From early December we had house guests staying with us for several weeks and, during that time, my daily routine was paused. While I always say that I’m not a fan of routine, the lack of any framework for my activities really impacted my productivity.
This week is the first time I’ve been able to fall back into my routine since the New Year and it’s been quite blissful!
I like to be up early. Usually around 06:00 when I have the house to myself and everywhere is quiet. This is my favourite time of the day, especially as we move into Spring and the mornings are lighter. It’s the antithesis of the routine I had in my dayjobs when I left the house at 06:00 to travel to work.
I notice that this more gentle routine instills a sense of peace and calm that stays with me throughout the day. I really value the quiet. I feel myself exhale and relax in a way that I don’t do when other people are around (I’m a typical Introvert). It’s in the quiet that I tap into my creativity and intuition, and ideas pop into my head.
Bamber mostly gets up with me – he hasn’t this week because he’s out of his normal routine too. But usually he and I go downstairs, I take him in the garden and then he has his breakfast. After that he bounds back upstairs, all giddy, to let Chris know that he’s had his breakfast!
I make myself a coffee, see what’s happening in the world and add reminders to my Google Calendar of what I want to do that day – things like a few admin reminders, a letter to write, a food shop to do.
I like to put a Morning! post on Instagram. As much for myself as anyone else. It starts my day.
I’m returning to my love of reading. I read all the time as a child. Even when I was brushing my teeth there would be a book propped up on the windowsill in front of me. In the absence of other literature, I would read cereal boxes at breakfast! Over the years lack of time and opportunity meant I read less – although I did listen to audiobooks on my travels. Now, with more time and opportunity, I’m revisiting the joy of a good book.
I shower and get dressed and aim to be at my desk by 07:30. It gives me a head start on the day. I can gather my thoughts, decide what I’m going to do, and get organised.
This week I’ve been on a mission to hone my plans for 2020. Last year was very much about building a foundation for Seed to Source. There were several redrafts along the way, the blueprint was changed a few times but, by December, there was a solid base to build upon.
Staying with the construction analogy, it feels like I’m working on the walls now and creating a framework for what might come next.
I have great hopes for what this year will bring. There’s a frisson of excitement in the air which is more than the optimism of a new year. Maybe I’m finally finding my rhythm and settling into this very different way of life and work, perhaps I’m starting to find my niche or am grasping the idea that I can do or be whatever I want. I don’t know. But I feel very grateful to be on this path which is the fulfilment of a long held dream.
After having other people in the house for a while, I have a renewed appreciation of what I need to be productive. Undoubtedly peace and quiet are very high on the list. When I’m mid flow, I like to be able to move around the house, in my thoughts, without distraction. Even though I’m putting the kettle on, I’m still writing a blog in my head, contemplating an idea, thinking about what I might discuss in my podcast. I’m in my zone.
During the week Chris will often be in his workshop. I might take him a cup of tea but he’ll know if I say, ‘can’t stop’, that it’s just a flying visit. As I head back into the house I’ll hear, ‘let’s do lunch!’.
Last year it felt counterintuitive to spend time relaxing and reading. I was still chomping at the bit to get things done. Now I’m realising that less is more. That this alternative lifestyle is bringing me back into my centre. I feel more like me on a daily basis rather than just little glimpses as was the case in the past.
I have thinking time and headspace. Time to think about those topics that are important to me. Time to fall down a few rabbit holes on a quest to pursue a new idea.
As I mentioned in one of my podcasts this week, just being able to walk in the morning before sitting down at my desk feels like such a luxury. It’s something I don’t take for granted. Having spent many years working in offices (sometimes without windows), with early starts and late finishes, driving past the park every day but not being able to go in, a simple walk along the canal feels huge. It is another factor that puts me into flow.
I’m convinced that taking time to smell the coffee and the roses is a key element to connecting to essence and our creativity. We just have to trust the process and find ourselves again in the peace and quiet.