Most people have a bit of a routine. We do things in a certain way and often at a certain time. The routine can vary but generally over the long term can be stable for months or years depending on your life. And the majority of people like having a routine and are upset when it gets broken or shifted.
Now I had finally hit a nice routine in my retirement where I got to work on things I cared about like writing or crafting terrain until suddenly I lost like 18 hours of my week to choosing to get a job which tossed a wrench in my routine. The first week I will fully admit was rough. I have previous commitments to finish up and I suddenly had a lot less free time to finish them in. I actually felt stress again which was a bit of a foreign feeling. But then again I didn’t have to get the job I choose this complete with knowing the consequences…it still didn’t make that first week any less rough to adjust to.
And I know, you can almost hear the crocodile tears from all the working people reading this thinking ‘what on earth are you complaining about?‘ I’m not complaining but rather pointing out adding anything to your life that is that much of a time commitment to your week has a noticeable thud sound when it hits. So the question becomes: how do you adjust your routine to a sudden shift in your time commitment?
Now this is largely a matter of preference. Some people just feel stressed and deal with it all and adjust slowly over the long haul. Others tend to embrace poor habits about dealing with stress by binge watching TV, eating too much or drinking/smoking too much trying to avoid the problem. While I tend to channel my engineer tendencies and just get more organized and feel less out of control.
During my working life I was hyper organized. My calendar had all my meetings in it (and my calendar was colour coded to which projects I was working on), I put in ‘meetings’ with myself to keep blocks of time to finish tasks and I had multiple to do lists going to track it all. So when I left work I went far to the other side of spectrum and ditch all of those things. Actually in fact I went a bit too far the other way to just living in the moment and a bit of disorder. Now with the new job I have a shift back just slightly to a bit more organized. So my shifts are loaded into my calendar and I use a to do list on things I need to get done this week. I tend to think of this as more ‘organized lite version.’
The point is to make me feel better about this change and make sure I’m getting things I want to accomplish done. Eventually I know this will just end up being the new routine until the next big change happens (what ever that ends up being).
So how do you adjust to a shift in your time commitments? What works for you?