Establishing a Routine (following up!)
Last week I reported on my struggles with establishing a routine – thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments! I’m glad to hear that I’m not alone. It seems to be a common problem, but not one that can’t be overcome.
Sadly (yet, somehow, realistically) I can’t report that my week was magically perfect after airing my frustration. I still didn’t fit in exercise. But I did wrap up a client project, answered questions about another, lined up another client consultation, worked on an upholstery project, and managed to fill up my evenings next week with events and outings. I felt productive.
However, I did take note of how I was thinking about my time. I often feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks that I have on my plate – even though they are things I WANT to do. But on Sunday night I found myself mentally committing to way more tasks for the next day than would be physically possible. Finishing the chairs, finishing a client’s floor plan, emailing like 20 people, working out, doing laundry, hanging pictures, running errands, cooking a new recipe for dinner (which ended up taking four hours in itself), blogging (I like to write several posts at once and pre-schedule them). I’d think of “just one more thing” and think “I could do that tomorrow” but was setting myself up for failure by just wanting to do too many things in one day.
Since noticing that, the last few days I’ve been committing myself to accomplishing just one large task each day. Sure, I can do more (and need to if I want to keep this business ticking) but waking up in the morning knowing that “finishing these chairs” is my task for the day helps eliminate the wandering indecisiveness and overwhelm. When I finish that task, there are others waiting to be done.
I might eventually land on a schedule of, say, three must-complete items per day and a fall-back list for when those are complete. But this week, I’m sticking with one. It’s a learning process, and adjustment.
I guess my main message for the week is that it’s ok to have a learning curve, to realize that something isn’t working and take steps to adjust. And it’s ok for a realization to not magically create a better habit or action. It still takes time to build habits. I used to be one of those “all or nothing” types, but I’m learning as I get older that those plans have never worked for me. One change at a time.