Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I write here (or in my newsletter) about the importance of routines. It’s just that I’m reminded very frequently about how much of an impact they can have on order, productivity and overall peace of mind.
My crazy travel and conference-going schedule of late really brought that to home. It started on September 18, when I went to Portland for a conference, returned to St. Louis for a conference, went to Chicago for a trade show and then immediately went to Walla Walla, Washington, to visit family. I returned a week ago and am still struggling to get back to normal.
Until now, I’ve been proud of my ability to post frequently (at least four times a week most weeks) to this blog. I’d worked it into my daily routine. Most days I would blog before I left the house to walk my dogs. I loved getting it out of the way and didn’t want it hanging over my head. Because I was posting so frequently, new ideas for blog posts would occur to me all the time. I’d jot them down (or use Jott.com to email them to myself if they occurred to me when I was driving) and toss the note into my “blog ideas” file.
But my travel threw me for a loop. After I got home, I was getting up later (the fact that it gets light so late isn’t helping) and just not posting first thing in my morning. With blogging out of my daily routine, my mind didn’t seem to be on the constant lookout for ideas. So when I’d think about blogging, I didn’t feel like I had anything to say. And, believe me, that’s the bane of the blogger.
So this week, I’m going to try really hard to blog Monday through Friday. It’s clear that I’m not back into the first-thing-in-the-morning routine, since I’m writing this at 4:30 p.m. But I’m going to give that a shot, too.
I will say this about routines, though. Those that are ingrained into me came right back upon my return. I’m clearing off my desk at the end of every work day (hooray!), still running the dishwasher every night and emptying it every morning, still wiping down the bathroom fixtures every morning. Just those things adds some semblance of order to my home and life and for that I’m really grateful.
Routines are powerful. Routines work. Routines help you do once-annoying chores without even thinking about them (let alone being annoyed by them). If you’re not tapping into the power of routines, I encourage you to do so. Websites like Don’t Break the Chain and Joe’s Goals can help you form some routines.
While you do that, I’ll be trying to reestablish some routines and create some new ones. First routine: resume morning (or at least weekday) blogging.