Two and a half years ago, I moved from California to Idaho. I moved from a large community of people I had known all my life, to a tiny one of people I didn’t know well at all and felt a little scared of. I now had a husband. We lived in a camper. We started building a house.
It was the beginning of the most stressful season of my life so far, I think. I had had stress before, but never for such a long period of time.
The past few weeks I’ve been looking back at that stage– at old photos, things I wrote. And it’s made me realize again: routines were a life-saver for me.
I didn’t know how to be or act or think in this new place, but I set a consistent-ish morning routine, and it anchored me. I didn’t like the weather here, but I still went for either a walk or a run almost every afternoon. The consistency gave me something to do and look forward to when I was restless or insecure.
I know some people thrive off of spontaneity. But I think that most of us, when it comes down to it, are a little like toddlers. We need to know our schedule.
Routines evolve and change, and no day is exactly the same, even when you’re like me and don’t have little people to take care of or a team to manage. So, how do I have rhythmic days that don’t make me go crazy with chaos?
One of the ways I do this is by having anchor points in my day. They don’t have to be all at the same time each day, or in exactly the same order. But I have things that I default to, and it keeps me sane.
It starts with coffee
Coffee is the linchpin of my day. Lol. Actually, Jesus is. But drinking coffee (or honestly any hot beverage) first thing in the morning gives me something to look forward to every morning and an automatic thing to do. I usually journal,read my Bible,talk to Marshall, and stretch first thing in the morning, too.
Take time to sit down and eat lunch. I am still learning this one. But I try every day to take a lunch break and actually do something DIFFERENT than what my work was. I eat and read, or talk to Marshall, or clean the kitchen. But making sure that my body and mind both move differently than whatever was needed with my work task, helps me feel less stagnant. You know the work zone where you suddenly realize that you’ve been zeroed in on a task for almost two hours and you need to pee and are so thirsty and you didn’t even realize it? A lunch break helps me avoid this.
Most afternoons I go for a run or walk down our long lane to get the mail. The ideal would be for me to run or walk every single day. To be honest, though, some days “getting outside” means just stepping out on the porch for a few minutes.
Quarterly reflection and planning
Some days, I feel like a tired employee in my own business–overworked and a little unsure about the big picture. To avoid this and instead frequently evaluate and refresh my business goals and strategy, I started doing quarterly reflection and planning days! I love them.
I use planning days to look back at the goals I had for the previous quarter. I evaluate. Did I complete the goals? Did they go well? Then I sketch out my strategy and goals for the next quarter! I usually look over what I have planned more frequently than once a quarter, but it is so helpful to have a day set aside to look back, plan, and dream.
One of the other main routines I have for working from home is varying my week. Routines are wonderful! And life-saving! But sometimes they also can feel boring and stale.
So, every week, I try to change it up some–I go work in a coffee shop, or at NNU with Marshall. I go to Bible Study Fellowship once a week. Making diversity a rhythm in itself is so helpful for keeping my week engaging.
Make your own rhythms
Do you intentionally set rhythms and routines for your business? If you don’t, you should! Comment below and let me know what you’re going to implement this month to help both you and your business thrive.