Day of Autopilot
Autopilot is great for morning routines. We know that. But as a founder of the company, I wanted to push my usage of the product to the max.
After arriving in Taipei, I was stuck in a hotel room for 14 days, so I decided that before I left quarantine, I would have one day when I was on Autopilot from start to finish. I made a video about this and you can watch it here.
To complete Day of Autopilot, I needed to create a flow for every single thing that I would do in a day. Every single activity I'd do (with the exception of bathroom breaks) would be directed by Autopilot's sweet robotic voice.
I started by creating a high level schedule of Day of Autopilot. Luckily, I had already created a tool (newdaynew.me) that would be perfect for the job. Here's what my schedule looked like:
At this point I realized that I had to create flows for a lot of things. I had work outs, meals, breaks, meetings, and interactions with my girlfriend, Ariane, that all needed to be considered.
I already had an "ESC Morning" flow that was getting me through 79 minutes straight of structured activities each morning, but for Day of Autopilot I was going to need to program another 921 minutes.
I created individual flows for each of the activities that I knew I was going to need to do, then used Autopilot's subflow feature to roll those up into 10 super flows for each 100 minute long chunk of my day.
I programmed 940 minutes of my day flow-by-flow the day before Day of Autopilot. For the last 20 minutes, I wanted to give myself a special challenge.
Ariane and I had been quarantining in the same hotel for 12 days, in rooms next door to one another, not allowed to see each other. For our time together on Day of Autopilot, I decided to create a pair of matching flows that we would each play at the exact same moment, coordinating us through a series of visualizations to create a shared experience across our separate rooms.
I spent a few of my work pomodoros during the Day of Autopilot building out this pair of "dancing flows". We shared the experience during my final 100 minute block of the day and it was very special: imagining walking hand in hand through a coastal village while pacing and back and forth in our respective hotel rooms. (It's quarantine, ok?)
Then, after brushing my teeth, reading, and a short meditation, I had completed Day of Autopilot!
The best part about completing this challenge was that since creating flows for every single thing that I did on Day of Autopilot, I now have flows for recurring chunks of my daily life that I can play as needed.
Day of Autopilot reminded me of being on a 10 day Vipassana course. I had to surrender to the schedule and trust that if I just allowed Autopilot to tell me what to do next, I'd get around to everything I wanted to do.
Spending the entire day on Autopilot was a little extreme. I could imagine using Autopilot for large parts of my day, but what I'd ideally want would be to seamless switch on Autopilot whenever I need it, and turn it off when I don't.
The day after Day of Autopilot I tried to have a day of NOT-opilot: cold turkey on the app for my last day in quaratine. By the afternoon I was really missing the structure of Autopilot to get me in the groove on things like exercise, goal setting, and work execution, so I caved and used it for a HIIT workout.