 200m backstroke, 200m breaststroke, 200m freestyle. Once done with swimming and taken a shower I jump out of the swimming pool building grinning from ear to ear happy with myself for being so incredibly disciplined.

Half an hour subway ride brightened up by reading a good book brings me to the work where at last conventional working day begins.


The first thing I do at work, oddly enough, is having second breakfast. This is because swimming provokes enormous appetite in me. Later during the day I try to have two more meals — lunch at 1 p.m. and second lunch at 4 p.m. It is often said that eating smaller amounts but more frequently is doing good for health and for some reason I tend to believe it completely.

During my active working hours I honestly do the work I’m getting paid for. The main principle is to never fall into “quadrant IV” activities no matter what the current situation with workload is. The term, as you might have guessed, comes from Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits” (in my opinion the best chapter on time management ever written). The idea is to do strategic and long-term self-initiated tasks during times of low workload instead of wasting activities such as aimless web surfing.


Evening is the least reliable part of a day in terms of regular self-development activities. Oftentimes it’s necessary to work late, help out friends and relatives, or maybe just go to a Birthday party. That’s why I leave most of my evenings free for improvisation. But even here there is always a place for some routines. This is because I usually try to end all social engagements before 9—10 p.m. so that I don’t get back home very late.

In remaining 2—3 hours before going to bed I cook and eat supper, do some reading in English or Spanish, play guitar and work out. The latter has become one of my favorite activities. For after it I feel great and it costs me absolutely nothing as I use public sports ground near my home. While working out I also adhere to a self-developed program which is very easy and fun. It involves pull-ups, exercising on parallel bars and jumps with skipping rope.

The last thing I do each day after taking a shower is relax with a cup of warm milk and sum up all the good deeds I performed and the results I achieved during the day. Technically for this purpose I use my own invention — Personal Development Forms. These are simple spreadsheets reflecting such areas as Body Development, Mind Development and Personal Finance. I probably will write a separate post to describe this system in detail (maybe on the first anniversary since I implemented it). For now I will just tell that in those spreadsheets I keep detailed logs of my yoga exercises, swimming, working out, reading, etc.

This pretty much concludes my typical day. And of course, there may be frequent deviations from described routines caused by travels and other life matters. But the idea here is to stay disciplined enough and make the best of each day.