I have decided I need to shake up my work and writing routine considerably. This is a result of an unproductive and frustrating week last week: apparently, judging by the blogs I follow, it seems like some horrible virus was floating through the WordPress ether.
Anyways, my general mode of attack has been to handle job hunting in the morning and to write a blog post and work on my writer’s handbook in the afternoon.
The problem: I am a morning person. My creativity, energy, and drive peak in the morning and lately have been nonexistent after lunch. It’s a problem.
I always used to write in the mornings, first thing. When I had to teach in the mornings and be at work, I got up early and wrote before work. That system was great for me.
Now, I feel like I need to give job hunting a priority. I feel guilty if I don’t make a point of getting to it right away and for a relatively substantial amount of time each and every morning.
You’ve got to consider what tasks are best suited for you at what times.
Sure, not all of us are lounging around all day like me, doing all their work from home. Most people have jobs with set hours to go to. (I’m hoping to be in that number soon and very soon!)
But those days you don’t have a job to physically go to–say, on the weekend–I think we all can benefit from thinking about when we’re best suited to do which tasks.
Writing and editing–whether you’re crafting a blog post, writing fiction, or editing an extensive work of nonfiction–are mentally exhausting. I’m best suited for that kind of work before noon.
Putting my creative ventures off until after I eat lunch has been absolutely murdering my productivity.
In contrast, going through pages on indeed.com, filling out applications, and putting a new spin on a cover letter by adding material of specific interest to that corporation and that position’s responsibilities–basically, all your job hunting related activities–are relatively rote and mechanical.
I’ve realized there’s nothing wrong with job hunting in the afternoon and going back to putting the focus on my creative ventures in the morning. There’s no reason to feel guilty for not getting around to job hunting first, if I’m still getting around to it.
In fact, I’m hoping this shake-up of what’s become my new routine will help me feel more positive, more energetic, and more successful overall. If all goes well, I’ll be making great use of mornings as well as afternoons.
I wrote this post because I want to challenge everyone to evaluate their routines and where writing and work fit in, especially those who, like me, feel they haven’t been as productive lately as they could be.
- In what ways might your routine be working against you?
- Has your routine started to annoy and frustrate you? Does it make you feel cramped and chained, rather than liberated to make the best use of your time and abilities?
- Are you making full use (if you can, given job and family responsibilities) of your peak time of productivity, whether you’re an early bird or a night owl?
A routine should be something that aids and supports you, not something that becomes your enemy.
The problem is that we humans, as creatures of routine, can sometimes accept our routine as a given even when it’s not helping us. Sometimes, we need to force a change and move things around. A routine is NEVER set in stone.
You can always tweak it and even give it a major overhaul. After all, routines should be about mechanizing what works best for you, so you don’t waste time deciding what to do next.
Have you ever had to change a routine? Do you feel that routines, in general, are helpful and conducive to productivity?
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