So for the past 12 months I’ve been really good with sticking to my blogging schedule writing posts on certain days and posting them on others.
At the start of this year I decided to cut down my blogging from 3 to 2 days a week due to a change in hours at work and this still worked really well. I was able to manage my blog and work schedule really well, recently though I’ve had two week’s off work and it’s completely gone off the rails!
I’ve not been writing posts on my usual days as I’ve not been doing the other things I normally do on those days so it’s been a mad scrabble to sort out content. Take today for example, I completely lost track of what day it was so didn’t realise I had to write a post! It’s amazing how we chain events together so that mentally A leads to B which leads to C. If you miss just one step then the chain is broken and we lose where we are and what we have to do.
Some people say that you shouldn’t be so rigid, that flexibility and freedom breed creativity and I do agree with this to a certain extent. This relaxed attitude is all well and good when it comes to some aspects of life and work, but sometimes we need the rigidity and structure of a routine in order to knuckle down and get things done.
When you’re writing a long-form article, or maybe researching a project for work I think it’s much better to block out a specific time to do this activity so you know how long you have to work and can set yourself up to have minimal interruptions during this time. If you try and just “grab” a couple of hours here and there you’ll be distracted by other items that vie for your attention (co-workers, incoming emails and phone calls etc.) but if you’ve planned for it you can put things in place to keep the majority of these distractions at bay. Additionally I think that if you do the same thing each week (writing, your accounts, working out you meal plan), then doing that task on the same day and time each week will help you to get into the “zone” – you know what you’re doing and when so you subconsciously mentally prepare for it.
What Happens When The Routine Breaks Down?
So, as I said, my little routine has been working great for me over the past year or so (with a few minor tweaks here and there). I do certain tasks on certain says of the week depending on when things are needed and what hours I’ve been working as this can greatly impact my energy levels – I don’t really want to be running around dusting after 10+ hours of work and paperwork!
The problem was that being on holiday meant that I was missing the trigger of most of my tasks. Not being at work meant I could have a lay in, or go out of an evening, change the time I did the grocery shopping or the hoovering and all of these small changes gradually had a knock-on effect over the two weeks that meant by the middle of the second week everything had gone to pot and there was no way to recover the time I had lost and the tasks and chores I had missed.
Sure, I know people will say “But Katy, you were on Holiday, it’s good to relax and unwind” and that’s certainly true – and if I had been sunning myself on a yacht in the Caribbean it would have definitely been true but the difference there is that I would have planned for it. I would have made sure I had blog posts scheduled and ready to go up, I would have cleaned everything before-hand so it wasn’t a mad panic when I got home, I would have stocked the freezer so I didn’t have to rush out to the store the minute I got back. Preparation is what was missing from my holiday.
Other people could say that “It’s okay to take time off and miss things out when you’re on holiday Katy” and again, this is true but items like my blog would have needed a but more pre-planning and warning that me just saying “Bah! Forget it, I’m not going anywhere near that for the next couple of weeks”, that again would have needed some form of pre-planning added to my pre-holiday routine.
Am I being too hard on myself? Probably. It’s just that when something has been running so well and smoothly it’s hard to see it go off the rails as it were. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly I can get back into my routine now that my holiday is over, hopefully it won’t take too long – I have too much to catch up on!
Over To You
How important is routine in your life? Does your work and home life revolve around it or do you just go with the flow doing things when you feel like it?
Let us know in the comments – and let me know if I’m being too hard on myself too!