Habits are a vital part of my success as an individual so I figured it was time to chuck that out the window.
A week and a half ago, I quit my job. Yes, in the middle of a pandemic I decided I wasn’t meant for that work and I left. Okay, it wasn’t as simple of a decision as I just made it out to be but it happened.
First, it was entertaining to see how many people were horrified that I wasn’t going to another ‘job’. No one sees what I did as a smart move.
I think it’s the smartest decision I’ve ever made.
“What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to write.”
And write I have. In the first week and a half I was home, I’ve written almost 75K words and scheduled my next novel to be on pre-order. And I took a day off.
It wasn’t easy to get to that number, and frankly I’m a little disappointed in it. I hoped that I would be able to crush at least 100K in one week… but again, I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing more often (and not between breaks and lunches).
After a bit of settling in, here are some of the routines and habits that have helped me maintain my sanity at home.
While I’m sleeping in longer than I did when I worked (4:30 AM wake up shifted to a 6 AM alarm), I still keep my morning rituals for when I worked.They have changed slightly since we now have a puppy to deal with.
My husband will get ready for work while I handle the animals and then he’ll come down for breakfast and give me a chance to go up and change. It’s a good switch-up. Usually my time between 4:30 and 6 AM was spent writing before work. Now I can slow my pace down knowing that I have the full day ahead of me.
I am in no way affiliated with the Passion Planner but I’ve loved their daily planner. I originally would use their printables but I finally caved and bought the real thing. It has done wonders for my productivity. I can track my writing progress, keep a schedule, and monitor my day. It helps keep me focused because I hate to have a large chunk of being lazy in the middle of the day.
You guys. I have so much time to read. Between two and a half hours of driving time during the day and getting up at 4:30, I had absolutely zero time to learn anything. In the last week, I’ve read ten books on the writing craft, finished my pre-order manuscript, and written eleven chapters of my newest novel that has been a thorn in my side since NaNo. Holy wow.
The best way to learn is to read and write. I’ve been so thankful to have more time to dedicate to it.
While focus is great, the standing hours on my watch have been tremendous in keeping me out of my desk chair all day. Since the puppy isn’t old enough to have all his shots, I can’t take him out on walks. Standing hours are good reminders to get up, pee the dog, and run around a bit in the backyard with him.
While I should permanently have an IV delivering caffeine to my veins, I have refused to give up my water habit. Not only do I drink a tumbler worth of water every hour and a half, I also have to get up and move around to pee. It keeps me active and gives me built in breaks.
Now, I’m not talking about multitasking.
I have several different projects I work on. I write here, I have a blog, I have a newsletter, I have novels, I have a podcast, and I am thinking of starting a new novel under a pen name. All of those things deserve some attention.
Using my planner, I schedule out my week based on priorities. Novels are top priority for me in terms of time commitment so I make sure I have a chunk of time to work on that every day. Medium is a good source of income (albeit small) but doesn’t require more than two hours a day for me.That’s a daily task as well. My podcast can be front-loaded and I usually try to record at least two in the beginning of the week so I’m prepared. My newsletter is simple and is mostly just updates on my writing life. That content takes no more than 30 minutes to an hour.
Having all of these projects, though some would call me crazy, helps me prevent burnout. I always have something I can work on and if I’m not really able to get the words out, I can read. Looking at the same project the entire day no longer works for me so this is a great way to keep it fun.
The Masterpiece – Elia Scott
Envisioned: Growing Up Dane – Aliya Dalrae