About Me · Writing

Big Day Ahead

Been a while since I did a daily schedule post, so I thought I’d give it a go for today’s entry. My husband and I have family coming over tonight, so a thoroughly good house-cleaning is in order I think. 🙂

8-8:30— Check email, social media, do blog post

8:30-9:30— Write at least 2,000 words on manuscript

9:30-10:30— Maiedae Work

10:30-11:30—Edit 30 pages on novel

11:30-12:00—Reading period

12:00-12:30— Lunch break

12:30-1:00— Finish up any last minute work

1:00-5:00— HOUSE WORK!! Preparations for company tonight. 🙂

Since I have a LOT to do this afternoon, I’m trying to stick to a very rigid schedule and get everything finished so that I can get my house all shiny and sparkly for visitors! Sometimes this is doable–I’m hoping today is one of those days!

I hope you have a terrific Friday! Have some fun!

 

~L.M.

About Me · Balance

Developing a Morning Routine

I mentioned in here how I wanted to start developing a more structured morning routine. Well, I am actively pursuing that dream. In organizing this dream, I had several goals for myself:

>>go to bed before 11:30

>>wake up at 6:30

>>do yoga first thing (just a twenty to thirty minute vinyasa, nothing crazy, so it is sustainable)

>>do the morning portion of the Daily Office (I use Celtic Daily Prayer)

>>spend time with my husband

>>drink plenty of water

>>eat a nutritious breakfast

>>do a small bit of housework (just one small task)

>>sit at my desk by 8:00

Have I done it every morning? No, but I am easing myself in. With all of the tree drama and traveling that my husband and I did this weekend, I slept until 7:55 yesterday. Today, though, I immediately got up at 6:30, splashed my face with lots of cold water, brushed my teeth, and changed into yoga clothes. I did the 20 minute morning flow created by Reiko. It is really a great, challenging flow that helps wake me up a LOT. I don’t even feel tempted to fall back asleep once we make it to shabasana (corpse pose//restorative rest)!  After that, I did my Daily Office and then got ready for work with my husband. I made oatmeal and ate it after I put in a load of laundry. I was at my desk well before 8:00. I was awake, refreshed, and ready to go.

THAT is what I want every morning to look like. It was super relaxing, quiet, and I gradually eased myself into my work-brain. But, is it easy to roll out of bed when your body is screaming, “More sleep! more sleep!”? No. It’s not easy. In fact, it is super hard….for the first ten minutes. Then, you’re awake and ready to keep staying awake.

How can you develop a standard morning routine?

1) Be flexible— It will not always be possible to stick to your morning routine. You might be ill, have an ill spouse or child and will then need to alter your routine. You may be traveling or have some appointment come up. Be flexible and don’t beat yourself up if you have to alter your morning routine for one day.

2) That being said, make your morning routine a priority— Depending on how close you live to your work, you might need to get up earlier than others. However, never sacrifice sleep to fit in a huge amount of stuff in your morning routine. You need a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep to function properly. Once you’ve identified what time you want to wake up, DO IT! Make it a priority in your life and you will make an effort to make it happen.

3) Set a time and stick with it, even on weekends— This is not one I’ve quite gotten down yet, but I plan to. Sleeping in one or two days a week can upset your natural body rhythm for sleep and can make it more difficult to keep a set schedule during the week. This post from WholeLiving.com talks about the fact that you don’t get “two biological clocks, one for weekends and one for weekdays”. It is so true. If you must sleep later on the weekends, the article recommends only staying up and getting up one hour later than your normal schedule. That way, you’re body won’ t be thrown off so much. I plan on putting this into practice this weekend. I want to start getting my body on a natural sleep rhythm.

4) Establish the few things you’d like to get done in the mornings and figure out how much time each takes— For me, I set several priorities for myself. I definitely wanted to move the first thing in the morning and yoga is one of my absolute favorite lifetime practices. I decided it was worth it to me to factor in an extra thirty minutes for a yoga vinyasa. I also knew I wanted to have devotional time in the morning, time with my husband, and a good breakfast. Waking up at 6:30 gives me plenty of time to do those things and still get to work on time. The fact that I work from home means I can go to sleep and get up a little later than someone who might work far from their home. Be kind to yourself. Don’t wake up at 4 am just to get a bunch of stuff done. Find a few important things and maybe wake up thirty minutes earlier so you can do them.

5) Keep the mornings quiet and calm— This may not be your style, but for me, I adore quiet in the mornings. No music. I like to listen to the birds outside and the sounds of the fans spinning in the house. The only sound I’ll allow is the instruction of the yoga teacher on the video and the sound of prayer. After I’ve had time to chill and wake up, I’ll talk with my husband (who is usually getting up about that time) and I’ll engage in other sounds. For lighting, I keep the house lit up only by natural light during the day. It saves on electricity and there is something magical about sunlight peeking through the blinds and curtains.

6) Be willing to re-evaluate your routine to see what is or isn’t working, and add or subtract accordingly— Sometimes, your routine just isn’t working for you. I happened to find my exact sweet-spot for waking up and the routine I established, but that may not happen for you the first time. Don’t be afraid to wake up a little later or earlier. Don’t be afraid to try a different morning exercise or habit. This is YOUR routine. Let it flow organically and change it as you need to. If you are only feeling sleepy and lazy one morning, that does not mean you need to change it. You only need to change it if your routine is not working with your sleeping patterns, body needs, or work needs.

>>>>>>>>>

I hope you enjoyed this post and that it is helpful to you! Dare to get up a little earlier and get a nice morning routine going! I’d love to hear about your plans. Already have a morning routine? I’d love to hear it! Share in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by,

 

L.M. ❀

Writing

Getting in the Writing “Zone”

I woke up this morning feeling extremely groggy. My husband left for work a bit later than he usually does and because of that, I was a tad bit later in getting to my office to sit down for work. As well, I received a phone call  I needed to answer mid-morning while I was writing.  On top of that, my focus has been very dodgy this morning. Despite it all, though, I have miraculously gotten some good writing in and finished with my 2,000 words a full 30 minutes earlier than I normally do. What’s my secret? Getting in the writing “zone”.

Just as many writers experience writer’s block, most of us also have this special place we can go to in our minds where, despite all distractions, we manage to get some of the best writing done. I like to call this my “zone”. My mind can somehow summon up creativity, the correct pattern of words, and the appropriate plot points even if I have trouble focusing. How I get in this zone is a mystery even to me, but I have some ideas of how it happens.

*I listen to similar music each day. Right now, I’m on a “Skyrim OST” kick (AMAZING for all you gamer nerds out there). Other days, I might listen to Celtic harp music. These two things share similarities of sound, so it helps my brain say, “Alright, L.M., time to write.”

*I write in comfortable clothing. I actually “get ready” much later in the morning instead of right after I wake up. I stay in pajamas until about 10:00 (after I’ve finished my manuscript writing) and then I take a shower and get ready. This keeps me feeling 100% comfortable while I’m writing. I think it helps my brain to feel warm and active.

*I keep my body hydrated. I drink a TON of water. It keeps my body functioning properly and it also helps the brain to perform the functions it should with optimum efficiency (the brain is something like 70-90% water!)

*I have a specific atmosphere in which I get amazing writing done. That can be different for all of us, but for me, I love low lighting, candle(s) burning, a fan blowing, and good music in the background.

*I put on my special robe. Yes, sounds weird, right? But in all seriousness, I have this fantastic, fluffy blue robe that I put on every morning before I write. It is like a magical robe! Okay, not really, but you get the idea.

I would probably feel comfortable assuming that most writers out there are creatures of habit. I think most of us probably have our weird, strange quirks in order to get our best work done. Just like professional athletes have strange “rituals” they do before games or tournaments, I think most writers develop their own daily rituals to get themselves in the mindset of creating and telling stories.

What do YOU do to get yourself in the writing “zone”, even if you have distractions in your life? I’d love to hear! Share a comment!

~Thanks for stopping by,

 

L.M.

 

 

About Me · Balance · Editing · Writing

Changing up the Routine

Morning, all!

Well, I’ve been working full-time from home for about a week and a half (almost) now and it is FANTASTIC. I get SO much done during the day, it’s not even funny. I am a very self-motivated and self-disciplined person, so when I run my own “show”, I am freaking crazy productive. I am also a creature of habit. I find routines that work for me and I stick with them. Unless, I have a morning like THIS morning.

I was feeling kind of sick last night and this morning, I woke up with a pretty sore throat, yucky head gunk, and sinus pressure. Fun. Let’s say, I rolled out of bed JUST in time to make it to my office by 8:03. With lemon water and oatmeal in hand, I sat down to check my email and Google Reader. I also check my financial information in the morning to make sure everything is gelling the way it should. Well, I noticed something odd about one of our transactions and had to follow that rabbit trail to fruition. An hour later, I had it all sorted, but I had missed my normal start time for my writing period! OH NO!!! Normally, that would totally have thrown me off the rails, but this morning, I told myself, “Mrs. Writer, you work at home. You don’t have people telling you when to work on this or that. You can work on whatever you want, WHENEVER you want.”

Thus, I said, “Why not change-up the whole routine today?” This is a very busy day. My husband and I are having a friend over tonight to watch “2001: A Space Odyssey” and then heading out for dinner. The house needs to be clean, I have at least two errands to run–maybe 3. I need to get laundry done, folded, and put away. I need to make the bed (that I forgot to make as I got out of bed so late.) In work-related spheres, I need to write my 2,000 words, get 4 blog posts done, edit some of another manuscript, read for at least 30 minutes at some point, and take care of my Maiedae work. *Whew*! Busy day.

That’s what a normal day looks like, anyway, but normally, I have a schedule. Mornings are for writing and afternoons are for any other writing work, Maiedae, and errands//housework. Today? I started with some errands//housework, blogging, etc. I have no idea where the day will take me or how I’ll choose to get it all done, but I have confidence that I will. It’s kind of fun, in a way, to imagine how the day will look once it’s done.

The point of this wordy post? Don’t be afraid to switch up your schedule or throw the routine to the wind. Sometimes, you have crazy bank stuff that pops up that you have to take care of. Sometimes you’re sick and a bit sluggish getting started. No biggy. Love on yourself and approach the tasks of the day instead of worrying about the “when” of it all.

Ever had a day where you just threw out your schedule and accomplished things in a random, haphazard order? I’d love to hear about it!


Thanks for stopping by!

 

~The Writer