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Fun Friday–Routines Routine

Friday, March 4, 2011

Something that was really hard for me the first few weeks I was in Arkansas—other than having a broken ankle and needing surgery, obviously—was being away from home and, therefore, being unable to go through with all of my routines.

And one of the hardest things about having been home for several weeks now is getting back into those routines once I’d gotten used to a different way of doing things in Arkansas. But next week, I’ve got to get myself back onto a regular schedule—both for work and for everything else—so that I can accomplish what I need to do over the next couple of months. Especially since there is the possibility I might be going back to work (for someone else, no longer freelancing full-time at home) in the near future. So it’s gotten me thinking about how I need to get back into my routines routine. There are the obvious ones that never stopped (brushing my teeth, taking my pills, etc.), and some others were quite easy to pick back up again:

  • Friday = laundry day. It also = change the sheets on the bed day. Which means the house smells great all day (I use “Fresh Rain” ALL detergent and “Mountain Spring” Downy fabric softener, and in a small house like mine, with the W/D in the kitchen, the fragrance permeates the whole place).
  • Every other Saturday is a Middle Tennessee Christian Writers meeting, one at which I present a workshop (our public meetings) and one which is laid back and open agenda (our members-only meeting). It gets me out and about and face-to-face with people, which I really look forward to.
  • Sunday, of course, means church. And on the first Sunday of each month, it’s the added bonus of Communion during service and the First Sunday lunch for my Sunday school class. So first Sundays, like this week, are special.

Some, however, are taking a little bit longer to build back into habits:

  • I need to get up at the same time every morning—not allow myself to sleep in whenever I want to and stay up until the early morning hours whenever I want to.
  • Once I’m up, I need to have breakfast and then go to the gym to walk on the treadmill to start getting my ankle reconditioned even faster so that I can move on to other forms of exercise. (Daily)
  • I need to limit the time I allow myself for e-mail, blogs, and Facebook throughout the day. While social media is part of my job, I’ve allowed that to become an excuse to be on that far too long every day, limiting my productivity—or forcing me to stay up all night to get my work done because I didn’t get it done during the day.
  • With five rooms in my house (kitchen, living room, bathroom, and two bedrooms), I need to spend twenty to thirty minutes cleaning one room each day.
  • I need to work outside of the house at least one day each week, just to get out and be around people and have a change of scenery. (Of course, if I do end up going back to work full-time, this won’t be an issue anymore—then it’ll be a chore to get me out of the house at all once I get home at night!)
  • I want to start sending a message of encouragement, praise, or warm thoughts to friends and family—at least one person each day. Living alone and working at home has allowed me to become far too insular, so making myself think of someone else and write to them will help me break out of that isolated, somewhat self-centered mindset.
  • I want to read at least one novel each month for fun. Especially now that I have my Kindle with a bunch of content loaded on it. I know one novel a month doesn’t sound like much to most of you, but when you spend so much time with words the way I do (both writing and editing), reading just doesn’t relax me the way it used to. But this is something I need to do, not only to exercise different parts of my brain, but also to help with my own writing/storytelling abilities.
  • I need to rejoin Weight Watchers and get back into all of my routines associated with losing weight—going to meetings, reporting my weight on my other blog weekly, activity tracking, and planning out my meals for the week on Sunday afternoon before going to WW and then to the grocery store afterward.

And that’s just the tip of the iceburg. My life is so much easier, so much calmer and more joyful when I’m living on a schedule with all of my routines in place.

What is your routines routine? What are some routines you must have in place to keep from going stir crazy from the chaos?

  1. Friday, March 4, 2011 2:02 am

    I need to get more routines.
    I need to drink more water but find if I dont drink it in the morning I struggle.
    For the past year or so I couldn’t sleep in maybe one day til 8ish but was waking around 6 – 7 or earlier and up. This was so unusual for me but since going away I find I am sleeping in and often get up after 8 which is fine unless I have to go out. I think If i could get a system where I am up at 8 it would work well! I am enjoying the extra sleep but I also find I am then rushed to do things and as of this week I am back in to the strict study schedule which I need to reset to Wed and Thursdays ( 9 – 4 with a couple of breaks but not internet surfing)
    I tend to not have set days to do things Laundry is when I need it or its a fine day like I know its going to rain Tuesday so I need to make sure I do it by Monday (I dont have a dryer)
    I also need to spend less time on facebook especially as my fave games wont load and I waste time hoping they will this time!
    I know about being alone and needing contact. I am trying to get a games night here about once every two months just to socialize with people. I tend to find it so easy to be alone and know I need to get out. Its so easy to not do things.

    Of course I am hoping to have work by the end of June. I would love to have maybe 4 days a week and would love to work at home but I dont thing thats an option so will be looking for work which means I need to get some routines happening. I go either Sunday or Tuesday lunchtime to visit mum.


  2. Friday, March 4, 2011 6:31 am

    I’m needing to get back into routines too. With the complete upheaval of packing and moving over the last 2 months, everything has gone out of whack. Now that we are in our new house, I’m looking forward to sitting down and re-mapping my routine and cleaning schedule so that I can get back into a groove. It helps so much!


  3. Friday, March 4, 2011 6:35 am

    Okay…first thing…what is this about going back to work???? That is huge. I mean, how would that change your productivity in writing books? Wow!

    Now, I love schedules, and I used to live by them, but like you, I’ve slipped into a free-for-all mentality. Not a good thing. I’ve struggled with finding a DAILY writing time, laundry day, grocery shopping day, you name it…it’s a “whatever needs to get done, will get done” attitude. Again, not a good thing.

    So…is this a challenge to get on a routine? Because I like challenges. 🙂


    • Friday, March 4, 2011 6:47 am

      I have a job interview Monday morning in the marketing department at a local publishing house—which would draw on my experience as an author doing promotion, my experience as a copy editor and copywriter, and my more than decade of experience working in the advertising industry. Obviously, there’s no guarantee I’ll get that job, but of the several I’ve applied for over the past few months, it’s the first one I’ve gotten an interview for. While I love working from home and the freedom that gives me, after a really rough 2010—between lower-than-needed income, constantly being on deadline, and the whole broken ankle/no insurance thing—I’ve decided to pursue opportunities as they come and see where God leads me.

      Job or no, I’m planning to cut back to only one or two books a year. I can’t write three books a year and work as many hours as I need to to make ends meet, especially now with all of the extra bills I have. And I can continue doing some freelance editing work to make extra money to get those bills paid down if I take a full-time job.

      As far as a challenge . . . we can make it one if you want to. What stakes do you suggest?


      • Jill W permalink
        Friday, March 4, 2011 6:44 pm

        Good luck on the interview, Kaye!


  4. Friday, March 4, 2011 9:07 am

    Friday is my laundry day too, but that means laundromat for me. Even with a migraine hangover, like today, this has to get done. My goal is to get out of the house by 8am, so I’ll have a week’s worth of laundry done by 9:30am. Then it’s back home to put it all away or hang it to finish drying and get to work writing, which normally begins at 9am (mon-thurs). Other routines include riding the exercise bike after breakfast for 5 miles, and after lunch for 5 miles, and after dinner for 5-10 miles as time allows. Writing happens in between, and sometimes errands.


  5. Friday, March 4, 2011 11:02 am

    Lori just made me very tired. 🙂 But one of the routines I am pondering IS exercise. I’d love to lose weight, but I realize that if I would exercise, I would feel better on so many levels. It’s just getting up the nerve to START.

    Another is my cleaning routine. The kitchen pretty well stays clean daily, and isn’t a problem, but when we have a few weeks with weekends tied up, or we’re just bone tired, the other stuff doesn’t get done. If I can get in a load of laundry per day, I can stay caught up. Otherwise, it starts to grow, exponentially.

    My writing routine has to fit around work, church, family, and house stuff. Which means it’s limited, which means I have less time for writing, unless I get in a ROUTINE.

    So, Kaye, how did you know I’ve been pondering routines, lately? And about the job? It sounds like fun, actually. I’d love to do something within the publishing industry, even if I’m never published. Praying with you about the interview!


  6. Audrey permalink
    Friday, March 4, 2011 12:24 pm

    Wake up at about 8am, help my mom with the baby we watch, go to the mall (during fall and winter and when it’s raining in the spring/summer) and do my morning 5 mile power walk. It’s nice to walk right when the mall opens on weekdays because it’s so empty.
    I have to do some kind of exercise every day. If I don’t walk for some reason, i’ll do extra of my dance wii game and then practice my dance class steps for 20 minutes on top of that.
    Then I spend 30 minutes on various websites looking and applying for jobs, Tuesdays I volunteer at the hospital, wednesdays I watch the shows I have on the DVR (Gossip Girl, Hellcats, Glee sometimes).
    I try to go to bed at around 10:30pm and I like to read before going to bed because it helps me to unwind so my goal is always to read for 45 minutes (if it be a book, some good fanfiction, etc), but usually it gets to be more like 1 1/2 hours.
    Then for sundays, I go to the other mall, get a fro-yo, walk around and then I have dance class for 2 1/2 hours, come home, shower, bed.

    It’s hard to really stick to a routine when you help watch a toddler, which makes life very unpredictable.


  7. Jill W permalink
    Friday, March 4, 2011 6:43 pm

    I am a creature of routine and become stressed when my routine gets interrupted. I go to bed at the same time, get up at the same time (5:30) even on the weekends. I work 7:30-3:30, come straight home and do five miles on my treadmill, no excuses. Once you create the habit of exercising daily, you feel guilty if you don’t. After treadmill, I shower and then fire up my laptop. This is where I struggle. I have every intention of writing, but after weeding through tons of e-mails and reading the blogs I subscribe to which all pertain to writing and learning the craft…..I’m ready to go to bed! I need to apply my exercise discipline to my writing, but ever since NANOWRIMO, I’ve lost my motivation to complete my WIP. I did reach the 50K word count in November to be a winner, but I feel like a loser because I can’t bring the story to it’s conclusion. This weekend I plan to attack the story and stay away from e-mail until I gets some words on the page.


  8. Saturday, March 5, 2011 3:35 pm

    I HAVE to get back into my routine. This year has totally wrecked what I used to have going. Don’t know why, but my mind hasn’t been the same since we moved here. I used to go to Bible study and grocery shopping on Monday, write on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then go out to Panera or wherever and revise or study craft on Friday. Not sure why I can’t seem to schedule myself anymore. I certainly need to!


  9. Saturday, March 5, 2011 8:01 pm

    I fear I don’t have much of a routine, but I do have habits. Actually, now that I think of it:
    I work 4 hours a day on Tues., Wed., and Fri. for a non-profit adult literacy program. When I come home I take a nap and then do some household stuff, get on the computer to blog and/or write. Mon. & Thurs. are my days “off” so that’s when I do the bulk of my writing, projects, and a wee bit of housework. The same follows usually on Sat. and Sun. but Sunday is church. I watch House and Castle on Mon. nights and my dvr’d Bonanza episodes every day, at least 2. I’m pretty boring, so I’m told, by my kids. But I find doing the same things eliminates a lot of stress in my life!



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