The everyday routines can get boring and mundane but they can also be reassuring and safe. Sometimes though, we need to remember that we aren’t chained to the wheel and that in amongst our 9-5 jobs, we do still have a lot of freedom in how we run our days.
In the week I tend to get up around 7am and get sleepy around 10.30pm, which is a good 15 hours. Albeit, 8 hours are at work and 1 hour is my commute, but that still leaves 6 whole hours to do what I want to do. This thought occurred to me the other day when I was feeling overwhelmed by everything I wanted to get done outside of work – doing the garden, writing a letter to my friend, compiling a photo album. Now there are two options here, I could get up earlier/stay up later to complete these things, OR just make my time work better.
For instance, I have 30 minutes after breakfast and before I have to leave for work, which would be perfect timing for writing a letter, drafting a blog post or simply going out for a short walk. At the moment, that half hour seems to get filled but I couldn’t tell you with exactly what!
So how do we make the most of our time without it becoming another routine part of our day?
Mix it up. One day read the paper over breakfast, the next use that half an hour to write a letter and then post it on your way to work! Some days don’t do anything.
Integrate it. Find a skill you want to learn or improve on and commit to it. Maybe it’s photography – use half an hour in your morning to catch the morning dew on the grass, or maybe a beautiful sunrise. Take your camera with you at lunchtime and capture the hubbub of the city or the reflections in the puddles.
Don’t schedule it. Don’t put one hour aside per day, at the same time, to do that hobby because it becomes too boring, especially for something you enjoy. Just like in yoga they say do what your body says you can do TODAY. Not yesterday or what you think you can do, deal with how it is today. Be aware of how motivated you feel, how strong you feel or how tired you feel. The same applies for our hobbies and our routines. You can’t do everything everyday. Some days you do, other days you barely manage breakfast. And that’s ok. Do what you can, with how you are today.
We are so used to routines, schedules, diaries, calendars, event invitations that it is good to remind ourselves once in a while that we don’t always have to do everything by the clock. Give yourself permission to turn off your phone and take the batteries out of your clock and just be for a while. Do something or do nothing but just enjoy that feeling of passing the time, without watching time pass.