routines or ruts?

16 Feb

I’m a fan of routines. It’s built into my DNA. Guides, spreadsheets, data… I’m a planner at heart, and I like a good routine that I know will allow me to take care of my busy schedule and leave a bit of time to breathe. My friends in college used to mock me for how freakin’ organized my calendar was. I did (and still do) schedule my runs/distances and fitness classes. I recently got a 48″ x 36″ whiteboard for work and it’s sort of magical to me. It’s separated into all the projects I’m working on, and allows me to visualize everything right there in front of me. I tried the whole digital task management thing… not for me. Ink and a writing surface all the way.

My weekdays are pretty standard for the most part. I shower, prep lunch, and lay out clothes the night before. And in the morning I get up at 6 (because clearly I’m a sane person), make breakfast, watch The Daily Show, get ready, and hop on a bus by 7:30. I don’t have a timed checklist for my morning (i.e. “make breakfast: 10 minutes”) because good lord. As long as I make my bus, we cool. Early mornings in the office are fantastic because there are less distractions, and I get more done.

The dark winter mornings are still making me a crabapple who wakes up in a daze, wondering what day it is and what happened to my pants in the middle of the night. It gets hot in my room, okay? But I’m hoping to break out of that soon (maybe not the pants part, haters gonna hate). I tried two cups of coffee this morning to counter the sleepiness. BAD IDEA. Shake city.

I also have a pretty set fitness routine. I have certain classes I go to three times a week, and two group runs a week. There’s something about consistency in that schedule that I really enjoy. I also leave room for running outdoors whenever.

Mornings and fitness are really the only two things I keep set routines for… too much and I start to feel like a robot.

Routines: y/n?


3 Responses to “routines or ruts?”

  1. orange February 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi! I’m de-lurking to comment for the first time, to ask how you organise the whiteboard. It suddenly inspired me, because I’m so swamped at work, but I have no idea what I would write on it, how I would organise it. I use a notepad (a nice big Moleskine one) and write down all instructions as they come, but aside from the pleasure in highlighting each task as I complete it, it’s not very organised… Any suggestions or tips on organising the dozen or so projects and then the dozens of tasks within each of those projects?

    • Kera February 17, 2011 at 9:13 am #

      Hi! Thanks for de-lurking ;)

      Here’s the layout of my whiteboard:

      Boxes 1-6 are used for smaller projects. Box 7 is used for my current largest project. Boxes 8 and 10 are used for notes, and Box 9 is for various small tasks that get emailed to me and have nothing to do with any projects.

      Any time I have a new task, I add it to that project’s box. I mostly write in standard black, but if a task is higher priority I’ll use colors. I also add any dates or deadlines to the bottom of each box.

      The problem I have with using a notebook is that it gets full of scratches and completed tasks and can just get messy. Having a whiteboard means it’s basically always neat, and everything is right there in front of your face.

      Let me know if you have any other questions about it! Good luck :)

  2. orange February 18, 2011 at 6:14 am #

    Oh dear I broke your page with messy html! Hopefully this will mend it?

    thanks! That does look like a good idea – my project tasks are constantly fluctuating and changing and being done over and over (2 steps forward, 1 step backward) so I really need a nice new approach!

    I crave organisation as much as I fail to be organised, so I’m still going to try a new, whiteboardy system and see how that works out.

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