Monday, January 12, 2015

On Settling In: Establishing a Routine

Establishing a routine can be one of the most helpful, effective things you can do to organize your day.  Since organization is a major sub-theme of my settling into this new house, I thought I might mention some thoughts about it in today's post.

Since we moved into our new place in October, it's been a lot of organizing.  Unpacking our stuff and designing where it should go in the house.  Organizing our finances around the new bills and expenses we have.  And wrapping my mind around the possibilities for this land.

I've found that coming up with a routine has helped me quite a bit with organizing my time.  So much of organization has to do with where things go in space, but much less with when things happen in time.  Organizing your time helps you establish a schedule, and having a good schedule can help you develop a routine.

In order to work towards developing a routine, I've been scheduling my days out in a written planner.  It helps me to see about how much time I think I have to accomplish all the things I want to accomplish in a day, and to be able to anticipate what's next, what I need to do then and there, and what else I can do that either supports or surrounds what I'm doing or where I'm going.  For instance, later today I'm going to be meal planning for the coming week.  It's easiest for me to do this in the kitchen so I can see what's in my fridge and pantry, so I choose to meal plan while I'm cooking dinner.  I'm stacking functions in time that way, which is what permaculture is all about.  Tomorrow, when I make the inevitable run to the grocery store, I'll also visit the post office that is co-located with my grocery store, and mail off a birthday card to a friend.  On the way home, I'll stop to get gasoline, and perhaps a tool from the hardware store across the street.  This is stacking functions in space and time, going to places that are nearby each other in a sensible order that saves me time in the day, gas in my truck, and money in my wallet.

So, as for establishing a routine, I like to wake up in the morning, shower and make coffee, catch up on some news, review what I have scheduled for the day, and then dive into it.  The more accurate I am with scheduling myself on a regular basis, the more my days become settled into space and time, and the more established and efficient my routine becomes, eventually leaving me more free time to enjoy.

Free time is the most important part of establishing a routine, in my opinion.  Everyone needs room to have fun, relax, be spontaneous, and enjoy life.  The more routine you can make the things you have to do, the more efficient they  become for you, and the more free time you'll be able to enjoy doing the things and being with the people you care about.

Are you settling into a routine this New Year?  What're you including in your routine, and how is it helping you?  Post your thoughts to the comments below, and start a conversation!  Thanks for reading!

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