Classics #2: For the moonlighter

Though my routine has more or less changed, my other 8 hours is a crucial part of my day. Though this book had much left to be desired, it served as a starting point to what would become this post. Best take away from it though: maximize every hour that you have outside of work. I have learned so much this past year and much of it were from just hours a day.

“DISCIPLINE”

When I was in high school, I was one of the biggest advocates against routine. Styling myself a creative and with friends equally so, we believed that the routine that school had set was the creative heart’s number one killer. So you can bet that I was thrilled when college and its non-routine became the very definition of my life.Four years of this was enough to change my tune, however. The fact of the matter is, if you want to be productive, you have to have structure. Some predictability in your schedule will make you more dependable on yourself and to others. So here’s what I got:

Courtesy of Nick K.

Allows you to be aware of available time slots.

Having an idea of what your schedule is like gives you a better idea or what you potentially want to include. For me, I work on my design and other projects after work. It’s really important for me to have a solid idea of what I am going to do each day to make the most out of my time before sleep. This also prevents me from over-scheduling as I limit my tasks to how much energy/time is needed and whether or not I need my nightly cup of coffee or tea (this part is optional).

Prevents procrastination

Franz Kafka, the 19th century writer, blamed his lack of routine on his work and family. An excerpt from Daily Routines, delivers a small insight to his plight as noted by his good friend Max Brod:
“… Had Kafka been able to use his time efficiently, the work schedule at the Institute would have left him with enough free time for writing. As he recognized, the truth was that he wasted time.”

After all, it’s easy to place the blame on external factors such as family and day to day life for your procrastination than actually doing. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

When work is over, it’s over.  When 10:30 hits, I usually start winding things down. By 11, I am reading and getting ready for the next day. Sometimes, I even go for a cup of sleepy tea. The tea helps my brain slow down long enough to sleep for the next few hours.

Feeling of being anchored. I made a physical space in my apartment to accomplish my tasks. Before I felt like I floated from area to area without any feeling of permanence. This is a feeling I’ve struggled for most of my life. Having a designated also gives a sense of place when I’m doing work; my whole mindset changes when I enter my room and I sit down. With my recent move, this has become of the main focuses. Creating my space is vital and is completed before anything else in the apartment move.

Learn to truly appreciate unstructured time.

Routine is not everything and I usually make one day of the week to simply enjoy. Lately, I’ve kept my things-to-do at a minimum. This, in turn has made me appreciate when a day is free to be a day, keeping the randomness in me alive (which is not hard at all).

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not for super restrictive routines. Allowing flexibility and adding certain goals to your workload is incredibly beneficial to believing in your routine. Plus, if something is not working, allow yourself the change. If a certain routine isn’t working for you, then who is it working for?

So take some time out of the day for a nice warm cup of coffee or tea. Sometimes it’s all you need to keep your mind going.