Sunday, March 2, 2014

A desire for routine

Hello dear reader! (If you're still out there...who knew February would be a month filled with "radio silence?")

Lately, especially after the start of the new year and thinks to me renewed love of all things Pinterest, I have been craving routine. I know that might seem like a weird connection for some, but really have you typed "routine" or even "morning routine" into Pinterest? Good grief, so many great options!!

And I especially crave it in the mornings when I'm rushing to get out of the door in the mornings but I still want my morning coffee, some breakfast and maybe a little time to breathe and read before jumping into the hectic-ness that is my day-job. And oh yes, there's that. Work can be so stressful sometimes when I'm not sure what to do from one moment to the next and somehow it's lunchtime and then it's time to go and did I ever even start that big project that was my only real goal for today?!

I think that for all that I like to consider myself a creative free spirit, I need a good routine. And especially now that I'm getting older (closer to 30 than I am to 20 these days...) I should probably start taking better care of my skin, a good beauty routine is a must!

And seriously, with my planner obsession I should be way better at routine than I am!

The other reason I need routine is for this blog, I have so much going on in this little life of mine that I have been horribly inconsistent in posting this past month. As in, I haven't posted at all. And for a brand new blogger like me, that's a pretty big no-no. I mean readers want consistency, and heck if they actually enjoy what they're reading (which I hope happens here), then they want CONTENT! And often!

So how does one establish a good routine? Like I said, I've been thinking about this for some time and while I'm still no master at it, here are some tips that I think might help:

1. Figure out what you want in your routine. Make sure it's the important stuff, the things you want and are willing to stick with on a regular basis. Because remember, a good routine needs to be done pretty much every day.

2. Start in the evening. I know most people want "waking up earlier" to be part of their everyday routines, you definitely get more done when you have more hours available to you in the day...that you're awake for. However, sleep is still important too, so don't underestimate the importance of a good bedtime routine if you want a good morning routine as well! I'd suggest going to bed at or around the same time everyday, and make sure you're getting the right amount of sleep for you. I need at least 7.5 hours to function properly and look my best.

3. Be consistent, even on the weekends. This means if you're trying to wake up for work by 6am, you should be waking up at 6am on the weekends too. (I know for those of us that "get weekends" this seems like torture, but really it's necessary.) Waking up early on the weekends also gives you time to recharge and maybe add a few other things to your morning routine that you might feel too rushed to include when you're getting ready for work. I like to try and add a new workout or a new breakfast recipe on the weekends instead of trying it out and not knowing the timing during the week.

4. Have a calming, happy activity as part of your routine. Especially right before you jump into work and/or the busiest part of your day. For me, this is my coffee ritual. And I actually don't do this until I get to work during the week. I have a small French Press that I keep at my desk and then on Mondays I usually bring in enough freshly ground coffee for the week. I keep some coffee creamer in the communal fridge and take advantage of the office water heater. This gives me time to either meditate or do some yoga at home, since I try not to drink coffee too early. And since I use the French press method, it can be a bit more labor intensive. As an added bonus, this also gives me a few minutes when first getting into work to take some more of a breather before jumping into the email storm and all of the projects lined up for me for the day, also I love being able to enjoy an actual CUP of coffee out of a real mug even when I'm at work. And it's my coffee that I don't have to share with anyone else...(that's not rude is it?)

5. Finally, write it all down. If you're like me then you love lists. A lot. And will probably make multiple lists about the same thing until you find the exact perfect combo of things in list form. So I do this, in my planner and in my notebooks, I write out my ideal morning, day and evening. I even write out my ideal weekends and try and incorporate those routines into my life as much and as often as possible until they stick.

Well, those are the tips I've been using lately. I'd love to hear your thoughts about routine and what you do to keep everything scheduled and orderly in your life. Feel free to comment below. :)

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