All posts tagged: Routine

Expiration

In my household, there’s a big basket full of remedies for common ailments (Aspirin, antacids, etc.) and another one that my wife uses for baking supplies. In the pantry, there are more storage boxes. There are even a few bins in the fridge. The exception may be our spices, which we keep on a lazy Susan. Almost everything in these baskets and boxes (and the lazy Susan for that matter) has an expiration date. And the only way I’ve found to make sure that the containers remain uncluttered is to check the dates on an, at least, semi-routine basis. I do that by creating an event on my calendar that prompts me to check the dates every two or three months. Otherwise, my household winds up with a lot of spoiled food and medicines that have lost their efficacy. When I get that calendar reminder, I find that it’s also a good time to do a deep clean of the fridge, which shouldn’t require excessive effort because I also try to discard food that’s past …

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 …

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 …

Time

I tend to believe there’s not enough time in a day. I’m not always right about things, but, in this case, I’m sure I am. There’s not enough time to pursue all of my interests. I have a full-time job, and I write. It doesn’t leave much time for anything else. I’ve made writing a priority because becoming a full-time writer is my main goal. I’ve made that my goal because writing gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Therefore, I make time for it even though I have a full-time job. Figuring out what to give your time to is not always a straightforward process. But because time is a finite resource, being decisive is important. Once you know what you want–whether it’s a hobby or a new career–a few things are required: discipline, organization, and routine. (Some may claim they need a muse, but I tend to avoid giving inspiration over to the mystical.) Consider learning to play piano for a moment. Unless you’re a virtuoso, you’ll need to spend time learning how …