Embracing the RV life means every day can be a new adventure. However, amidst the excitement, establishing routines is crucial.
This episode delves into the importance of creating consistent habits while on the road, from daily stretches to monthly vehicle checks.
The Limitations of Traditional Reminders:
- While there are numerous task management tools and reminders available, many lack the discipline to ensure commitment. Understanding these limitations can help listeners find what truly works for them.
Harnessing Google Calendar & Time Blocking:
- Google Calendar, when combined with the technique of time blocking, can be a game-changer. By allocating specific times for tasks, listeners can optimize their productivity and ensure they make the most of their travels.
- Time blocking also aids in coordinating with fellow travelers, ensuring that everyone’s commitments are met and expectations are aligned.
Balancing Work and Leisure on the Road:
- Recognizing the different mindsets of part-time and full-time travelers can help in balancing work and leisure. Time blocking bridges the gap, allowing listeners to enjoy their travels without compromising on their responsibilities.
The Power of Recurring Reminders:
- Setting up recurring reminders for essential tasks, such as RV maintenance, ensures that nothing is overlooked. Integrating these reminders into time blocks can streamline task management, ensuring a smooth journey.
- As an example, while doing laundry, one can use the time to deep clean their vehicle. This practical application of time blocking showcases how listeners can multitask efficiently, making the most of their time on the road.
About the Host:
Stuart has been a nomad since 2020, traveling in his 40-foot Super C and 24-foot Sprinter van. He is accompanied by his two cats, Camden and Izzy. You can follow his adventures on Instagram at Stuart Doing Stuff.
Connect With RVDreaming and Stuart:
Call our Hotline and Leave Us a Message: 714-623-0924
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Reach Out! Stuart@RVDreaming.tv
People start the RV life or van life because every day is a new adventure. New places, new sights, new people, but between all of the new and all of the exciting, there's still the routine. Stay tuned as we talk about building on the road routines, daily, weekly, and monthly habits. From sunrise stretches to monthly mileage checks, this episode will guide you in creating habits that stick. So pack your bags and your best intentions, and let's hit the road to routine! How's it going and welcome to RV Dreaming. In this podcast, we help you prepare for life on the road. Whether you're in a van, an RV, or in the back of your car, we teach you how to get on the road and how to survive your first year as a full time nomad. RV Dreaming starts here. Go anywhere. My name is Stuart from StuartDoingStuff on Instagram. I've been a nomad since 2020, and I split my time between my 40 foot Super C and my 24 foot Sprinter van, and I travel with my two cats, Camden and Izzy. Follow me on Instagram at StuartDoingStuff for more stories and videos. So, as we talk about routines and getting into the habit of stuff, I think I've tried them all. I've tried task management software, I've tried reminders, I've tried push notifications, I've tried all the little gadgets free and paid that come with your cell phone and on your phones like notes and reminders on your iPhone and stuff like that. And... I, I, I, I found that I just am not that disciplined in using those because I see a reminder, and I set it, and then I say, okay, I need to make sure I do this by Monday at 9 a. m. I set a reminder at Monday at 9 a. m., and then Monday 9 a. m. comes around, and then that snooze button, that postpone, or that change is so convenient to where you just go, I just don't feel like doing that today. And I'm just gonna, like, ignore it. It doesn't have that push, you know? You have to have a really big self discipline to be able to really make that work. And unfortunately, I don't always do that. Just because you're always on the road and maybe you thought it was going to be okay if you drive late one night and you wake up and you're like, Oh my gosh, I'm just so tired. Or you end up meeting some friends on the road and staying out a little later than you planned but you wanted to get up and all that. So anyways, I... I use Google Calendar, and this is really what my routine is. Google Calendar is my best friend., I use it, but I use it to get tasks, and I use it for reminders and stuff, but Google Calendar is really what I do, because I use this thing called time blocking in my day. So I don't, I don't know if you're familiar with it. So every day, I try and do... I try to I try to keep the same routine. So, no matter what time I go to bed, I always try and be up at 7am. My alarm starts at 7am, I'm up at 7am, and I try and start working just kind of right away. I've always found that I'm freshest right in the early morning. So I'll wake up, I'll put a pot of coffee on, and I just... Dive right into everything. I need to do. I'm fresh. I'm motivated. I'm energized. And I just, I just kind of dive right into that. And so I represent that in my time blocking schedule. So when I know I have to get certain done things done. Actually, let me back up a little bit. My morning is when I work, because that's when I'm the freshest. My afternoon is when I go out and play. Uh, because I'm always traveling, and I want to go and explore a city, I want to go see what's going on. So, I know that from 7am until about noon, or 1, or whenever I'm I have that time. That's when I know I need to be the most productive that I can be. I know that's when I need to get all my chores done, all my work tasks done. I need to record my podcast. I need to do my interviews. I need to respond to emails. I need to do all of that stuff. I go hard from 7am until like noon or until I start getting hungry for lunch or something like that. Cause by this time I'm on my second or third cup of coffee. I got the little jitters and I was like, okay, that's about it. So. I really just sit down and I, I go, this is what I need to do. And I do the style of time blocking, like I mentioned. And if you're not familiar with time blocking, time blocking is a time management strategy that involves dividing your day into smaller blocks at times. So each block is dedicated to a specific tap or a group of similar tasks. For example, you might block time in checking email or working on a project or taking a break. And that's important too, because I do say I don't want to do anything from this time to this time. I do block out schedules on this. But what I'll do is I'll say for these two hours, from like 9 a. m. to 11 a. m., I need to wash the van. I need to check the tire pressure. I need to get gas. I need to, you know, and I kind of group all these little errands. I need to go pick up an order from the store or pick up an Amazon package. You know, I know during that two hours, that's what I need to do. I need to go get propane. You know, I, I use that time block to say these are my, this is my two hours where I need to run my errands. Other things might be during this hour or during this, uh, two hour window. I'm going to record and edit a podcast. I'm going to work on research. I'm going to respond to emails. I'm going to work on a coming project or something like that. So I know that during that time, that's where my focus needs to be. That's where I'm, I'm dedicated towards. And, and that's what I'm looking at as opposed to just having it on a list where it's just a whole bunch of random thoughts and tasks. I like to take those random thoughts and tasks and give it groupings. So I know that. Everything kind of flows. Easily. And that everything comes together nicely. So I do all of that and I try and make one thing flow into another and group everything that I need to do. And I do have my routines. I work early, get everything done because I want to play. I want to go out and explore wherever I'm at. Every day after 12 or 1 o'clock, you know, or if I'm going to travel, I'll do it after that point, after 12 or 1 or 2 o'clock rolls around and I know I got a 3 hour drive, that's when I'm going to go and take my drives. I tend to not respond to work emails later in the day, unless it's urgent. I might see it and I might kind of span on it, but if my head's not in that space where they're thinking it's not an urgent task, I'll say, you know what, I'll wait for tonight, or I'll do it first thing tomorrow morning. But if it's not an urgent task and my head's not in it, you know, it's really hard to shift gears. From when you're out being fun and social and exploring, to, wait, I need to, I need to think this thing through because my decision here is going to affect so many other different people where I need to make sure that I have my head on straight and I can see it all the way through when trying to figure stuff out. So heavy stuff, you know, things that require thought and determination and stuff like that. I tend to push off into the next day or into the next morning. Easy stuff is like yes, no, whatever. Most of my team knows that in the afternoons, just text me if you have a simple yes or no question or you're just not clear on something that's a really simple thing, but for these heavy discussions that you have, those always get pushed off for me until the morning. Another great thing that I use time blocking for is it allows me to plan my day when I'm traveling with other people so some people say I'm too organized and I'm a clock watcher But here's my thing about that. I, I want to know, like, if we're going to go off roading, or we're going to go and explore a town, or we're going to go do something, I want to know what time are we going to go. Because, if they say we're going to go at 2, and it's 1. 15, I don't want to start a project that's an hour project, and then push and be late. And, and, and make everyone else late, you know what I mean? If I know that it's, uh, it's 1. 15 and they say we're leaving at 2, I can go through my task list, I can go through my emails, I can go through little things, and I can find something that will take up, you know, these little nickel and dime 5 minute, 3 minute tasks on my to do list. To plug in that 45 minute hole or just do nothing at all, you know, but my fear is I don't want to start a project like if I know it's 115 and we're leaving it to, it makes no sense for me to break out all of my recording gear, all the video gear, all the stuff that I need to record a 30 minute podcast and then edit when we know we're leaving in 45 minutes. I know that that's just not going to work, so that's why I like the time blocking thing so I can easily coordinate with other members of my group. and other travel partners. So that way, if we say we're gonna go at two, at least I know I'll be ready by two. There might be other people that aren't, but that's, I'm not going to be the reason that we aren't off on time or we miss a tram or shuttle or reservations or whatever it is that it is. So that's, that's why I like the time blocking. So that way I don't overcommit my time. When I know I have other commitments down the line the other reason why I kind of like this method is I don't want my work to get in the way of my travel plans and plans to explore I mean, I'm always on my phone cuz I'm checking things just because sometimes people can't take the next step until I respond back But if it's a simple yes or no question, I can make sure that they remain productive But sometimes when you're just out and about, the last thing that you want to think about is work, right? Especially, so I travel with full timers and I travel with part timers. One of the things I realized is people who are part timers, or weekenders, travel completely different than full timers. So those part timers, those weekenders, they're on vacation mode. You know, they're popping up in a beer at 8. 30 in the morning or 9 o'clock, and they're just out having a good old time. Whereas I'm still just like, hey, I still got... Stuff I've got to do, you know, I'm at home, just like when you're at home and it's a Saturday morning, you might, or a Sunday morning, you might have the football game on or something like that, but you still have to sweep and mop and vacuum, so you might be doing multitasking kinds of stuff, you know, but these guys, they're on vacation and when you are on vacation, you're in your hotel room and you're out and, you know, and doing this kind of thing, you're in a different mindset too. So it's hard to merge those mindsets to be exact. So that's why I like the time blocking thing. So that way I can kind of, yeah. Schedule, and I can set my expectations, and I know my, my frame of mind is going to be at a specific place at a specific time. The other reason why I like the time blocking mechanism and Google Calendar, Is because it allows me to put recurring reminders in my calendar. So, recurring reminders can be like, Lubricating your slides. If you have that, you know, every three months or four months, you need to lubricate all your slides. You just pick a day, say January 1st or March 1st or whatever. And then you say every three months or every four months, it's just going to pop up on that calendar. And what I do is I see it on my reminders. I see it on my recurring and then I insert it. Into one of my time block sessions. So when I see that, oh, it's coming up where I need to check my tire pressures It's coming up where I need to check my oils and all this other kinds of stuff I'll combine that with some other RV tasks like lubricating the slides or your windows or whatever that needs to be and then I'll take that chunk and I'll plop it Into a two hour or a three hour window in my calendar and that's what I know Hey, I'm going to get all this stuff done today. That's, that's my thing where I know I'm going to be working on the rig. This is my two hour or my three hour window to get all this stuff done. It doesn't mean that, hey, October 1st comes around and your little reminder comes up and says, Hey, you got to do this today. You mean you need to do it that day? It's just telling you, build some time in for all of these kinds of things. And as you kind of realize, as you kind of go through this process, you're going to realize that certain tasks Just are grouped together well when you do certain things like here's an example when I go and I do laundry And I head out to the laundry mat I know that I've got maybe two hours at the laundromat And that's also when I do a deep cleaning of the van because all my sheets all my pillows all my stuff They're out of the van so that allows me to get into nooks and crannies to vacuum out crevices to do a good sweeping and mopping of the floors and so I know I do laundry every, what, 10 to 14 days or so. So I know that every 10 or 14 days, my van is going to get a really good detail, a really good cleaning. So nothing really ever lingers. And that's where I think we fill. As humans, we get so far behind on a task, you go, Oh my gosh, how am I ever going to get caught up? And so that task just kind of lingers out there, and the problem keeps getting worse and worse and worse and worse and worse, and then all of a sudden you're, you know, you're living in a new reality where, Oh, this is just the way that it is. Well, no, it's never supposed to be that way. It's not supposed to be that way. You just gotta find the time to be able to do it, and that's why I utilize a time blocking mechanism. I've tried a lot of other ones, this one just is the one that works well for me. Another thing when I'm out, most of the people who I know, that I work with regularly, and communicate with regularly, they're either nomads, Themselves so they understand the ifs and this and travel days and on all that so we understand each other You know, we don't need to explain each other But for the other people who I work with that aren't that are maybe work from home or going to an office still, you know They don't understand the whole process. So I make sure I explain it to them and especially if I'm going to be gone Extended lengths of time. Like if I'm out of the burn at Burning Man or somewhere deep into some boondocking areas where there is no cell reception, maybe you're in a forest and you don't get really good,, starling reception as well. I let them know in advance. I say, Hey, just so that you know, I'm going to be out of service in the afternoons, but every morning I'm going to drive into town from seven to 10. And I'll make sure I'm always available during that time. But in the event that. You need me after that? There's a good chance I may not be able to get your message until the next day. So that gets them thinking too, about, hey, do I need to line up my questions? Or, is this really a 5 minute phone call as opposed to 40 different emails? You know, so, we kind of... Really get into that tune and that's taken me a while to get into as well But for the most part people get it people understand it and I think in the end more people appreciate it just because You're being respectful of their time. Don't you just hate it when you send out an email to somebody and You don't know if they got it, you don't know if they looked at it, you don't know when you're going to respond, and you're waiting for an answer because their answer is going to depend on what you do. You know, this time blocking method and this open communication on the style, it really has solved and helped prevent a lot of miscommunications, a lot of problems, and a lot of time wasted. Because, you know, the short of it is... The summary here is even though every day is a new day And we can wake up in a different location every day and we can have different experiences and meet new people There are still things that are the same. There still are routines There are still are things that we have to do in the regular world because we're communicating with people We're working from the road and just having that kind of standard set routine where people can know You know your schedule, know your patterns. It makes it easier for them. And that's why I like this. And I, I like to be organized. I like to keep things straight in my head. Where I know I'm not going to miss anything. Or I can be in the right frame of mind to solve a problem. And, and that's really the big thing. I can't go from doing this marketing. Project over here and learning more about this business thing at the same time trying to diagnose my solar and do it up on the top No, I need I want to be in that mechanical headspace when I'm trying to think solar when I'm trying to get my hands dirty when I know that I'm gonna be crawling up and down rigs and up and down ladders and stuff like that I want to be in that same headspace that time blocking mechanism allows me to look at that So when I go to bed at night and I wake up in the morning and I look at that calendar and I say, okay What I'm doing tomorrow And I go, oh, it's podcast recording day, or if I go, oh, it's van work day, or oh, I'm going to be stuck in front of a computer doing emails and stuff like that today, or I even get into this habit, it's a two hour or sometimes it's a one hour block of learn something new, dive deeper into SEO, like for me, dive deeper into SEO, dive deeper into podcast marketing, dive deeper into AI, you know, this helps keep me On track and focused and the reminders and the tasks and all the things that are on your phone. Uh, like I used Asana, I've used a lot of other project management and time, they just, they don't have that, that sense of, um, urgency, I guess is the best way to say it. That, that I need and that I've come to appreciate. So, that is my secret on how I... Have a routine, how I create my routines daily, weekly, and monthly, how I track my business side, how I track my travel side, how I communicate with people from the outside world who are still in their sticks and bricks, and that's how I kind of move forward. Now, every day is a new day, not every day is the same, but for the most part, I like to be up at 7, I like to be able to start my day with some coffee, jump into the news, and just start on the hard stuff right away. I don't want big headaches, big projects, following me into the afternoon and the evening. That's just my style, everyone has their strengths on what works best for them, and as you start developing your habits, when you get onto the road, you're gonna find that certain things work great for you, and certain things don't. Now, here's the other thing. I am probably going to need to change some of my habits pretty soon. Because as the days get shorter, I like to be parked in my campsite before dark. Like, I don't want to rush, I don't want to go into dark campsites, especially if you're boondocking or going into a place you've never been. So, right now, during the summer, I could leave a campsite or a boondocking spot at like 2 or 3, drive for 3 or 4 hours, and still have plenty of daylight to be able to do what I need to do. But coming up here in just a few weeks, we're going to be changing our clocks, and now it's going to start getting dark at 5. Which means I can't leave at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and get a 4 hour drive day in without it being dark upon my arrival. So everything's going to have to shift back for a little bit. So if I have a 4 hour drive, I'm going to need to leave no later than 11 or 12 to be able to get to a spot where I want to be. Get settled before the sun starts going down. So always having some adjustments, always having some, you know, changes and some tweaks here and there. And I don't know about you, but I am not happy about this whole daylight savings thing. I am not, I want longer days. Like, I want, I want light up until 8 or 9 o'clock at night. It just makes everything so much more fulfilling. That's just me talking though. Anyways. I hope you got something out of this podcast. and, and I appreciate you taking a little bit of time to, for me to share my day. And how I organize and how I think. Um, and tackle certain projects. But again, it's gonna be different for everyone. Utilize the tools that I talked about. I really believe in that time blocking thing. It's working well for me I've been doing it for about a year now and it's really been the easiest thing for me When trying to manage my life on the road So now thank you for listening to the RV dream podcast If you like what you heard or you got something out of this episode Please take a moment and leave us a review on Apple podcast or Spotify It really helps us get more exposure and it helps more people just like you thrive on the road Until next time Enjoy your travels, make them safe, make them fun, and make them memorable. RV Dreaming, start here, go anywhere. I'll see you in the next episode.