All posts filed under: Routine

Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in catastrophic levels of death and illness. Fortunately for me, the chaos and extreme loss of this illness have remained far away, at least for the time being. However, I have not entirely evaded the impact of this virus. Whereas I consider myself to be an introvert, I–like many others–have been feeling the strain of semi-quarantine conditions. Although I consider myself fortunate to have escaped the worst of the pandemic, I have seen many of the good habits and practices I put into place start to wane or slacken. I can see how many might think that good habits are unimportant right now, but these activities tend to lessen my anxiety and lead to greater stability, which makes them all the more essential in times like these. It might be clear why I’ve been unable to stay on track. Despite having more opportunities than ever to institute good habits and make the most of my days, I find myself overindulging in some practices and neglecting others. I’ve also miraculously revived …

Cleaning

Keeping a clean house is a necessity for me. And whereas I wouldn’t say that I enjoy the process of cleaning, I am able to find satisfaction in the results. More than satisfaction, actually. Cleanliness brings me a certain amount of clarity. I work and think better in a clean environment. Thus, I’ve been able to come to terms with the fact that it takes effort to keep a clean space. I give myself both daily and weekly chores as well, as several tasks that occur only periodically. Staying on top of the daily and weekly cleaning is relatively straightforward, but I find that it helps to put the less routine tasks on a calendar. Chores, like cleaning the refrigerator, straightening the pantry, and vacuuming and washing our vehicles, are performed every other month or so. (I clean the exterior of my car less frequently than the interior. It seems like a waste of water, but I believe it will help the resale value.) My daily tasks include washing the dishes and some basic tidying …

Wake Up

I wish I could say that I woke up like Bruce Lee. I read in John Little’s The Warrior Within that he was doing a set of exercises before he was out of bed in the morning (e.g., arching the back, stretching, leg lifts, and more). That’s not my routine. I roll out of bed, stumble into the bathroom, and then fill up on as many cups of coffee as possible. This is something I’ve worked on, but it hasn’t necessarily been effective. In the past, I had my breakfast and coffee, spent a little time waking up by staring at the weather report, then proceeded to move into the office to write for an hour or so. Periodically, I’d head straight from my office to the gym. It just depended on whether I was working out in the morning or the afternoon that day. This struck me as reasonably productive, which may have been the problem. I slipped into some complacency over my morning routine because there were times when I’d schedule my mornings …

15 Minutes

Last year, I signed a contract to ghostwrite the first draft of a short novel. It was on a tight deadline, and I have a day job. So I knew I was going to have to maximize the way I use my time both before and after work. I did this by breaking both periods into 15-minute increments. While I was writing the book, I woke up every day at 6 AM and spent 15 minutes eating breakfast and drinking a cup of coffee. Then, I took a quick shower. By 6:30, I was writing and doing so for one hour. The rest of the morning went to a workout and a bit of straightening up or reading before heading out the door. When I got home, more often than not, I went to work on the novel. That left me with some time afterward to take a walk, eat some dinner, and unwind before going to bed. The best thing about this kind of routine was that I knew where I was supposed to …

Water

There are plenty of reasons to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. It’s been to shown to help regulate appetite, moderate the metabolism, keep you hydrated, and, generally, flush and replenish the system. That’s great if you can actually remember to fill the glass and drink it. Once I decided I was going to have a glass of water every morning, I started thinking of ways to make it a routine or habit. This may sound simple, but it wasn’t for me. Mornings can get busy, and I found that I was often out of the house, having forgotten to drink any water. So, I took action. I set a reminder of the voice-enabled device in my home. At 7 AM, a soft, soothing voice alerts me to the fact that it’s time to drink a little water. My device pings before it speaks, so I’m surprised it hasn’t had a kind of Pavlovian effect. When I hear a chime, I go directly to the faucet. After I started taking a …

Hydrotherapy

Cold showers are something I’ve been trying to incorporate into my routine for a while. Because it’s summer, I thought it would be a good time to give it another try. If you do a quick Google search, you’ll find that there are many benefits to taking cold showers, including: Increased vitality Decreased muscle soreness Stress management Enhanced weight loss I think I read a James Bond novel that described the famed spy getting up in the morning and starting each day with an ice-cold shower. It purportedly increased his alertness, which would be necessary for someone who is trying to achieve situational awareness. I may not be worried about Goldfinger or Dr. No, but I would still like to reap the benefits of taking a cold shower. However, the endeavor continues to be more or less out of my reach. I’ve found that the water temperature in my shower doesn’t go much below seventy degrees in the summertime. And that’s the upper limit (and then some) for true hydrotherapy. But, for me, a temperature …

Morning Prep

About a year ago, I started prepping for my morning the night before. I follow a fairly simple routine. I place a bowl and a glass on the kitchen table. The glass is to remind me to have start the day with 8 oz. of water. The bowl is for my oatmeal. …