Getting a grip on routines

Even though my goals have remained constant since the start of the year, it definitely feels like the details of my lifestyle have been changing. I guess that’s the point of this blog, to focus on the details  – more and more I’m convinced it’s the little things that add up to long-term success. In the third month of this process, I’m really starting to get an idea of the concrete logistical requirements and commitment that are required to get all the goals working together: I think that’s the difference between saying, for each goal, this is what I’m aiming to do and these are the concrete daily/weekly/monthly steps I need to take to achieve it, and having those things mesh together in the life of one person where I only have 24 hours in any given day, and only have one brain and can only do/thinking about a limited number of things at any one time.

But this is IT, these are the practicalities of achieving my dreams, the real nitty-gritty – and this is the stuff I love!

I can’t remember when I last did a run-through of what’s included in each day but here’s a list for a typical work-day, including all the little things that go towards the smooth running of this life where all these goals are at play. This has been adjusted for taking language study out of work-time so that’s one major change at least.

  • Morning personal routines: up, weigh, breakfast, dress etc.
  • Pack up swim stuff – goes towards exercise goal
  • Pack up lunch to take – goes towards food goal
  • Morning household routines: make bed, stash laundry, wash up, wipe windows, open vents, heating on/off
  • Journey to work: daily study pack currently includes Russian reading (1-2 pages), kanji testing (2-week rotation), new kanji practice (theoretically!) and any reading I have time for
  •  Swim – exercise goal
  • Walk to work – exercise goal and usually also language listening time (podcasts)
  • Buy small work treats on the way (if I do this on a daily basis it stops me stockpiling which stops me binging and also avoids me stepping out of the office at lunchtime when I am hungry and all sorts of temptation can happen!)
  • At work, I eat the second half of breakfast and have a cup of tea while I’m checking my e-mails. I’m cold and ravenous by this point and getting to sit down and eat something is one of the BEST times of my day!
  • On my computer  I will open up two or three files – a “today” file for general brain-dumping (that’s a sanity crutch I learned in therapy!) and a WOC file to track my food thoughts through the day – that gets posted to my other blog.
  • I will try to get a blog post written during the day as well – this is the perfect counter-foil to number-heavy hard-graft worky stuff.
  • Work is work – I try to get through whatever seem to be the most obvious things that day!
  • I have been trying to fit in a definite half-hour on studying for my next accountancy exam every day, and also a bit extra looking through the online resources whenever I can.
  • I try to leave work as early as I can – extra time at work means less time for music, less time for sleep, and often means I skip cleaning
  • Train home – whatever is left of the study pack for the day.
  • Sometimes there will be a run to the shops on the way home.

Evening – have a quick turnaround in my brain to focus being a musician!

  • home – quick unpack and clear up – clothes & swim stuff in the wash, Tupperware back in the cupboard, charge phones, move diary and other stuff to studio
  • music: first is to do vocal warm-ups for 15 minutes or so. This means that I’m prepared for whatever I want to sing later in the evening
  • I can use the warm-up time (while laaing and aahing) to switchover some stuff between work and home – upload stuff to the blog, prep language stuff, print things, prep creative stuff, etc.
  • Next music task at the moment is songwriting – aiming again for 15 minutes’ worth at least. This is to remind me that whatever else, I want the core of my music to be original songs and you only get those if you put in the time to let them out!
  • Third music task is strumming practice (I’m learning new techniques at the moment) – having those slots helps me get through the first half of my practice time easily without being tempted to procrastinate
  • Around this point I will make dinner, if HH isn’t doing it. If it’s something that will go in the oven usually I’ll carry on practicing; if it’s something that needs watching/stirring I’ll use the time to do cleaning chores.
  • I will usually try to prep my morning sandwich etc. for the following day.
  • I’ll try to fit in a short session of strength moves – stretches, kettlebell and push-ups – this and the vocal warmups are important to do before I eat anything.
  • We sit and eat together and hang out and usually I get a bit of journal time afterwards.
  • All that’s left for the evening then is to fit in more music – whatever is most obvious/easiest/appealing, for whatever time is left until HH decides to go to bed or until I give up from exhaustion!
  • I’ll try to fit in a few minutes crafting something whenever I can as well.

That is kind of how things fit together at the moment. The thing that gets me stuck is that the further we get through the week, the more exhausted I am and the less I want to do the little chores and prep for the next day; it just seems like there are a lot of little things and they get annoying! I would Also the cleaning quite often gets skipped but that’s not so much of a big deal, partly because I have a good morning routine to cover the really basic stuff and partly because I will be inclined to do more at weekends anyway. It all kind of works but I wish it worked a bit better!


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