My new morning {and nighttime} routine

I don’t think I do very well without a routine.

One thing I love about real estate is that I have a more flexible schedule than when I was working in corporate america. But while it can be nice at times, what I’m learning this year {sometimes painfully} is that I still need a schedule and routine to make sure I don’t end up just wasting my time that isn’t filled up with appointments. I have so many things I want to be doing, but with no routine or structure I keep feeling like I’m just losing any extra time that I might have when things are a little slower.

In my corporate life I worked within a structure and schedule that was already set up, so I never had to make it for myself. Now, it’s up to me to figure out my own schedule, accomplish everything on my own timeline and if I don’t do it, there’s no boss or anyone above me checking in… things just won’t get done.

This year has been very busy but less consistent and less steady than last year {every year is different in this gig, as I’m quickly learning}, so there will be weeks where I’m overwhelmingly busy, and the shear volume of things to keep track of means less wasted time. But then there are weeks where there are still things to do, but not very many appointments and obligations to others, and this is where really I need to grow and do better.

I am always so disappointed when I get to the end of a slower week and haven’t accomplished very much. There are so many things I would love to be spending more time doing when it’s busy but I can’t find the time, or things that need to be done to keep growing my business but get pushed down the to-do list when it’s busy.

So I’m re-instating a morning ~ and nighttime ~ routine, so that I can get more structure and make sure I’m making the most out of the extra time I get in my new work life schedule.

alarm clock orange

In my old day-job life I would wake up early enough to get a work-out in and still be at the office by 7:30 to get some quiet time and work in before everyone started getting into the office. Now I wake up, sometimes early sometimes not, read the news and scroll Instagram and Facebook for a while and don’t usually have a firm to-do list for the day outside of appointments with clients. And it’s totally not working for me! My days don’t have intention or focus and I’m not seeing movement and growth in parts of my life that I’m really wanting transformation and just… more in.

So the new routine is to get up early, my goal is 6:30, and meditate for twenty to thirty minutes to start off the day. This might sound like a lot to some people, but I can feel a difference in how I experience the day when I am able to meditate or not, and if I don’t get it in in the morning, often I feel like I’m playing catch up the entire day, my energy and mood isn’t feeling the way I want, and by bedtime I was never able to sit down and meditate and work my energy at all, which can feel gross. I’ve been practicing meditation and developing my intuition and clairvoyance for about five years now, and when I meditate regularly things feel very different in my life than when I don’t… so it’s the first and maybe most important thing that’s coming back into my mornings. If I want to set a certain tone for the day, gotta start with the energy!

Take a few minutes to check the to-do list. The morning to-do list check is about prioritizing for the day, what are the must-do’s and what are the would-like-to-do’s, and if I haven’t designated specific time in the day for each task, this is when I can do that. Scheduling time for each activity, especially when my day isn’t full of appointments and obligations to anyone else is going to be a big deal.

Eat breakfast. I’m usually pretty good about getting breakfast in, and now that I am not racing to catch a train or bus to get to the office, I can cook breakfast, which is something I really love. Plus it’s the most important meal of the day!

Followup emails. There are always a slew of emails that need to be sent that are just checking in with people, or followups from appointments. Doing them first thing in the morning will get them off my plate and help make sure they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

And really, that’s the not-so-big big change to my morning. Being able to have structure and a routine, and to intentionally schedule each day, even if there aren’t any obligations to anyone but myself, and see how things change.

moon 2_crop

There are also going to be a few changes to my nighttime routine as well. I’ve actually never had an intentional nighttime routine. I usually just stop doing whatever it is that I’m going when it’s time to go to bed and that’s it, but I think by making a few intentional adjustments I could help my sleep and help set myself up for the tomorrows that run more smoothly as well.

Quiet time. I will often have the tv on until bedtime, or be on the computer {or both! cringe} right up until it’s time to go to sleep, even though it’s common knowledge that it’s bad for you and affects your sleep. So I’m going to start turning off the tv and putting down the computer 45 minutes to an hour before bed. We’ll see what my success rate is for this one.

Review the day. I’m starting to take some time at night to review my day, and get the to-do list for tomorrow started, so that things don’t fall off the radar or get missed, and I can get all of those worries and obligations that are still outstanding out of my space for the day. I can revisit the list and set priorities in the morning routine, this is just about getting it all out, and making sure nothing is forgotten about that didn’t get addressed during the day.

Meditate ~ yes, again. You guys, you know I LOVE meditation, it is life-changing. So it’s totally in my nighttime routine too ~ duh ;) But nighttime meditation is more about clearing out my space and re-setting, so that I can reconnect with my energy, have a good night sleep, and be ready to start fresh in the morning.

So, nothing especially complex or earth-shattering, and nothing too rigid or demanding… just shifting some things to make space to have more of what I’m wanting, which is really what setting the tone and making things real is all about. What does your morning {and maybe night} routine look like, and is anything in need of some shifting or adjusting to be able to have a little more for yourself?

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