HELLO DEAR FRIENDS,
Recently I have lacked a lot of motivation and direction. This is not like me! Under usual circumstances, I like to keep my day to day life as productive as possible. After canceling all of my photography sessions, trips, events, etc. I have lost a lot of drive. While my schedule now screams “YOU HAVE NOTHING TO DO” my list of todos that I have put on the back burner whispers “it is time to do it all”.
For days now, I have sat around piddling with my todo list but not getting anything major accomplished. I lack the motivation that I usually have. Even though now I can do what I really want to do. I wondered why this was. It is not like my list is full of tedious and dull things. They are enjoyable and productive! After thinking it through I figured out what the problem was! I had lost my sense of routine!
You may be in a similar situation here. I went from waking up every day at the same time to sleeping as late as I want. My time blocks set aside through the day have faded into a blurry mess. What has happened?
While social distancing has opened the door for some much-needed rest. Life must go on. Things still need to get done and I certainly still need to change out of my pajamas once every day. It is time for me to regain routine! Even stuck at home, you can have a routine. You still should have a routine!
Folks often consider a routine to be constricting upon their life and infringing upon their freedom or creativity. It actually is just the opposite. Routine keeps us centered and progressing towards a goal. When we are without a routine we may be moving but it would be like moving without much momentum and control. I like to think of it as the flow in which you do move through something. In this instance, we are discussing moving through our day to day life while facing new circumstances.
Repeat after me, “My routine is not a schedule!” This is one of the most common misconceptions with a routine. If you hold to that then you may feel as if once you break routine it is game over and all is lost. That is frankly, not true. You will vary in your routine, and your routine will constantly change as your life and circumstances develop. A routine should be made to flow with you. It should not be rigid.
You can have a routine for just about anything you do. Youtube and Pinterest are filled with creators documenting morning, night, workout, workday, and school day routines. If there is something in your life you feel like you need more stability in then you too, can make a routine for it!
Defining your own routine.
Being a visual person, I have to get stuff out on paper so I can visualize what I am thinking or seeking to do. Even when establishing my own routines I like to get it out of my head.
For this, I broke out my trusty bullet journal! I would like to share with you some steps I use in defining my flow. I am including some photos of my bullet journal page to give you some inspiration and so that you can see how I like to map it all out. Feel free to make one of your own!
I recommend you grab a piece of paper, some pens, and your favorite drink as we sit down and map out a routine together. I am currently drinking some blueberry green tea! Oh so cozy! Remember this is not about how creative or pretty your paper is! It is about what you are doing it for. YOU! You, my friend, deserve to have a solid daily flow. So, let's get to work!
Identify your why.
Close your eyes and think about your days right now. What do you like and what needs to change? Are you doing everything you need to do? How about what you wanna do?
Once you think you have given a good thought to what your days are like now and what you want them to be, you need to ask yourself this.
Why do I want to make a change?
I use this question all of the time! It is so important for you to know why you want to do something. If you do not know why you are doing it then you will most likely not stick to it.
Identify your focus.
Knowing your focus is vital to a productive routine and a driven life at that. For different routines, you may come up with a different number of focus areas. For this, I choose three.
I began by asking myself what are three things that need to happen every day, but need work. These things are your current top priorities. There are things we do every day and don’t need to work on them. These things need to be something you have room to improve in and that needs to be better defined in your daily flow.
My three areas were school, work, and self-care. Being at home all day, there are more distractions that have created a large drop in my productivity. These are the three areas I have seen that I am lacking in over the past two weeks. As we continue to remain at home I need to define their place a bit better.
What are your three focus areas? What about these areas needs work? Why pick these areas over others?
Identify your goals.
When you have identified your focus you can then turn those focus areas into goals. Goals give you a direction to move forward towards. When choosing routine goals, what kind of routine you are making can affect what kind of goals you set.
A daily routine is a very broad thing. It is spread out across many hours and is subject to a lot of change. Whereas, a morning or night routine is constricted to a limited amount of time and faces less change. With daily routines, I shape my goals around time blocks.
For my school and work goal, I have decided to aim to work 2 hours a day at least on each. This will vary day today and will definitely change once things go back to normal. As of now, I am enjoying the rest I am getting with more open time.
I am also setting a goal to do something for me every day. It is very easy to neglect truly taking care of ourselves. So whether it be reading, a bubble bath, painting my nails, or just listening to my new favorite band alone I am going to do something a little extra for myself.
Map out your day.
This is where things really get visual. I may know what I need to do and what I want to achieve but it's time to put it on paper so I can see it all!
I like to write out all the waking hours of the day down the side of my page. This acts as your daily timeline. Leave enough space between your numbers to write. Then I fill in the key things I do every day and when I prefer to do them. For me, this includes meals, workouts, Bible study and family time. Once You have your key things in place you can add in your three focus areas.
I format these in time blocks. These times need to be practical for you. Really consider when the optimal time for you is because if it goes against the grain it may not stand the test of your daily life.
If you noticed my title for my page. It is “My Ideal Day”. I named it this because it reminds me every day that this is not what my day has to look like. It is what I want it to look like so I can take more steps towards reaching my goals.
Keep in mind.
As you think through and map out your daily flow for these coming days we spend at home. I want you to remember these three things...
Be Realistic: You can not do it all in one day. Achieving your goals can take time. Start by achieving one thing at a time. When you are mapping out your routine remove the fluff. Strip it all down to the basics of your necessities and priorities. Keep priorities, a priority by understanding you can not prioritize everything.
This is not a schedule: A schedule is hard and rigid. There are little wiggle room and freedom. THIS IS NOT A SCHEDULE. I will repeat that time and time again. Schedules are so important, but a schedule is not your life. A routine is something that becomes a part of your life, as it is how you travel through the flow of things.
Strive for Consistency: Just like with any goal, you have to strive for consistency. You will get off track but let this be your fall back. Put your routine on a wall somewhere you can see it and let it be a map or building block for how you approach your day.
I hope you are able to find a routine that allows you to work towards your goals. It is my hope that you found even just a little bit of inspiration today. If you made your own routine and want to share feel free to tag me on Instagram @abigail_.nicole or share on my Facebook page Sincerely With Love. I look forward to seeing your routine maps and hearing about how you too, are regaining routine during this social distancing season.
Sincerely with love,
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