Rituals

I’ve officially been working from home for a year now.

Since I am now a freelancer, working from home should be a pretty permanent thing now. (Fingers crossed.) And, since I’m no longer logging hours or focusing solely on one project, my schedule has changed significantly in the last few weeks.

Which means that my rituals have had to change too.

I am, at the very core of my being, a creature of habit. I function best when most of my tasks are on autopilot. Cleaning the bathroom on Tuesday mornings, working out before breakfast, listening to podcasts while I clean my house before work. You get the idea. My mundane tasks are scheduled to the degree that they have become instinctive. I get up in the morning and never have to decide what to do first, because I already know and can start when I’m half asleep and groggy.

You would not believe how much I can get done before I am fully aware of my life. Usually I’m halfway out the door, already dressed in my workout gear before I really know what’s happening.

No going back after that.

Rituals, especially in the morning, free up so much of my brain for the creative work that I spend most of my day on. Writing—especially writing creatively—is one of those things that you can’t do on autopilot. My brain has to be fully engaged, otherwise what comes out won’t be any good.

That gets exhausting.

So when my mundane, kind of boring tasks get done without having to think or plan out what needs to happen ahead of time—it makes things easier.

A lot easier.

Unfortunately, since I switched over from full-time to freelancing, some of my rituals have gone straight out the window.

Things change. Life changes. And setting up new rituals to make into autopilot habits is hard.

Thankfully, I’ve managed to preserve a few things. The important bits that will make my day a success whether I’m freelancing or working on the clock. Things like my morning workout, or the way I plan out my day before I sit down at my computer. I still clean my bathroom on Tuesdays, and my favorite podcasts are still saved on my phone. But I’ve been doing some editing. Timed breaks have gone out the window, and my day is tracked more through progress on a project instead of hours worked. I’ve taken some time to step back and decide which of my rituals are helpful and which have run their course. Some are getting cut. A few are getting added here and there.

Making habits out of a ritual takes time, and I’m definitely looking forward to when my brain can put a few tasks on autopilot again.

I could use the brain space.

What rituals do you have in your life? Tell me about them in the comments!

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