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my daily routine: or, “how to make shit happen”.

19 Mar 2015

enough is enough. based on my little energy breakthrough the other day on success, i decided it was time to buckle down. as i move from an amazing seven year period of being and discovery and exploration, to making a physical move to a new country + embarking on a period of outward focus in my life, it was time for me to decide what i really want to accomplish in my life + how to make that shit happen.

so, i made some lists:

what i need to accomplish (in order to successfully live authentically, be myself, follow my bliss, and make a difference in this world)

and

what i want to accomplish (in order to successfully live authentically, be myself, follow my bliss, and make a difference in this world)

buuuut. in order to do all of the things that i need and want to do, i need some discipline. i need a plan. and what i am beginning with is a routine. everywhere i look, i find references to creating a routine from with to work. now, of course, routine has come naturally in my life when i had worked as a teacher. and i kind of had a routine when i worked in a church, though i worked basically 24/7 and had to create space to have a day to myself. but, these past 7 years have given me tons of freedom. freedom without any real routine. and, come to find out, i do not thrive in that type of lifestyle when i need to get stuff done. it was great during my exploration + discovery time, but, now it is time to get busy and be productive.

so, yesterday, i created a routine. something structured that gives me the discipline that i need in order to be creative. as crazy as it sounds, a routine actually creates more freedom. within the disciplined frame of a routine, focus becomes clearer, and it is easier to live in the moment. this, in turn, allows creativity to flow. and being more effective allows me to do more, without the stress of freaking out about what i need to do next. there’s no stress because i’m planning it all out + living in the moment.

so, here’s my routine, based on the things that i want and need to accomplish.

6:30-7:45 wake + make coffee. breathe for 5 minutes. check and update social media with a cup of coffee by my side. during this time, i read blogs and leave comments. i also check and respond to comments on my blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. i respond to emails, send messages to friends and family, and if i have some time left over, then i start some blogging.

finally, i write a daily task list of things to do – but i don’t over do it. there’s nothing like the feeling of defeat when you have an unfinished to-do list at the end of the day. so i make it realistic, by asking myself what i can really be sure to complete. | on mondays i make a general task list for the week, noting any meetings, meetups, or activities planned that may cause me to need to adjust my routine.

7:45-8:45 prepare and eat breakfast. a little wife time before the day gets started. clean the kitchen, make the bed, tidy up.

8:45-9:00 shower/freshen up and dress. i only shower every other day, so some days it takes me 15 minutes to get ready. other days, when i shower, i start earlier than 8:45 and/or go until about 9:15. i’m no drill sergeant with myself. as long as i stick with my routine, i’m good. i don’t need to have timers set to “make” me do things at precise times. one has to be flexible, you know.

9:00-9:30 meditate. the ground of my being. nothing, absolutely nothing happens without this time to just be.

9:30-12:30 writing + photography. this is the big chuck of time that i do what i love. blogging, photography, and working on my book. some say that you should do the thing that you dislike the most first, but i am not following that rule. mostly because i am more inspired and alert in the mornings, and these are my passions, so i want to be at my best when i work on them.

i give myself roughly 30 minutes for blogging, 2 hours for writing on my book, and 30 minutes for photography editing/posting and/or more blogging.

12:30-1:00 lunch. i also take a social media break, check in online, and perhaps read some.

1:00-5:00 freelance work + job hunting. this is the part of the day that i give to things that i need to do at this point in my life: top priority right now is finding a job and networking/making connections. so, sometimes i am home and other times i am out and about. it’s all about research, phone calls, meetings, emails, etc.  if i am lucky, then i have some freelance work (writing + photography) to take care of too! oh, and a fika (coffee break) will most deftly be part of my afternoon!

5:00-7:00 work time is done. perhaps a little more blogging. housework. grocery shopping. dinner preparations + dinner with my love. of course, some days, i will meet my love in town for dinner and errands. who knows?! spontaneity is my friend.

7:00-11:00 friends + family time. for now, the computer is off. we may be out and about, at home cozy on the couch, or spending time with others. hopefully, i will find a little time to read. and then, it’s off to bed. i realize that there may be some days that i do some blogging, photo editing, writing, etc during this time. but, the idea is to keep it reserved for family most of the time. and yet, if i want to publish a book/blog full-time, i gotta write!

there you have it. my routine for now. hopefully i will have to change it soon (as i will have gotten a job), but i don’t want ot have to change it too drastically because this still allows me to do what i love and follow my dreams. however, i know that i must be practical and realistic too. so, for now, it’s all about managing my time better, being more effective, and making shit happen. making those dreams come true.

do you have a routine? do you need one? have you given yourself the time to think about what the things are that you want to accomplish?! go ahead and give it a whirl, if you need to or want to. especially if you are a creative-type or do not have a set schedule. i’ll be here cheering you on!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

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14 Comments

  • Reply Louise Gallagher 19 Mar 2015 at 15:37

    Wow. I love how you have identified the structure and left room to just ‘live’ and be together.

    Like you, discipline is essential — you’ve given me some inspiration to do some restructuring of my time to ensure I too get in the writing time I need on my book!

    Hugs.

    • Reply hello! i'm liz. 20 Mar 2015 at 07:40

      Thank you, Louise! I definitely thrive with a routine, but my soul is a free-spirit. So, being the Libra that I am, balance is simply a must for me. Good luck to you on creating your time and accomplishing your goals! Light + love. xx

  • Reply Erin 19 Mar 2015 at 16:01

    I love it! I’ve also noticed that I need a pretty rigid routine to be productive and ‘get shit done’, but I need a very loose or nonexistent routine when I’m resting and/or healing (both physically and mentally/emotionally).

    • Reply Liz 20 Mar 2015 at 07:42

      Ahhh… the ever elusive balance. Plus, you’re a mom! So much to try to take care of in life – following your dreams, taking care of your little one, and doing what has to be done. I wish you blessings + luck! And I think you’re pretty damn amazing. 🙂

  • Reply Holly 19 Mar 2015 at 16:36

    I thrive in the mornings and I thrive on routine too.
    Lovely insight.
    Ps May I recommend an AMAZING book… It’s simple but fab! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Manage-Your-Day-To-Day-Routine-Creative/dp/1480576352

    • Reply Liz 20 Mar 2015 at 07:43

      I had a feeling you were a morning person too. Thanks for the recommendation! I have actually read it! it’s one of the things I did my early days in Uppsala when I had no internet. Hehe. Happy Spring, Holly! xoxo

  • Reply Just Breathe... 20 Mar 2015 at 01:59

    Hi Liz, after reading this I feel that I might need to create a routine…as I just feel torn between all the things I have to do and all things I want to do. Thanks for sharing this. Luv Dayna xx

    • Reply Liz 20 Mar 2015 at 07:44

      I can say that I most definitely feel more balanced knowing that I have some dedicated time to all of the things that I want to /have to do. Good luck to you! I’ll be sending you lots of good vibes! xoxo

  • Reply Laura4NYC 20 Mar 2015 at 05:30

    I certainly need a routine! I have a quazillion amount of images to go through and edit so I understand your time set aside for blogging, writing, photography. I’ve started setting several hours of blocks aside each day and have so far been a bit more successful than in the past 8 months. Whew, that time just flew by me without further ado.
    I think I might come up with a similar routine. For me, it’s important to get up early and start the day off right. Unfortunately, that is only working on my days off and when I am super-focused. Usually, my body is just tired and likes to sleep in. But I feel I will certainly have more of a routine once I do my trip and then get back and see my “home” with a fresh pair of eyes.
    Half an hour of blogging sounds so lovely, I actually need more time than that.

    • Reply Liz 20 Mar 2015 at 07:45

      it’s hard to come up with a routine that is scheduled and disciplined, and yet still filled with room to be free and spontaneous. try starting with blocking off big chunks of time for things. good luck to you!keep me posted! xoxo

  • Reply Kathleen Smith 11 Apr 2015 at 00:22

    I have no routine and have known for a while that I need one. This and a book that I’m reading has inspired me to get started on creating one.

    • Reply Liz 13 Apr 2015 at 09:47

      Great, Kathleen!! Good luck on creating your own routine! 🙂

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