life

my routine upgrade: how to keep making sh*t happen

8 Sep 2015

time to create a new routine.

last march, when i moved into the apartment where i currently live, i created a routine to help me get sh*t done.  i have done a fair job of following through with that routine i’d say. but, times are a-changin’ and that means that it is time to edit + revise my old routine. i need to keep the things that work for me, get rid of the things that don’t, and adjust my routine to work for my new goals/responsibilities.

basically it’s just time for a “how to make shit happen” upgrade. 

i’ve been living in a blissfully free world for a while now (the latest asheville years + these first 9 months in sweden). and have been so very blessed to have that opportunity. filled with responsibilities, but free to explore + discover + be who i am. on my own time for the most part. and that has been incredible. however, mind you, just because i  have been “free”, i have not been lazy. there has been much work taking place, work that has been on the inside. like building the foundation of a house. the fruits of which may not seen by others, but are so necessary in order to have a completed house.

but, now, that foundation is built. and it’s time to begin putting up walls. it’s time to move on. i want to move on. i am so freaking ready to move on.

so, in an effort to move past the discovering, grounding, transforming, being phase, i am ready to create a routine that reflects life as it is now: picking up speed. filled with responsibilities + places to be. and a chance to bring to light all that i have been working on in the background for the past 2 years. the two years that i have used to transform myself.

but, i need discipline + structure in order to continue to create the freedom that i crave. i need discipline + structure in order to remain balanced. 

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. mostly because i don’t need to worry about the next moment, as i am focusing on staying present.

so, here’s how my new daily routine looks:

desk uppsala home

autumn 2015: early work day

6:15-6:30 wake up: stretch for a few minutes. breathe. wash my face. drink water. slowly get in touch with myself.

6:30-7:00 sat nam rasayan meditation: 30 minutes of meditation + opening my sensitive space. my homework for my training. i also have partner form my class who meditates with me, in her home, at this same time.

7:00-7:30 breakfast: make coffee + wash dishes/straighten kitchen. prepare breakfast. a little time with my wife before the day gets started.

7:30-8:00: check in with the world: social media, news, my wife.

8:00-9:00 shower/freshen up + dress:. i only shower every other day, so some days it takes me 15 minutes to get ready. then, i can steal some time for blogging, writing, etc.

9:00-6:30 work: i work at a photography boutique. developing photoing, working with digital + film, taking id/passport photos, selling photo-related items.

6:30-7:30 work time is done. 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.

7:30-11:00 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!

nikon camera

AUTUMN 2015: late WORK DAY

6:15-6:30 wake up: stretch for a few minutes. breathe. wash my face. drink water. slowly get in touch with myself.

6:30-7:00 sat nam rasayan meditation: 30 minutes of meditation + opening my sensitive space. my homework for my training.

7:00-7:30 breakfast: make coffee, + wash dishes/straighten kitchen. prepare breakfast. a little time with my wife before the day gets started.

7:30-8:00: check in with the world: social media, news, my wife

8:00-9:00 shower/freshen up + dress:. i only shower every other day, so some days it takes me 15 minutes to get ready. then, i can get started with writing/blogging/photography earlier. woo hoo.

9:00-10:30 blogging/writing/photography: on these days, i have a chance to do some updating + planning for my blog, book, or other photography things, such as editing + organizing. it’s  great time to check in and get some posts completed + scheduled.

10:30 – 8:30 work

8:30-11:00 friends + family time + dinner. first things first, food! then, relax + unwind. the idea is to keep it reserved for family most of the time, with perhaps a tiny bit of checking out my computer. these are late nights. and i’m not a late night person. so, it’ll be reserved for rest + being mostly.

meditate mexican blanket

AUTUMN 2015:  home work DAY

6:15-6:30 wake up: stretch for a few minutes. breathe. wash my face. drink water. slowly get in touch with myself.

6:30-7:00 sat nam rasayan meditation: 30 minutes of meditation + opening my sensitive space. my homework for my training.

7:00-7:30 breakfast: make coffee, + wash dishes/straighten kitchen. prepare breakfast. a little time with my wife before the day gets started.

7:30-8:00: check in with the world: social media, news, my wife

8:00-9:00 shower/freshen up + dress:. i only shower every other day, so some days it takes me 15 minutes to get ready. 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.

8:30/9:00-9:30 meditate. the ground of my being. nothing, absolutely nothing happens without this time to just be. only days off i soak up this opportunity to just practice some yoga and/or do some spiritual reading.

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.

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 . 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 (and others!) in town for dinner and errands. who knows?! spontaneity is my friend.

8:00-11:00 friends + family time. on these days, the computer is off at night. 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.


so, let’s see how this works for me from now until the end of the year. i am sure that i’ll have to revisit it soon, but that’s fine. it’s all about going with the flow + maintaining my balance.

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. this is the perfect time of the year to create some structure + freedom. especially if you are a creative-type or do not have a set schedule. i’ll be here cheering you on!

(Post visit: 32, Today: 1 )

You Might Also Like

15 Comments

  • Reply Tracy-Kathleen Smith 8 Sep 2015 at 15:57

    To me, this is the most inspiring blog post that you’ve done, and for several reasons. I do not have a scheduled routine like you have. I have wanted to do this for awhile, but I either forget about it or say I’ll do it later…and forget about it! I have heard a lot of good things about having a schedule and I think this post may have inspired me to start writing down my priorities and how to schedule them. Even though I don’t work, I’ve thought about having an alarm for a set wake-up time and a general time for bed.

    Another thing is that you gave me a good idea for a part-time job if I decide to try that. I would like to do what you’re doing at the photography boutique. Since there are places like that here in stores like CVS and Walgreens, I’ll keep that idea in mind.

    Finally, I’d like to ask you about your meditation partner who meditates in her home at the same time. Are you two possibly doing this through Skype? If so, I’m just wondering how that works out. I’ve thought that I would like to have someone to meditate with that way is why I ask.

    Thanks so much for such an inspiring post! I love your blog!

    • Reply Liz 9 Sep 2015 at 09:05

      Wow, Tracy, thank you for your comment! I am so excited for you that you want to jump into the routine way of life. Of course, I just started working outside of my home again, so I can tell you how great and necessary it is to set and alarm even when you don’t work outside of the home. It just helps to establish some balance and security.

      I think that seeking out a job at a photo lab sounds great! See what you can find and good luck to you!

      As for my meditation partner, we work with the belief that we are connected by energy. So we have no internet or phone connection. We just decide on a time to meditate (6-6:50 am) and then do it at the same time. Actually, I lay and relax and wake up from 6-6:20, and my partner meditates. Then, I meditate from 6:30-6:50 while my partner lies in her home and rests/relaxes. We do not think about each other when we meditate, but we are aware that we are both engaged in it. We always text each other the day before and perhaps in the morning too after we have meditated. It is part of our homework for my course. So, in theory, you can have any person, anywhere in the world be your meditation partner. 🙂

      So, there you go! Good luck with all of this – the routine, the possible job hunt, and meditating. I’m here if you have any more questions or anything! xoxo

  • Reply kate365til 8 Sep 2015 at 16:59

    Love your new fall routines! You inspire me with your commitment to your meditation practice. That is most definitely something I want to incorporate into my routine this fall/winter. Thanks for the inspiration as always xx

    • Reply Liz 9 Sep 2015 at 08:59

      Well, it has definitely taken years for my commitment to take hold. I have wanted a steady practice for so many years, but it was always in spurts. I think I’ve finally got it now. Plus, the fact that I have meditation “homework” helps. 😉 Sending you lots of motivational vibes, love. xx

  • Reply Laura4NYC 9 Sep 2015 at 05:45

    What a great routine. Might have to steal this and get up earlier from time to time.

    • Reply Liz 9 Sep 2015 at 08:56

      It’s so tough to get up early in the morning, but it is so worth it. Once I wash my face and drink some water, then I am good to go! Good luck to you! Oh, and tell me about your new job. Have I missed it on your blog?!

      • Reply Laura4NYC 10 Sep 2015 at 02:55

        Nope, haven’t blogged about it (yet). Not sure that will ever happen, as you know I don’t blog about that kinda stuff. Even though maybe I should, since so much time of my day goes into it. I am a paralegal now and am actually enjoying it (crazy, I know).

        • Reply Liz 10 Sep 2015 at 09:33

          Yeah, I know you don’t really blog about it that often. I just wanted to make sure I hadn’t missed something. 😉 Thanks for sharing! And I am so excited that you are enjoying it! xo

  • Reply Holly 9 Sep 2015 at 08:09

    What a great Post liz! I have become a huge fan of talking routines and productivity in general (TOTALLY related I believe!) I like yours here, thanks for sharing!
    I changed up my routine back in July and have been loving the multitude of offshoots because of it. I’m simply getting up an hour earlier, and bedding earlier probably therefore watching less pointless stuff on tv too! I’m making a plan the night before of what to use that hour for. Simply put, we now have a much cleaner home, more organised, cleansed of things we didn’t need (and a car boot has happened), I’m more up to date with life, with some big tasks I needed to do (fun ones – make a big wedding album for my mum – but hadn’t actually done yet!) oh and so much more… and now that so many of my nagging tasks have been acheived I can now look to do lots of things I WANT to do to – hence finally commenting on my favourite blogs again! (you know I’m always reading right —–> just hate typing comments when reading on phone – strange but true!)
    anyway, I’ve rambled, again, but yay, love this post!

    • Reply Liz 9 Sep 2015 at 08:56

      It’s good to hear from someone who has used a routine in her busy life and found that freedom that I am talking about. I haven’t been this busy in a while now, and I know that I will need to adjust some things, as I already see some things that are falling by the wayside. But, it’s all about re-assessing and re-aligning. Yes! Thanks for your positively motivating comment!

  • Reply Just Breathe... 10 Sep 2015 at 13:21

    That sounds like a great routine, you are lucky to be able to get yourself up and out of bed at that time in the morning, I struggle with early mornings and find that I am more productive late at night!
    My current routine seems to completely revolve around the kids, their schooling, their activities etc, somedays it feels like it is all about them! But that is my present and in time I know this will change and I will have more time for me! I can’t believe you have been in Swedan for 9 months already!! Love, Dayna xx

    • Reply Liz 13 Sep 2015 at 13:53

      Well, I have the luxury of being able to focus so much on myself, since it’s only me and my wife. Something that I do not take for granted. And I am always inspired by people with children – so, I can understand the need and ability to focus better at night. So, I am inspired by your commitment to your family. 🙂 I know! I cannot believe how quickly time goes! xo

  • Reply // week thirty seven // the answer is blowin in the wind | be.love.live. 14 Sep 2015 at 10:00

    […] my blog posts from last week. so, if you’d like to see some of how my week was you can check here, here, and here. today, i just felt like this one photo and these reflections were exactly what i […]

  • Reply yractual 14 Sep 2015 at 12:32

    Love the schedules, though not sure I could entirely keep it up myself. I’m a prof music journalist so have a routine that works for me; always chasing up musicians/record companies/agents across the globe, so have to work crazy times – you know how it is when America comes online/wakes-up! A fairly famous/well-known fiction author once told me that no matter what else she did, she always wrote at least 300 words every day. If it was useless in hind-sight, she ditched it but it kept her productive, focused and engaged. And sometimes she’d have produced pearls. Always a positive thinking, look-ahead way.

  • Reply week forty six // the week i said “screw you” to my routines – BE LOVE LIVE 2 Jan 2016 at 18:02

    […] motivation i can muster. and you can read how i created routines to help me focus  >>> here and […]

  • Share your thoughts

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: