Daily Routine
What's your daily routine like? Have you ever changed your routine? What's your favourite time of the day? What do you usually do at this time? How do you organise your study time? Do you like to plan what you'll do every day?
  • Regular (adj.) - happening or doing something often.
  • Regularity (noun) - the fact of something happening or being done often.
  • Reliability (noun) - the quality of being able to be trusted or believed because of working or behaving well.
  • Chaos (noun) - a state of total confusion with no order.
  • Chaotic (adj.) - in a state of chaos.
  • Spent (adj.) - something that is spent has been used so that it no longer has any power or effectiveness.
  • Ad hoc - made or happening only for a particular purpose or need, not planned before it happens.
  • Basis (noun) - a basis is also a way or method of doing something.
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Questions and answers
M: So, Rory, what's your daily routine like?

R: Well, probably more regular in some ways and less so in others. At least I would say. I always get up and go to bed at roughly the same times, and I always do some exercise and make breakfast in similar ways. That being said, I also do different things for work each day. Sometimes I write or teach classes and other days I'll create things for social media, or do my university work.

M: Have you ever changed your routine?

R: Oh, absolutely. When I switched jobs, so started, well, going to bed earlier, and getting up earlier. And I added in visits to the gym in the last few years. The regularity gives some meaning and reliability to life, which is usually at least a little bit chaotic.

M: What's your favorite time of the day?

R: The mornings. I always get so much more done. I can answer messages and work out and work on various projects. To be honest, by the afternoon, I'm relatively spent, though, I still get things done, just not at the same rate. I'm definitely a morning person in this respect.

M: What do you usually do at this time?

R: Well, like I said, all the big things for the day, whether it's preparing materials, or organizing things with students and colleagues, I always feel more of a sense of accomplishment at this time of the day compared to the others as well.

M: How do you organize your study time?

R: Well, that's less regular and done on a more ad hoc basis, to be honest. I wish I could do it more regularly, but I just do, well, what I can and when I can in that respect. It seems to work well so far, though.
M: Do you like to plan what you do every day?

R: I like planning it, although whether it really turns out that way is another matter entirely. There's a sense of control and purpose when you put tasks in order and you'll feel more prepared for what's to come but the plan isn't everything.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your, oh, well structured, routine like answers. So there's nothing new. There's nothing special. It's kind of you know, we're following the same routine. So yeah, listener, how are you? Are you bored to death already by our routine? Oh, yeah. True. Like we do have our podcasts routine, don't we?

R: Yes. We set up the times. Vanya is 30 minutes late. And then we arrange another time. Just kidding.

M: Yeah. Well, hopefully, our routine, well, is okay with you, dear listener. Especially our jokes. Yeah. So we are kind of adding hilarious jokes, unique jokes, which we never repeat. Okay, yeah. Oh, Rory, do you remember that joke about Russian dolls?

R: No, I don't. Why?

M: I have to, have to tell it again. So Rory, do you know why Russian dolls, this matryoshka dolls, these Russian dolls are so selfish?

R: Why?

M: Because they're full of themselves. And Russian dolls, you know, it's like a huge Russian doll, then you open it up, and there's a small Russian doll. You open it up and there's another smaller doll, you open it up and there's another one.

R: What was it you said about explaining jokes? It kills the subject and the process.

M: No, no. It's like, explaining a joke is like dissecting a frog. The frog dies in the process.

R: So you must stop, otherwise, I'm going to die in the process.

M: No, Rory, we need you, we need you. So let's go back to the routine, daily routine. Rory, would you say that you are a routine kind of guy?

R: No. Is that even the expression? Is it not I'm a regular kind of guy?

M: Are you a regular kind of guy?

R: I don't know. Probably not. I would strongly suggest that there's nothing regular about my life.

M: Really? I thought kind of you follow your routine. Especially like your daily routine. Kind of you...

R: I try to follow my routine but like, life happens. What is it? John Lennon that said life is what happens when you're making other plans.

M: Right, true. That's a deep one. I love it. So life is what happens when you're making other plans or plans for the future. Or when you're thinking about the future.

R: So it's like, you might have your plan, but like that might not work.

M: Okay, right. So you kind of enjoy the routine, but then life happens. Okay. So, we follow our daily routine. What are the collocations we have with routine.

R: Well, you could talk about routine regularity, daily habits, daily chores, something that happens on a daily basis.

M: Yes, on a daily basis. Also, you can change your routine. Rroutine or routines?

R: Well, both. We talk about my daily routine, but there's nothing to stop you talking about daily routines because you don't just have, well, you might just have one fixed thing, but it's unusual. You might do different things on different days.

M: And your routine could be regular. Or it could be not so regular.

R: It could be ad hoc.

M: Yes. What does it mean this like is done?

R: I'm cheating a little bit. It's a Latin expression. But it just means like you put something together as you go. It's not something that's planned.

M: So if I say like it's done on an ad hoc, hoc basis, it's like it's spontaneous? It's kind of I like....

R: No, ad hoc is something that happens in reaction to something spontaneous, perhaps. So, for example, when I have, I have my main things to do every day, but if I have any extra time, then I'll do my studying for university. But that doesn't necessarily mean that I've planned for that. That's just something that I've decided to do that's productive in the moment.
M: And the question was, like, how do you organize your study time? That is less regular and done on a more ad hoc basis. Yeah. Okay. Could you give us another example with this ad hoc in a sentence?

R: No.

M: Right. Thank you, Rory, very much!

R: That's okay. No, hold on. Like, I don't know, you have discussions with people about something on an ad hoc basis. Ah, yes. Yeah, there we go. I discuss things with my tutorial group on an ad hoc basis. So we have our group. We talk about things sometimes, but we only talk when it's necessary, because we're usually busy with our own things.

M: Cool. And also, when you talk about your routine, you can say some things are a bit chaotic. So it gets a bit chaotic. I have my routine, but it could be a bit chaotic. Yeah. And then you just talk about like these things. You know, like when you get up you do exercise. You make breakfast. Oh, Rory, do you still have tuna for breakfast?

R: Yes.

M: Really? Ah, so you haven't changed this one?

R: Well, no. But I'm a bit annoyed actually, because I can't find the same tuna salad I used to get in Russia. So, and I was just like, okay, so I'm gonna have to change the diet a little bit. But it's not such a disaster.

M: Wait, so you would buy a ready tuna salad? Already like pre made?

R: Yeah.

M: Oh, wow.

R: I am busy. I had things to do and the salad was relatively cheap. So why not?

M: Oh, okay. And then you go like, I'm definitely a morning person. So what's your favorite time of the day? Morning. I'm a morning person. Can you say I'm a what?

R: I didn't wonder about that. Because you could say I'm a night owl. But then there's not really a bird for the morning. Is there?

M: No, no, you can say I'm a, wait, what do you call this bird?

R: Well, you could say I'm not a night owl. That would probably cover it.

M: Yeah, but in English, they usually say like, I'm a morning person. All right, cool. Cool. And then I always get so much done. So I get a lot of things done in the morning. So get things done. Yeah? That's a nice one. And then in the afternoon, you feel a bit like you get things done in the morning, and then you kind of like in the afternoon. So what happens to you?

R: I just lose energy.

M: You're super productive in the morning, and then like...

R: Well, yeah, but like, I think you'll find that most teachers are probably like that. No, like so I'm spent, I think is what you mean to say. So actually, it's funny because you could use this to describe a lot of things. Like if someone has spent it just means that they are have used their energy. So you could have a person who gets spent, or you could have, if you have a gun and you fire it then the casings the bullet casings are called spent casings because they've used the bullets inside of them. You often hear about people talking about a spent force, which means the force has been used and now it can't be used again or it can be used again soon. So this idea of being spent is a good idea. It's not just for money, it's for anything that's been used.

M: So I can say okay, I'm a night owl, or I'm not a morning person and I'm quite productive at night but then I'm just spent in the morning. So spent is like you spend the money. Spent. I am spent. So I'm spent in the morning, so I'm just like useless in the morning. I'm like this. And when do you get up now, when you are in Scotland these days?

R: In the weekends, at the weekends, I wake up at like eight or nine o'clock and then in the morning, yeah, but then in the week I wake up at half-past five in the morning.

M: Half past five? It's still half-past five? Oh, boy!

R: It is still half-past five. Why should it be, why should it change? I'm working.

M: I don't know, because it's crazy. It's half-past five. It's 5:30 in the morning. It's not even six. It's 5:30.

R: But really, the most productive people wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning. So this is my compromise.

M: Right. It's now horrid o'clock time. 5:30. It's still dark. Wow.

R: Yes.

M: All right. Okay, okay, whatever.

R: Well, no, it was. I mean in Scotland is getting lighter now. Spring is coming.
M: Yes, things are brightening up in Scotland. Hey, Scotland. And then Rory feels a sense of achievements. A sense of accomplishment. Surely, when he's all productive in the morning. He gets things done. He eats his tuna salad in the morning. Tuna in the morning, fish in the morning.

R: Well, today it was scrambled eggs. But you get the idea.

M: Wait, what. What happened to tuna?

R: Well, it's the weekend. Everything is a bit more chilled out at the weekend. Am I not allowed to enjoy my weekend?

M: No, no, it's fine. It's fine. Oh, what about the pizza? Do you still have this huge pizza?

R: No, because pizza in Scotland isn't very nice.

M: Really? Oh, come back to Russia.

R: I know, I'm coming back, I'm coming back in June. They're still flights. It's fine.

M: It's a comeback. It's a comeback. When Rory left Russia, we had maybe like 15 or 20 Goodbye parties. And then he was supposed to be gone. But then he didn't fly to Scotland for some reason.

R: What do you mean for some reason? It's because Russia has crazy visa regulations.

M: Oh, yeah, he was supposed to leave. But he was still in Russia. It was crazy. And you stayed like for a week, yeah?

R: I did. Yeah.

M: And, dear listener, can you imagine when Rory comes back, how many Welcome, hello, Rory parties are we gonna have? Maybe 55.

R: But that's why I needed to come back for a month. So two weeks for Welcome back parties, and then two weeks for Goodbye parties.

M: Yes. So that's going to be a month. All right. So you can also use this construction, I wish I could do it more regularly. If you can pronounce this word, like regular. Regularly. If you can't pronounce it, then you can say I wish I could do it on a more regular basis. Which also will be fine. But this nice phrase, I wish I could do it. Rory, is it the first conditional? Is it the third? The second? Or is it a conditional at all?

R: It's a great question. And only you know the answer to that. Because I don't know anything about conditionals.

M: So it's kind of like I wish I could do something but now I don't have it. So which is a nice structure. Let's call it a structure to use. So I wish I could get up earlier or I wish I could get more done in the morning. Or I wish I could enjoy my daily routine. And then about planning, you can say like, it turns out that which is a phrasal verb. I like planning, but it turns out that my plans sometimes don't work.

R: And if you like phrasal verbs. You are going to love our phrasal verbs course, which you can check out with successwithielts.com/podcourses.

M: Yeah, phrasal verbs are cool. They're idiomatic and it's nice to squeeze in one or two phrasal verbs. Actually one or three phrasal verbs into your speaking. They're informal, fun, they're natural. So yeah, off you pop to our phrasal verb course. Yeah. And when you plan things, there is a sense of control. So when you do things, there's a sense of accomplishment, when you plan thinks there's a sense of control and purpose. Yeah? When you put tasks in order. So you put them in order. Yep.

R: That means you just organize them in some way.

M: When do you usually organize things for next week?

R: On Friday.

M: On Friday?

R: Yeah.

M: And how do you do this? Do you use your phone or do you still have this, what should we call this, holy notebook of yours, where you write everything?

R: You can see it, it's my new one. I'm showing it to you on the camera. I have a new one.

M: Oh, cute. It's black.

R: It's not. it's dark blue. It just looks black, because the camera's not very great.

M: Okay, cool. Yeah, Rory has his special notebook of life.

R: I do. It helps me organize everything. And I'm going to talk about it in one of the premium episodes.

M: Cool. Right. Thank you very much for listening! We are sending you lots of love, warm hugs, and kisses. Check out our premium, check out our phrasal verbs course. One episode, you can just listen to it. So do check it out. The links are in the description. Bye!

R: Bye!

M: Scotland!

R: Freedom!
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