There’s been a lot of talk among different groups of friends and acquaintances about routines, lately. Getting up well, being productive, winding down. After the move my routines changed a bit out of necessity, and finding my new normal was a bit of a process.
My cell phone alarm goes off at the unholy hour of 5:45 am and I debate with myself whether or not I can sleep in another 10 minutes. There was a recent report circulating that getting up without hitting snooze makes it easier to get up in general, but try telling yourself when your husband is being all warm and snuggly and you know the world outside the covers is cold. But I get up, grab my clothes from the guest bedroom/adopted closet and try not to fall down stairs to go shower. Granted, that’ll change once the upstairs shower is installed (soon!) but it’s my reality for now.
While I’m getting ready for work I have to do things in a certain order or I will find myself, for instance, forgetting to put on deodorant or putting on only half my makeup. Forgetting things is such a big possibility in my mornings, that I had to start leaving my thyroid meds (the only one I take in the morning) on top of the fridge so I’ll see it when I go to grab my breakfast and lunch to pack up for the day.
Our local radio station in Thomasville plays some seriously old school music (think Johnny Mathis, Glen Campbell, and Barbara Streisand) and it makes for a nice and mellow start to my hour-long commute. Just past the county line it starts getting scratchy and I’ll either switch over to another low-talk oldies station or flip off the radio and dictate a post draft or project idea using an app on my phone. A friend suggested this as a way to reclaim some of the time it feels like I’m “losing” with the commute.
On Mondays, once I get to the office, I sit down with my planner and plot out my week. Other days I at least check it before getting started one whatever was left on my desk–if I don’t there’s a good chance I’ll forget something until it’s too late (like a phone meeting on the way home; oops!). I know a lot of people have moved to digital organizers and calendars on their phone, but there’s just something about writing everything down that works best for me.
A good evening routine, I think, is just as important for a good morning as getting up on time.
Bedtime is 11 o’clock but I’ve found that I need to start winding down at 10 in order to make that happen. I shut my computer down and brew a cup of tea to take up to bed with me–something I started doing about a year ago and it’s a wonderful little bedtime ritual. While the tea is brewing I’ll put together my overnight oats for the next morning, ensuring I don’t skip breakfast. I make up a big batch of the basic oat mixture and then just add my toppings and milk per portion each evening.
Once upstairs I pick out my outfit for the next day because I am seldom super coherent first thing in the morning. I recently got the upstairs “closet” arranged the way I like it–tops, bottoms, and dresses grouped together and organized by color–and it makes picking out an outfit that much easier. Then it’s just a matter of taking my medication and getting into bed with a book, magazine, or my Kindle so that I can further unwind before actually going to sleep.
Have you ever examined your morning and evening routines to see how they could better fit your day? Do you even have a routine?