I recognize there probably could not be a more boring title, or subject.  Still, everyone has some semblance of a routine, even those who don’t do the same thing all day every day.  I mean, at the very least, everyone brushes their teeth at least once a day, right?  Right?  I’m constantly reminded how important acknowledging and understanding your routine is if you want to incorporate a new habit or activity into your life.  For me, that’s blogging.

When I very optimistically started this blog last summer I thought I’d just write when I felt like it and has the misguided notion that I would feel like it fairly often.  In reality I rarely felt like it and when life got busy I never felt like it.  But it’s like exercising–I never feel like doing it but I want to feel like doing it and I know I’ll be glad I did it once I do it.  That means I need to find a way to get it done without thinking about it.  And that means creating a routine.  I’ve tried getting up early in the morning and exercising first thing, but I know I don’t really have to get up and I’d always rather sleep.  I’ve tried planning to come home and go for a run/walk immediately before doing anything else, but there’s always something else to do–like open the mail, or sit on the couch.  I’ve tried using the gym where I work during my lunch hour but I always feel rushed and gross when I get back to my desk.  After some thinking I realized that if I took advantage of the convenience of the gym at work, the free time I have immediatley after work, and the utilized restriction of changing at work and not going home first I would actually get to the gym more days than not.  And it works.  I pack my clothes in the morning when the thought of a work out is far away enough not to be bothersome.  I bring the bag into my office with me so I have no excuses.  And when I leave I just walk over to the gym (which I’d have to walk right by to get to my car) and once that happens there’s no turning back.

So I needed to figure out something similar with blogging.  I started by figuring out what the obstacles to my blogging were (following my other tenet of identifying the problem–more later).  Since I spend so much time on a computer at work I rarely want to look at one when I’m at home.  But I don’t have time to blog at work, nor is that what they’re paying me to do!  But if I could take advantage of the technological roll I’m on when I’m at work as well as the free time I have when I’m not at work…thus, blogging at the end of the work day, before I head over to the gym.  Ta da!

The same is true with getting organized.  If you currently have  a routine that leads to disorganization, you’re going to go back to being disorganized no matter how much time you spend getting everything in order.  You need to identify the issues that are causing the disorganization and then do the hard work (!!) to create a routine that combats them.  If your routine is to just leave non-essential stuff in your purse when you switch to a different one, you’re going to have a bunch of purses filled with random stuff and never be able to find anything.  But if you suffer through a few seconds of inconvenience when you switch purses you’ll save yourselves potentially hours of inconvenience later when you’re searching for that thing you forgot you left in your other purse.  The good thing is, after just a short while of enforcing your new habit, it will become…routine, and you won’t have to think about it anymore.

Of course, sometimes life happens and routines get interrupted–case in point, I am now posting this from home because it’s snowing so hard that I left work early.  So you do have to retain some flexibility and can’t take your routine too serisouly!