I handed my thesis in three weeks ago and I’m still not fully back in the swing of things.
Here’s how my daily routine used to go:
- 6:30: Get up, shower, dress, make and eat breakfast, make lunch to take to work, browse the internet, type out a draft of blog post or a review
- 8:30: Leave for work
- 9:00: Work
- 12:30: Break for lunch, browse the internet or go for a walk. Learn some French with Duolingo
- 13:30: Back to work
- 17:00: Leave work and walk home, maybe pick up some groceries on the way
- 17:30: Get home and chill out. Maybe call family, sort out some errands, watch some TV, exercise, read, do chores, organise myself for any activities I have coming up like social events, science outreach or volunteering, etc etc etc
- 18:00-20:00: At some point start cooking if it’s my turn, our help P if it’s his. Eat dinner.
- 21:00-22:00: Chill with P, usually video games or TV, or just chatting nonsense.
- 22:00-23:00: Try to go to bed, sometimes fail and stay up later that I meant to but usually succeed
A few times a week, usually two or three, my evening routine would be interrupted or adjusted by something else. Either I’d have a fitness class, an event I wanted to attend, a movie I wanted to see at the cinema, or a chance to catch up with a friend over a cup of tea. Very occasionally I’d need to work late.
When this happened I almost always knew in advance, so I could plan my week around it. For example, I’d make enough food for dinner the previous evening that we could have the leftovers on the busier night, thus freeing up time.
Right now, my routine is a mess. It’s more like
- 7:15: Get up, shower, dress, grab breakfast
- 8:15-9:00: Leave home and commute to work
- 9:00: Work
- 12:30: Break for to buy lunch, browse the internet
- 13:30: Back to work
- 17:00: Leave and commute home
- 18:00: Get home, relax, browse the internet for a bit
- 19:00-20:00 At some point start cooking if it’s my turn, our help P if it’s his. Eat dinner.
- 21:00-23:00: Chill with P, usually video games or TV, or just chatting nonsense.
- 23:00: Try to go to bed, sometimes fail and stay up later that I meant to but usually succeed
I’m not getting anywhere near as much done and it’s not because I can’t, it’s because I lack the motivation. I’m not going to bed early enough so I can’t get up early enough to do stuff before I need to leave. Sure, the commute is taking more out of my day than it used to, but I’m reading lots on the train so I don’t mind that too much.
A part of it is that I still feel like I deserve to be allowed to rest. I’m getting lazy and I’m not yet ready to adjust back into Productivity Mode (TM). A part of it is that it just takes me a while to get my act together.
The last, possibly less obvious part is that I’m putting certain things off until my home is fully sorted out. It’s 85% there, but until there’s a real sofa in the living room (which will happen in 15 days) there’s a lot I don’t feel like I can do. I can’t order a dining room table. I can’t put up a white board. I can’t order a bed and mattress for the second bedroom. I can’t have friends over. And, I can’t get myself organised.
Excuses, excuses. There has to be a way to make a start at least, right? Here I am, sitting in my pyjamas (it is 19:25, to be fair) on my living room floor, shunning the inflatable sofa out of stubbornness and wondering what to do.
So here’s my plan: I’ll fix the thing I can fix. I want to rest and I’m not getting up early enough so I’ll go to bed earlier. My bedtime this week is now officially 10pm. Sure, I can flip through a book for 20 minutes but that’s it. I’m not promising I’ll bounce out of bed ready to face the day at 6am, but it’s a start. Once I’ve managed that a few times in a row I’ll start getting up earlier. Before you know it, I’ll be back to Getting Stuff Done (TM).
Wish me luck!