Can having a routine ever be a bad thing?

(Mark Baldwin) #1

I hope it’s not just me, but I have a set routine when I start work. I like to check social media streams in a certain order, then I pour over the analytics, get all my tools loaded up ready. Make myself a cup of coffee and then I tackle the inbox. I get mildly irritated when I get interrupted and find I can’t settle until everything is just so.

After this point, I then prioritise tasks for the day based on what has happened overnight and check with my colleagues if there is anything they need urgent help with.

I would like to think that I can be flexible, but I can’t really settle until I am sure I have everything mapped out in my head. I don’t like things sprung on me. As a result I can often end up pushing things to later in the day and get myself all worked up if my inbox is not empty by the time I head off home.

Maybe I should adopt a more fluid style of working? Does anyone else have a set routine they have to stick to? (please don’t let it be just me)

(purldator) #2

Routines contribute to general well-being. In novel writing, it be called Planning. Vs Pantsing, complete improvisation.

Finding a balance can be tricky. You have to consider yourself first and your needs for both productivity and creativity before the platitudes regarding routine and improvisation.

This blog article notes how routine helps with Depression.
Another blog’s article stresses the importance of routine.

And this interesting bit of writing applies this to D&D. I use this concept too.

The best quote be at the article’s end:

So what am I saying? You have to have a plan, and you have to be able to improvise. Have your outline. Establish your absolute truths, so that when the characters you breathe life into with their perks and flaws derail your story (and they will), you’ve got the tools in your toolbox to bring them back around. Give them leash, just not too much.

AKA, establish your personal tool box; the absolutes. See your routine’s elements as these tools. Find your must-haves and personal canon. Now see where you may improvise as needed; when situation demands a variable.

(Sarah Hawk) #3

It’s not just you. :slight_smile: I’m almost obsessive about this.

I check Slack to see if my colleagues need me, check email and answer urgent things, check the community and respond to questions, and then start on the tasks that I listed at the end of the day before.

Crossing items off lists makes me feel productive and good about the day.

Awesome list of resources @purldator – thanks! (Good to hear from you, too.)

Edit: I love how Malan has added ‘Watch the sun rise’ into the daily routine. I think I’d find it tricky though, as the time changes so dramatically over the year. Or maybe that’s just my lack of flexibility. :wink:

(Darren Gough) #4

I’m completely the same @Mjbill - I use Wunderlist and a good quality a4 pad. I’ve developed a system where I use a blue and red rollerball pens, take key tasks from my Wunderlist app (which is more of a dumping ground for everything i need to do) and write them out in blue on every other line. When I’ve completed them I tick the line and put a comment underneath. It’s not just work - it’s a mix of work and personal errands I need to do. If I can’t finish a task (maybe I’m waiting on someone else), I use a rollover symbol and it goes onto the next day or date I know it’s due.

Over the day its satisfying to see it full and it’s a great visual reminder of achievement. I know there’s a strong school of thought that says to only work on your most important stuff first, but actually I like to start with about some shorter faster tasks that I know I can get done - clear important emails, come here, smash through a few other quick wins etc. I then feel like I’ve removed the “clutter” tasks from my head early on, and can dedicate blocks of time to longer, heavier pieces.