Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Building a Customary or Regular Course of Procedure

rou·tine: A regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative and constantly repeated formula resulting in a convenient or predictable response.

Even though the very definition of routine makes my skin crawl, I know the benefits that come with this "unimaginative" and "habitual" daily act. I mentioned in my last post that having a reliable routine (including work and training schedule) left room for inspiration to find it's way into my mind and make itself welcome. When I don't have to think about what will fill my days I free up some bandwidth in my brain making room for inspiration and motivation to do their thing.

Now don't get me wrong, thinking about doing an hour of yoga, maybe going for a hike, reading recent posts on the various blogs I follow or catching up with friends doesn't exactly push me to my creative limits or anything. But I refuse to sit on the couch and watch TV all day and there is simply nothing worse than coming to the end of the day and realizing you actually and literally did nothing. I just don't let that happen. So, even though it's not life changing productivity I'm filling my days with, it still takes some planning and I have to put effort into what I want to do every day.

Actually... re-read that last sentence. "it's not life changing productivity I'm filling my days with" On the contrary!!!!!

I could fill my days with job hunting. I could send out 10 resumes a day looking for a job that provides a steady pay cheque, good benefits and an RSP matching program. If I put my mind to it, I could have a job in no time and my "day filling" problem would just go away.

Instead, what I'm doing is searching for passion, questioning what makes me happy, looking for new personal challenges and ways to realize my dreams. In doing so, I'm dedicating myself to finding meaningful work at something I will enjoy, bring a sense of fulfilment to my life and that I will ultimately be successful at. So... sorry.. I lost track of why filling my days was a problem......

Right! As a part of my search for meaningful work and unconventional success, I will add routine back in my life so that inspiration has room to get warm and cozy in my once again busy brain.

Back to basics.

Exercise: I have to include exercise in everyday. That sounds so slight coming from an Ironman triathlete who used to have a "training regime". No training here. Just exercise. Yoga in my living room (budget conscious alternative to classes), short runs or evening swims will do. As of late, I just pack up my computer and walk the 25min to the furthest Starbucks where I spend a few hours (as opposed to spending it in my home office).

Schedule: Putting things in my calendar help create routine. I'm riding on Tuesday's and Friday's plus one other flexible day of the week. I'd like to swim on Tuesday's and Thursday's so that in a few weeks (of getting my water wings back) I can start to swim with my local Masters swim club (who practice on the same nights). I enjoy Yoga and start my day with it twice a week.

I also would like to write on my blog three times a week, so I will dedicate some time to that in a schedule. There's also time to commit to career search and research on the same topic. Similarly, there are business ideas that require massaging and nurturing in order to develop.

Finally, being unemployed provides great opportunity to do things that you normally don't get to do, like play tourist in your own city. I'm also adding to my schedule "something new" which will encourage me to look for something new to do each week. "Broaden my horizons" if you will.

Well, that didn't take long. Now my schedule is full and by the end of the day, I will have earned the right to relax. This is an interesting time in my life and I intend to take full advantage of it. This is the time to create opportunity and make change.

Now that I've outlined specifically what my new routine will include, I wonder where I will find the time! It also helped me realize that my time is valuable and what I do with it really matters. This is my life I'm talking about, I will only get out what I put in.

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