So I’m rebelling a lot against my morning routine. And I haven’t done it completely in forever and not at all for maybe a week or so. I’d rather sleep in, start my day with staring at my phone and I don’t want to stress myself all the time.
Which is all good. There’s just one problem: when I do the morning routine I am much happier and more productive.
The current morning routine is pretty long:
I have to confess that I have never ever earned a gold star for „15 minutes in focus zone“. The whole thing started with the Fly Lady System and the original list was already in the Home Routines app. I still aspire to get that done as well. That the list’s origins lie with the app and the Fly Lady System is also the reason everything is in English. A friend found it pretty funny that „make peppermint tea“ is not in English.
So that’s the whole list and it basically takes all morning. I can get through it if I wake up around 5.30 and don’t look at the internet or email until after 8.30 or so. I get up (getting out of bed takes at least five minutes, often fifteen), use the bathroom, go to the kitchen, take my medication with a glass of water, get the muesli bowls out and pull some blueberries out of the freezer, weigh myself and get dressed minus the socks and sweater, turn the TV on, start Youtube (try to connect the TV with wifi, fail, rinse, repeat), roll out my yoga mat, do ten minutes of yoga, do five minutes of sitting meditation, turn TV off, roll yoga mat up again and put it away, fetch the book for the morning pages, sit down and write for about thirty minutes and then it is usually too late for working on the novel, have a look at my daily blog post before it’s published, make tea and muesli and set everything out for the rest of the family, either eat with the boy or alone, have a quick look at the internet and write my daily post on Ravelry, work on the novel for another 25 minutes (or not if I don’t feel like it which makes me cranky instantly) and then it’s time for my husband to eat his breakfast.
That puts the routine on hold until we have talked about everything we need to talk about and while we do that I usually knit.
Some time around 9.30 (but usually later) I then get back to the list, do the dishes, wipe the table, carry everything that is recyclable down into the basement including any empty bottles, sort like to like down there, get fresh bottles of soda and alcohol free beer and such and put them in the fridge. Most days I don’t start a load of laundry but if I do that time around ten is a good time for it because the washing machine takes between 2 and 2 1/2 hours and if I start the laundry then I can hang it up before lunchtime.
You might wonder why I have a list like this when those are things I do every day. Well, for one I don’t really do them every day it is a bit aspirational in points. And for two, while I don’t have ADHD I do tend to wander off between tasks and forget things. Yes, I do a lot of these things every day but without the list it would take me a lot of mental energy to make sure that I didn’t forget anything.
The app makes it so that I start each morning with a fresh and clean list, it counts gold stars (which doesn’t interest me at all). I have had times that I felt silly and a little embarrassed for having lists like these but you know what? Surgeons and pilots have checklists for the things they have to do each and every time they start their work and they have them for a reason. It frees the mind and prevents mistakes. Before the list there were many days where we wanted to have a cool beverage with lunch and there was nothing in the fridge. Oops. It is the same reason why we have a piece of paper that says „hang up laundry please“ that the person starting a load of laundry puts on the kitchen table. It’s way too easy to get caught up in something else and forget all about it.
So I debated the morning routine. Maybe I am more of a free spirit and could just go with the flow? What is the point of trying to force myself to adhere to the plan when I keep deviating all the time? If there’s a task on the list that never gets done, wouldn’t it be better to delete it?
Last Saturday I had reached the end of my patience. I decided to throw the morning routine and all thoughts of being productive out the window. I’d get around to things eventually and if not, who cares?
By Monday I didn’t even attempt to start the morning routine. It felt freeing.
Until. I was limping around because I hadn’t done yoga in three days and my back was decidedly unhappy. And I had forgotten to take my thyroid medication first thing twice which meant I had to wait with breakfast half an hour longer than I wanted. And I somehow never got around to doing any work on the novel.
So I’m guessing I’ll be going back to the morning routine.
Unfortunately the most important part about the morning routine is not the list above. It’s this one:
It’s my evening routine. Sorry for the language change and welcome in my weird life. This one I obviously started myself, hence it being mostly German. It says: clean doorhandles (in the annex after teaching), brush teeth, floss, wash face, wash dishes, wipe table, check bread (to see if there’s enough left for breakfast), put on pajamas, bullet journal, read after 8.30, lights out before 9.30.
That last point is the most crucial one. The list is for when I skip dinner, by the way. To make that easier I brush my teeth right at the beginning. Only I haven’t skipped dinner in ages. Ot turned the lights out anywhere near 9.30 or even 10. And that makes the morning routine almost impossible. Getting out of bed right onto the yoga mat and then onto the page for writing is hard enough. Doing it without adequate sleep is near impossible.
Another downside of the morning routine is that I’m basically done with the day by late afternoon. If I have to teach until 7 I’m almost falling asleep on my feet. On the other hand if I have already done the important bits including the novel-stuff, exercise, knitting and teaching that’s not much of a problem.
So it seems I’ll try the morning routine a little longer. And tweak as necessary, of course.
And yes, Monday happened, including running:
Leftover chicken with rice and peas.
Today there will be more teaching and a walk to the health food store and loads of stuff from the list (the daily one in my bullet journal). As usual.