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Maximizing time: A police officer’s step-by-step guide to a balanced life

Peek into the life of an officer who has mastered the art of work-life balance through meticulous planning, automation and the strategic delegation of tasks

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As a law enforcement officer, I know the job demands can be intense and stressful. Each day brings new challenges and unexpected situations that require high focus and commitment.

To navigate through the demands of a career in law enforcement, I have adopted a structured and mindful approach to my weekly routine. Drawing inspiration from Tim Ferris’s “4-Hour Work Week” and the principles of eliminating, automating and delegating, I have found ways to create more time for the things I love and prioritize family and friends while still excelling in my professional responsibilities.

Time management

My week begins with a deliberate and structured approach to time management. Each weekend, I dedicate time to review and plan my schedule for the upcoming week. From workouts to work commitments and mealtimes to family time, I meticulously plan each day to ensure I make the most of my time. This proactive approach keeps me organized and focused on my weekly priorities.

Every morning, at 5 a.m., I kickstart my day with a 10-minute meditation session followed by a rigorous one-hour workout. Thanks to insights from Dr. Andrew Huberman, I embrace the benefits of cold exposure and incorporate a cold shower into my morning routine. Following my shower, I spend 30 to 45 minutes journaling and reflecting on my goals and intentions for the day. This morning routine sets a positive tone for the day ahead and helps me center myself before diving into work or family responsibilities.

Mindful day images (1).png

Depending on the day, I either take my children to school before heading to work or head straight to the station. Throughout the workday, I consciously practice mindfulness and incorporate moments of reflection to manage stress and stay grounded. Regular check-ins with colleagues and team members allow me to maintain open communication and support a positive work environment.

Police1 resource: The mindfulness challenge: Practice mindfulness for just 2 minutes today

Upon returning home from work, I prioritize family time by creating a phone-free zone to fully engage with my loved ones. After tucking the kids into bed, I adjust my schedule for the next day, prepare any necessary uniform requirements, and indulge in a warm shower in a darkened bathroom. This calming routine prepares me for a relaxing evening of reading, helping me unwind and disconnect from the day’s demands.

To maintain a healthy work-life balance, I aim to be in bed by 9 p.m. every night, allowing myself ample rest to recharge for the next day. Consistency in my sleep schedule is a non-negotiable aspect of my routine, as it contributes significantly to my overall well-being and productivity.

Police1 resource: The sleep hygiene challenge: Follow these tips during tonight’s bedtime routine

Sleep hygiene is an integral part of my day, which starts hours before I get in bed. I will not consume alcohol and caffeine for 10 hours before going to bed. I will limit overhead lighting and screen time an hour before bedtime, where I read with a small reading light. I ensure my sleeping environment is dark and free from screens and other ambient light sources. I will cool the room below 70 degrees and as close to 65 degrees as possible. Recently, I have introduced pink noise, which helps me get as efficient sleep as possible.

Pink noise is a type of sound signal or noise that has a frequency spectrum that is inversely proportional to its frequency. In simpler terms, pink noise has equal energy per oct.jpg

On weekends, I uphold my early morning routine, allowing me to accomplish essential tasks and chores before spending quality time with my family. By prioritizing productivity in the morning hours, I can enjoy leisure activities, adventure, or socializing with friends later in the day, fostering a well-rounded and fulfilling weekend experience.

Incorporating daily rituals such as meditation and family time has become a cornerstone of my routine. These practices not only contribute to my well-being but also aid in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

One of the key lessons I’ve learned in optimizing my time management is the importance of setting boundaries with technology. By establishing specific times to check work-related emails rather than being constantly available, I have reclaimed valuable hours that would have otherwise been spent in a state of perpetual connectivity. This practice has allowed me to focus on essential tasks while addressing urgent matters promptly through direct communication.

Pink noise is a type of sound signal or noise that has a frequency spectrum that is inversely proportional to its frequency. In simpler terms, pink noise has equal energy per oct.png

Eliminating non-essential activities such as excessive television viewing and endless social media scrolling has freed up additional hours in my day, enabling me to allocate time to pursuits that align with my goals and values. I have streamlined my daily routine and maximized productivity by questioning the necessity of each task and its impact on my objectives.

Furthermore, automation has significantly simplified my life and enhanced my efficiency. From setting up automatic bill payments to utilizing focus modes on my phone to minimize distractions, I have leveraged technology to streamline repetitive tasks and optimize my workflow. These automated systems have granted me more time to focus on meaningful activities and connect with loved ones.

Pink noise is a type of sound signal or noise that has a frequency spectrum that is inversely proportional to its frequency. In simpler terms, pink noise has equal energy per (1).png

Lastly, delegation has proven to be a valuable strategy in offloading tasks that do not require my direct involvement. Outsourcing yard work and other tasks to reliable professionals has allowed me to allocate more time for self-care and quality time with my family. By entrusting certain responsibilities to capable individuals, I have lightened my workload and created space for activities that bring me joy and fulfillment.

Does this work for shift personnel?

Yes, I know I work banker hours as an agency administrator. Will this work for those of you who work shift work? Yes, for the most part.

If you work shiftwork, focusing and committing to time management is even more important. Yes, on your workdays, you have less free hours in your day. On your days off, your schedule could look more like mine. Remember, automate, delegate, and eliminate.

Below, I outline what a dayshift and nightshift would look like for me. I use this structure when I work overtime shifts at my agency.


  • Wake-up: 3:30 a.m.
  • Meditation: 3:40 a.m.
  • Workout: 3:50 a.m.
  • Shower/get ready: 4:20 a.m.
  • Eat breakfast: 4:50 a.m.
  • Journal work: 5:00 a.m.
  • Drive to work: 5:30 a.m.
  • Work: 6:00 a.m.
  • Drive home: 6:00 p.m.
  • Shower/prepare for next day: 6:30 p.m.
  • Family time: 6:45 p.m.
  • Bed: 7:45 p.m.


  • Wake-up: 3:30 p.m.
  • Meditation: 3:40 p.m.
  • Workout: 3:50 p.m.
  • Shower/get ready: 4:20 p.m.
  • Eat breakfast: 4:50 p.m.
  • Journal work: 5:00 p.m.
  • Drive to work: 5:30 p.m.
  • Work: 6:00 p.m.
  • Drive home: 6:00 a.m.
  • Shower/prepare for next shift: 6:30 a.m.
  • Family time: 6:45 a.m.
  • Bed: 7:45 a.m.

By embracing a structured and mindful approach to my weekly routine, I have discovered the power of intentional time management and its impact on personal well-being and professional success. Drawing inspiration from the principles of efficiency and mindfulness, I have cultivated a balanced and harmonious lifestyle that prioritizes self-care, connections with loved ones, and meaningful pursuits.

For law enforcement officers seeking to optimize their time and enhance their overall quality of life, incorporating elements of elimination, automation and delegation can pave the way for a more fulfilling and rewarding career.

Continue the discussion

After reading the article, you might find it beneficial to reflect on several questions. These queries can help you evaluate your current practices and consider new strategies to enhance your well-being and effectiveness.

1. How well do I manage stress related to my job, and what new techniques can I incorporate to improve?

2. Am I taking advantage of available mental health resources and support networks?

3. How does shift work affect my health and lifestyle, and what adjustments can I make to mitigate these effects?

4. Am I effectively using technology to streamline my workload and reduce unnecessary stress?

5. How engaged am I with my community outside of work, and how can I improve these relationships?

6. Do I have a solid financial plan that considers the unique aspects of a career in law enforcement?

7. What steps am I taking to ensure my personal safety and that of my family, both on and off duty?

8. Have I been prioritizing my physical and mental health through regular exercise, nutrition, and mindfulness practices?

9. What boundaries have I set regarding work and personal life to maintain a healthy balance?

10. How can I better automate, delegate, or eliminate tasks to free up more time for personal interests and family?

These questions are designed to prompt deep reflection and encourage you to take proactive steps toward improving your professional and personal lives.

Lieutenant Jarrett Morris began his career at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office (California) in 2005. He has worked multiple assignments throughout his career, including custody operations, patrol operations, gang investigator, narcotics investigator, coroner’s detective sergeant, K9 unit coordinator, mobile field force leader, and peer support coordinator. Jarrett has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Union Institute and University.

Currently a Lieutenant, Jarrett serves as the Sheriff’s Adjutant and manages the Coroner’s Bureau. He oversees the agency’s wellness and peer support programs and works closely with the Major County Sheriff’s of America (MCSA).

Jarrett is the founder and CEO of Dose of Ethos, LLC. He is dedicated to helping law enforcement officers build a resilient lifestyle through wellness, fitness, nutrition, discipline, and a positive mindset. His ultimate goal is to be a better spouse, parent, and law enforcement officer. At, you will find content to make you a more resilient cop, along with life coaching services and classes.