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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Austin's Weekday Routine

My life has been in such a same-old same-old routine lately that decided to jazz it up by immortalizing it for no reason and writing it down. And who knows? Maybe you'll find my life more interesting than I do. Probably not, though.

Austin's Weekday Routine

Every morning my alarm goes off at 6:00, playing "78 Eatonwood Green." I hit the snooze once or twice, then get up and weigh myself. I've been on a diet based entirely on counting calories for the past seven or eight months, and have lost more than 30 pounds, and I'm currently wanting to lose just 10 more pounds and get down to 170. After I shower, I put on my tan khaki cargo pants (I would wear my tan cargo khaki shorts, but my workplace overdoes the AC, so it's too cold to) and a shirt, and go to make breakfast.

I used to be elaborate with my breakfasts, but since starting my low-calorie, high-protein diet, I generally only have an egg or two on toast, and sometimes a small bowl of whatever cereal we have. I like my eggs over easy, and I like to poke a hole in the yolk and drizzle the runny part over my toast before putting the egg itself on it. I also like my egg with chipotle pepper (or some other random spice sometimes) and green onions. While I'm cooking my egg, I play Hearthstone on my phone and try to clear the quests for the day. I also use this time to assemble my lunch.

Usually my kids get up around this time, and I get them some breakfast if I have time. Otherwise, eventually my phone alarm alerts me with Smash Mouth's "Holiday in My Head" that it's time to go. I brush my teeth, shave if my neck is itching too much or my goatee needs trimmed, kiss my sleeping wife goodbye, and head out the door.

I listen to the Critical Role podcast on my way to work. After clocking in at work, I open all the internet tabs I'll be using for the day. My work Gmail, my personal Gmail, my work chat, and my work spreadsheets. I also check the Dorkly comic of the day and check Facebook briefly. I fill up my 32-oz. water bottle at the drinking fountain and try to drink as much of it as I can. It helps me wake up and get me hydrated for the day. I've carried it around with me ever since I had a kidney stone in 2012).

Now comes the work, which consists of various stages of project management. It varies from day to day, but a single process from start to finish goes like this:

Titles
I look at the link of our client's website and come up with a blog title that would fit their keyword and that would be able to be posted on one of the sites we have a familiar relationship with. Business and health articles are easy to place, but sometimes it pays to be creative and somehow try and connect the ideas of law and pets, for example. I come up with all the titles needed, trying to come up with alliterative preambles or catchy idioms to give them some flair, and chat them to my team mentor, who checks them for me. I always have to do this in the morning. This part of my brain doesn't work after lunch.

Freelance Writers
After coming up with the titles, I write instructions for freelance writers to come up with the actual content. During this and the title stage, I listen to music on YouTube—mostly medieval tavern music, video game soundtracks, or 90s instrumental music. But nothing with words in it, since this is distracting when I'm having to come up with words of my own. I usually leave this task to the end of the day, the last thing I do before I go home.

Editing, Stock Photos, and Submission
The bulk of the day is spent in this stage. Once the content is written, I copy it into Word and edit it. Then I find a stock image on Pixabay or Pexels for each article, and submit it to a blog for publication. Every two days after that, I follow up with publishers until I give up or until they respond, whether to schedule an article or (more likely) to tell me they charge to accept free content. This part of work is easier and doesn't require much focus, so while doing it I listen to the latest episode of Critical Role, LindyBeige, Vsauce, or the Adventure Zone. When I don't have articles to edit or submit, I try and find new blogs online to publish on, organize my information on spreadsheets, or chat about D&D with my coworkers.

At precisely 11:30 a.m., I heat up my lunch (usually leftovers—Brazilian feijoada is a common favorite) and eat half of it. Unless it's one of the two Wednesdays of the month that my work team goes out to lunch. In that case, we all leave at 12:00 and enjoy a free lunch at a random restaurant, or order takeout and eat it while watching Netflix in a conference room.

At noon, I usually only take about a half hour lunch just taking a break, playing Hearthstone on my phone, writing in my journal, reading, or working on a video or other project if I have one I'm really into. But on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I get to play Dungeons & Dragons with five of my fellow coworkers! When I'm not taking a turn being the Dungeon Master, I play a high elf phoenix sorcerer named Xilmar, and I adventure with my friends, Nysae the wood elf ranger and her wolf Luna, Christoff the human paladin, Ari the human rogue, Gorthuk the half-orc voodoo cleric, and Julian the high elf wizard. It's the highlight of my week, and it's always a shame that we only get two hours to play each week.

After my break, I eat the other half of my lunch at 1:30, and my dessert, whatever it might be. The hours seem to crawl by from about 2:30 to 4:00, but once it's 4:00, the rest of the day flies by. I clock out at 5:00 and drive home, listening to Critical Role and eating Spitz Smoky BBQ sunflower seeds.

I greet my kids when I get home (or, if the missus and the kids are out running errands, I enjoy some alone time), and make dinner. I'm the primary cook in the house, mostly by preference. I love to cook and try new recipes, and I care a lot about how the food turns out. My wife cooks too on occasion, but she's satisfied sometimes just eating cereal or a protein shake for a meal—something I can't identify with.

While eating dinner, the family and I watch Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Replacements, Studio C, or some other TV show. Or else we just talk and listen to music on Pandora based on the nationality of the food (For example, Mariachi Radio for Mexican food). At around 7:00, I put one or both of the kids to bed, but not before reading my daughter a chapter of Sideways Stories from Wayside School if she's been good that day. When I put my son to bed, I rock him in the rocking chair while singing him Portuguese songs like "O Bal√£o vai Subindo" and "A Baratinha," or sometimes Celtic songs by Kate Rusby like "Wild Mountain Thyme."

After the kids are in bed, I enjoy a dessert (I try not to eat anything after 8:00, but sometimes it's unavoidable), and depending on the night and my wife's availability and mood, I may watch a movie or TV show with her, play Heroes of the Storm with my brothers online, work on a project, or post a weird article on my blog that hardly anyone will read, like this one.

That's my routine! Chances are, if it's a weekday, I had a day like this this very day.

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