Mastery: Oh No! My Routine Has Changed!

by bxrtley

May is the litmus test of your commitment to those January resolutions. One of the ways my commitment is being tested is with this daily routine change that feels drastically different. But when I look a bit more closely, it really hasn’t changed much. I used to 1) wake up, 2) set up shop in the living room, 3) make tea, 4) spiritually connect, 5) journal and then 6) commence with writing and consulting projects. I worked from home.

But now? 1) I wake up, 2) get dressed, 3) make tea, 4) throw it in a travel mug, 5) spiritually connect while crossing busy intersections, then 6) journal and commence with projects at free co-work spaces (that’s the poor man’s euphemism for loiter-lenient Starbucks cafes and wi-fi-ready public libraries).

I didn’t fight or lament over the change, because I understood that working from home less would require a few alterations here and there. As you can see, the core activities of my routine are the same, but the execution is a bit different. Instead of quietly sipping tea from a ceramic mug, it’s from a spill-proof thermos while standing at a desk. Instead of journaling in the soft couch, it’s done in a public wooden chair ergonomically designed to make you want to stand up and work.

Oh my God—I’m fulfilling the stereotype of the rat raced New Yorker I once pitied. I suppose it was only a matter of ti…NO! I won’t stand for this! (But I won’t sit in those wooden chairs either!) I digress.

So there obviously have been a few tradeoffs to this work-outside-of-home shift. Here are some more:

Rejuvenation. Home can now be seen as a place of respite, rather than a 24/7 hustle and grind co-op.

Balance. It’s a bit easier to officially draw an end to the work day and let it go, to pick it back up the next day.

Productivity. There’s a temptation to sleep in later than my typical 4am wakeup. After all, co-work spots don’t open for another 5 hours and home is now seen more as a place of rest. But if I eventually can measure that I get more done in less time, then sleeping a bit more some days just might be worth it. Or I can do that much more work before leaving, which would breach the home-as-respite notion. Decisions, decisions.

Networking. I meet more new people and build new relationships (and even find new business) now that I’m out more consistently.

Health. I’m more mobile. I get more sun. I stand up more while working too (blasted wooden chairs).

Stress. Since I’m not there as much anymore, I no longer feel like the apartment’s custodian. Things haven’t changed, but my physical and emotional investment, feelings of resentment and frustration have significantly lowered.

Nothing’s wrong with your routine changing. But have a good reason for it to change and understand your tradeoffs. For instance, I have to be more intentional on making sure I keep my daily devotional, journal and blogging habits up to par. They seem to be crowded out when I put it off until I get to the co-work space. One way to facilitate for this change might be for me to not get dressed so quickly and actually have tea in my pajamas while I commence with the non-work part of my day.

So that’s my May for ya. What’s yours looking like?