There is a time to play and time to work,
Time to swing and time to shine
Time to chill and time to unwind…

Do you have a system/ schedule a routine or a process that helps you function better feels, makes you productive? Also are you a follow the schedule or wing it and go with the flow kind of person most of the time?

I for one believe in having a schedule/system but then there are a set of things when I go with the flow – it might seem contradictory but circumstances dictate which side of the fence I am on.

That said, daily habits vary from person to person. It might include simple things as drinking water, working out, doing laundry, eating on time, having a set time to read/hobbies. No matter the case, these activities form a system helping us all function. Infact such systems have an impact on how we work, our relationships [with ourselves and others], and what we need to improve/change to become better [work and personal].

By systems and schedule, I mean having a set routine to a certain extent, not like a military regime but some kind of schedule [ one that helps you compartmentalize different aspects of life and get through the day efficiently]. Say for example having your morning coffee tea or coffee by 9 a.m. having some breakfast by 9:30 taking a shower and starting work at 10 o’clock.. doing a to-do list before you start the day be it personal or professional…

So my morning routine depends on the time I wake up and the mood I am in, but as mentioned above by 10 o’clock I would like to have had a shower and started work – especially if I have client calls scheduled or if I am working with a set timeline and deliverables.

Considering the Pandemic and situations around us, all of us are cooped up at home, working from home, and trying to survive. But then, for those who are retired, or the elderly who were already spending their days at home, this is no big change. And so it takes a lot from our end [the ones who are used to travelling, going out on work/meetings/errands/movies etc] to stay sane and survive…

At home, I take care of cooking as well and so I would like to know what is to be made for the day by 9ish and this is where the drama begins -grandma would ideally come around to this topic and decide on a menu by 10:30/ 11 am and that is when I am nose deep in work and therefore I get hassled when I need to shuttle between the kitchen and my work station. Am I wrong to expect her to tell me what to cook earlier?

Similarly, when it comes to eating lunch I would like to be done with it by 1/1.15 pm whereas grandma will wait for my uncle [who sometimes comes over at 1:30 or 2 or even later] and we typically start lunch once she is done with the pooja. It kind of gets to me if she delays, my stomach is constantly grumbling telling me it’s time for food, feed me.

Once I’m done with lunch I get down to work and I am glued till about 5 or 6 pm, subsequent to which the evening is flexible. There are the odd days when I might have a call or be attending a workshop, but most days am just chilling, unwinding, or out playing with Floppy.  As the clock hits 7, I start thinking about dinner, and again comes the debate, tippy toe dance – what do you want, what is there, what can we have.  My poor stomach goes off the rocker by 7.30 pm and I just go whip up something for dinner –  have my share, leaving gramma’s aside.

Since it is just the two of us here at home, it’s no fun eating/doing things alone but when the other person does not have a routine or a system in place it kind of hampers your routine your day and that doesn’t sit well..

I have tried putting meal plans together not getting down to specifics, but a broad outline but nope, that doesn’t work as well because there are special days [amavasai, Ekadasi, etc etc etc etc], festive days when u need to make something different and so on. Even though they know these days ahead of time, it always that very morning when they decide “oh wait, today is x day, we gotta make this and that and the world beyond”.. lol.. my mood goes for a complete toss as none of this would have been factored it within my schedule. I don’t say anything or lose my temper cos they don’t get my reaction…

Well, I’m happy to go with the flow if I have nothing else to do then it’s fine but when I have other things also on My Plate then it messes up my routine and my mood.

Why I feel having a system/schedule/routine is good –
1. Better Time Management –
Since you follow a specific schedule of tasks, everyday routine helps plan your time during the day. It’s as if you have a to-do list that you’re ticking off one by one. These tasks are usually repeated and form a consistent part of our lives. As a result, being able to properly assign time to them is important.
If you are unable to complete all tasks, you will know where time leak is happening and work towards making it better without worrying about it.

2. Self Discipline –
Self-discipline is number two on the list.
There is no space for things/activities from outside your regular schedule because there are certain things you must do during your daily routine. The rest will come naturally once you start your day with at least one habit and stick to it throughout the week. But that said, there may be that odd thing that crops up suddenly, you should be able to fit that in without fretting too much. Learn to juggle things around so you can accomplish as much as possible on any given day.

3. Better Focus –
Distractions are quickly eliminated with daily habits when you are just concentrating on the tasks at hand. The more you stick to your everyday schedule, the easier it will be to complete all of your tasks during the day. As a result, your job runs smoothly and efficiently, and you learn to concentrate solely on the tasks that are part of your everyday routine.

My to-do list helps me with clarity – be it on the personal or work front. I do make a long list every morning, and at the end of the day go back to it to see how many of the items I managed to tick off. Sometimes I do it on the phone, other times it is in my notebook.

4. Understanding myself better [Improve Self-Awareness] –
It may take some time to establish a regular routine. Nobody said it would be easy. However, over time, you will build your own patterns, remove the poor ones, and use the trial and error method to figure out what works best for you. In other words, you should tailor your daily routine to your personality, job structure, and other factors that influence your life on a daily basis.

[Source: Paper photo created by freepik]

Here’s what a typical day in my life [ when at home] looks like –

  • Waking up at a specific hour and going to sleep around the same time every night [ weekends I tend to relax a bit]
  • Drink a tall glass of water in the morning
  • Folding the sheets, and making my bed before I get out of my room.
  • 30-45mins of working out/walk/exercise/yoga every day
  • Creating the To-do list
  • Meditation [ I follow vipassana] / just take out 10mins to sit still
  • Having breakfast – ragi porridge with some muesli is what I have
  • Prep for lunch cooking
  • Taking regular breaks when at work
  • Tea breaks/ feed floppy, take him for his walks, etc
  • Shut off the laptop once you are done with work.
  • Having an hour for yourself – read a book, watch something online, hobby, go for a walk, music, or just do whatever gets you smiling.
  • I always put the phone & other gadgets away before going to sleep – a good arm’s distance away.This is just a sample list, you can add whatever you got going into this and tweak it anyway you like. You can make it as detailed as possible or as crisp, that depends on what works for you! The one thing to remember is not to get stressed out about it, if you are having a slow day or a “I am in no mood to do anything kinda day” it’s alright.. go for it. just don’t create the list, and take the day off.

    There are days when I will add in something new – a workshop, a new recipe, or a hobby I wanna take on and give it a go.. It’s fun to shake things up 🙂

How about you do you live with your family or are you the sole decision-maker of what life been like before after.. do share