Routine Archives - Page 2 of 2 - Do The Work!

Category Archives for Routine

Going Off Track in a Routine

Look, it happens ok?

To all of us who are trying to get a routine started, or form a habit, beat something unhelpful we’ve been landed with, or just get our shit together and do a bit better in our lives.

We all go off track at times.

As I’m writing this, it’s a Monday – the start of a new week, and oh, I had great plans and goals and aims for getting the best out of my Monday morning. I really did. I always do.

But this morning I remembered I’d to make a trip in to my Mam’s and feed our cat (my cat who can’t live with me currently and so has been kindly adopted by my Mammy) as she was away and I wasn’t sure what time she’d be home later.

Ordinarily, I would have left the feeding on the day of return, but I’m feeling a bit of the guilts coz I completely forgot to go in on Saturday, and when I arrived on Sunday she was in a huff with me. So, I thought I’d earn some extra brownie points, though of course it doesn’t work that way. Cat doesn’t give a fuck how hard I try to make it up to her.

I get kind of fixated on ideas that revolve around my inadequacies – perceived or real – and making up for them. It’s a problem, but sometimes there’s an easy fix, and I’ll make sure to take it. Therefore, it was important that the cat got fed this morning as well.

Well.

Neither of our alarms went off, and it was 8.45am before I woke up, 9am before I woke Jon. He hopped up and showered while I drank my water, took meds and ate my energy bar, and then read. FYI, this was part of today’s ‘professional mastery’ input – I’m currently revisiting Pagan Portals – Irish Paganism: Reconstructing Irish Polytheism, by Morgan Daimler (you get in on Amazon.comor Amazon.co.uk). I never really got the whole Reconstructionism thing in the States, and I want to try and figure out if that’s what I’ve been doing, as my spirituality has grown organically here in Ireland. I’ll let ye know.

Then I showered, and he went downstairs to read and get some breakfast. His choice today was Irish Customs and Beliefs, by Kevin Danaher (you can get it on Amazon.com here, or Amazon.co.uk here).

So far, so good, besides the sleeping in blip. We did a meditation session together through the Calm app, and then we headed out to Tramore to feed the cat. I plugged in my earphones and started to catch up on the weekly check-in videos from the students on my Mórrígan 6 month Intensive Programme, and then had to stop and take a breath as they were particularly moving and I wanted to focus fully on them when I got home.

Fed the cat. She was glad of the food, but didn’t care otherwise. Jon invited me for coffee, and even suggested popping home first for my bullet journal as I love a little coffee shop planning session, so I do.

By the time we got home though, my anxiety had kicked in about the amount I had to do today, and my schedule being off track, so we decided to rain-check our coffee shop treat mini date, regretfully.

I then found I wasn’t feeling right, at all. Very unsettled and out of sorts and it was only 11.30am. I needed to get back on track, and that’s where the routine kicks in. Fuck what time it was, just finish the morning routine, and ease back into the day. I went through my daily devotional, physio exercises, had some carbs and watered my garden while I listened to more of my current audiobook – The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More, by Chris Guillebeau (you can get it on Amazon.com here, or Amazon.co.uk here).

After spending the time and energy to focus on my students’ videos, I recorded one of my own in response to them, and that was another mental tick of feeling better and not letting people down. Time to hit the office… at 2.30pm.

Sitting down at the desk, I went through a very quick affirmation and visualisation, and had a little catch up on tasks and events to reset my brain to reassure myself I wasn’t missing or skipping anything else. Then I did a simple task list for the rest of the day (6 items only)… and mentally allowed myself the grace of coming back to work after dinner if I need to, but also the understanding that I don’t have to if I don’t want to.

Nobody is going to die if those tasks don’t get done, or get moved to a different day. But I might, if I don’t take care of myself.

All that being done, I drank more water, and thanked Jon a little tearily for taking care of me and understanding me, when he brought me the coffee I hadn’t had. He knows that’s a part of my routine too (I have one a day) and that it might help with the ‘getting back on track’.

Writing this is the second item on the task list for today. First I do the daily creative things – book words is number one, then this as I quite enjoy it so it makes for an easy ‘win’, then a keyword based article as content marketing for the new meditation site/business niche I’m building is number three.

After that comes the 2 tasks that are scheduled to happen on Mondays, currently that’s writing and editing content for my 14 week Irish Magic Course. I have the bones of it written as a book I decided not to publish as a book, but instead have been adapting as a self-study email course. Wednesday is the weekly deadline to make sure those lessons are edited and ready to go, as this is the first run through of the course and the first student signed up on a Wednesday, so she receives her lessons every 7 days after that.

Yes, I pre-sell stuff and then create or improve it as I go. It makes for very clear and unavoidable deadlines, to ensure I stay ahead of myself and the work gets done. All of my classes and courses are in a constant state of editing and updating, with me usually only a few steps in front of the promises I must keep!

I’m back on track now, to some extent, and feeling a lot better that I haven’t let myself (or anyone else) down today. Lessons learned, though I’m sure I’ll need to keep re-learning these particular ones.  

First mistake was, I hadn’t put it onto my week planner to feed the cat. If it’s not written down it doesn’t exist for me.

Second, I didn’t set myself up on Sunday for the day – and the week – ahead. I got caught up yesterday in working on my current obsessive project – the guided meditation journeys website – and my usual Sunday stuff didn’t get done. We’ve no meal plan set out, I didn’t remember that the monthly Pagan moot I run is happening this Wednesday until my friend Orlagh texted me about it mid-morning, and I don’t have a weekly spread done in my journal.

What I did right though was realised I was off track, paused and took a breath before I spiralled, and just reverted to the routine. Slotted in where I’d left off, and just carried on from there, regardless of what the physical time was.

The true beauty and usefulness of having a good plan, is that it’s always there for you, telling you what you can do next.

You don’t have to worry about the big picture, or fix all your problems immediately. Just pick up the plan, put your trust in that, and take the next step. Then the next.

The Sleeping Cat

Unless you’re a cat. Then you don’t have to take any steps.

Catch you tomorrow,

Lora x

 

PS

Don’t forget the links to books I share are ALWAYS my personal resource recommendations, but are also sometimes affiliate links if you want to head over and get a copy for yourself. It doesn’t affect you in the slightest, or cost you anything, but I get a few cents kickback if you buy. I’m not going to remind ye of this every time now, but I want to be crystal clear and accountable!

My Morning Routine

I love my morning routine though.

Yeah, even on the weekends.

It has been an absolute pain in the hoop to get INTO the routine, and I’m still figuring out the details and adapting as I go, but it just takes so much hassle out of my day, without me even having to think about it too hard.

Take showering for example. Changing states is difficult for me, going from dry to wet to dry, changing clothes, it all translates into my brain as hassle. It can take a lot to get me going, but if I’m going I sort of need to keep going, because historically I’ve been running on fuel that is trauma sourced and fed so the innate danger is that if I stop I won’t get up again.

Dramatic explosive changes I can do, but the gentle transitioning of getting in the shower is a constant struggle. Welcome, my friends, to the world of executive dysfunction.

“Properly taking care of yourself seems comparable to running a marathon and a half. Maybe you don’t even want to take care of yourself. Maybe you just want to wither away. Either way, this is day three without a shower, and the only reason you’ve eaten anything is because junk food is cheap, and there sure is a hell of a lot of it in your room.”

[Quote from here, but it’s not a great article tbh]

There’s not a huge amount of information available on it, and what’s there is often taken from different contexts.

But the upshot of all of this is that to get moving in the morning, I need to not be making choices or decisions. I need a routine that means I just get moving and stay moving through it without having to think too much. That takes a trigger, and then clear steps to follow.

Here’s how I do it.

My Morning Routine

Sometimes I wake before the alarm, and I have my tablet to hand with eBooks on there, and to be able to check the time because my phone is at the end of the bed, but no Facebook. I can check email on there to make sure there’s nothing super urgent, and to see if I made any money overnight… but I don’t get into reading them. I’ll usually take a look at online banking too, and do any transfers or bill paying that’s due that day. If I woke a good bit before the alarm, I’ll do my morning professional reading, or meditation in here, depending what I’m in the mood for.  

8am – Alarm goes off, but phone is at the end of the bed out of reach. So, I have to get up to turn it off. Then I sit on side of bed and drink some water (I make sure I bring a bottle or glass with me the night before), eat an energy bar (just dates and nuts, from Aldi – no sugar), take my meds, look out the window for a while to collect my thoughts. Bathroom time; I use the loo, and brush my teeth. I’m awake now.

Showering. I turn on the bluetooth speaker and put on the business audiobook or podcast I’m currently listening too. Right now it’s The $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More, by Chris Guillebeau (you can get it on Amazon.com here, or Amazon.co.uk here). I focus on that, letting the ideas and interest bits fire off in my brain, to distract myself from having to shower. Get clean, get dry, get dressed.

I leave the biz audio on, grab my bullet journal and bits from the bedroom, and head downstairs. I drink more water, let the dog out, check on my garden, and make a green smoothie from a bag of spinach I keep in the fridge, a fresh banana, and whatever frozen smoothie mix is in the freezer. I’ll either fill the watering can a billion times to water the garden while I’m drinking this, still listening to the audio as I go, or I’ll sit outside (inside if it’s lashing, but even then I might stand under the tree a while). I’ll usually check WhatsApp messages at this point and say the daily hellos to my family, make sure nobody has died in the nighttime. Things like that.

When I’m done, I head into the sitting room where we keep our altar space, turn off the audio stuff, and I’ll say good morning to the Mórrígan. This could be anything from beating a rhythm on the Bodhrán drum, to making an offering of alcohol or incense or berries from the garden, to just saying a prayer silently or aloud. But it does always involve lighting a small votive candle on her altar and leaving some silent space for her to say good morning back. Or whatever the fuck she wants to communicate to me that day… though many days she is silent.

Then I turn on the Calm app and do the daily meditation, or choose one from the menu themes. I’m curious to try the Winnie The Pooh meditations but haven’t got there yet. Maybe next week. After that the biz audio often goes back on, or professional development (ie Irish heritage, folklore or mythology) audio, but it’s more difficult to get good versions of things I want to study on audio, so I usually have to read those myself.

I’m enjoying Morpheus Ravenna’s video classes on the Mórrígan though, and Story Archaeology has a wealth of episodes I listen to time and again, so they’ll often get slotted in there.

Because it’s time for my physio exercises! Between the dodgy knee and the persistent pain in my shoulder, I’ve a lot to be strengthening up here, and I keep the hand weights weights, roller, and stretchy elastic tension thingy in the room ready to go. If I’m feeling particularly energetic I might throw in a few stomach crunches here as well, but that’s a new thing.

If I didn’t get to read professional development stuff here, I’ll do that at this point – a chapter of a book, a section of an academic paper. It doesn’t take too long, and I might make a few notes to get the hands warmed up for the next stage.

Office time. I’ll refill my water on the way through (I’ve probably put about a litre into me at this point, but I need at least 3 litres every day) and go sit at my desk. I open the bullet journal and either read aloud or rewrite some affirmations, and spend a few minutes visualising what I’m telling myself. Then I turn to the next available page and write the day and date at the top, and check back through my monthly/master tasks and events, and my weeklies, to make sure I’ve not missed anything.

This is that training your brain to trust the system thing, making space to regularly go back and regroup or gather up any loose ends, and putting them where they need to be on a plan of action.

Then I’ll write out the tasks for the day, working round any planned events, and slotting it all in. If there’s a lot, I take a few minutes to prioritise what HAS to get done or what would be nice to get done, and then I might even number them in order of which I want or need to do first.

All of that usually takes me about 2 hours, and I am ready to start writing by 10am. I begin with my biggest project, currently my book on Pagan Priesthood, and get the daily word count for that done while I’m fresh and still have will power. (We’ll have a look at decision fatigue another day!)

My first break usually happens round 11.30 or 12 noon when I’m done that. I get some coffee and carbs into me at that point, and allow myself a small Facebook check in. Gotta watch this addictive nature round things that are designed to addict me!

I’ve developed this routine over YEARS mind you. I was doing bits and pieces of it at different points through my whole life, but it’s only in the last year or so that ‘ve put it all together and got in the rhythm of it like this.

So if you’re starting off, just pick one thing. And do it tomorrow. Keep doing it every day until you’re used to it and you don’t have to remind yourself to do it. Until it becomes something you rely on rather than something of a chore or a hassle.

What’s the one small change you could make tomorrow to begin or improve your own morning routine, to make your day a little better?

We’re a few days in now, so I’d love some feedback. Is this useful? Any questions? Anything I’ve mentioned that you’d like me to expand on or just talk more about?

Let me know in the comments below!

 

Lora x

 

PS

Don’t forget the links to books I share are ALWAYS my personal resource recommendations, but are also sometimes affiliate links if you want to head over and get a copy for yourself. It doesn’t affect you in the slightest, or cost you anything, but I get a few cents kickback if you buy. I’m not going to remind ye of this every time now, but I want to be crystal clear and accountable!