How do I adjust my routine for this next quarter?
Audio version available through your favourite podcast app: Inspiritment from Jo Koepke
I made some choices at the end of last year about what 2020 would look like, the roles I would engage in and the rhythms I would implement. Maybe you did too? I had planned quarterly reviews of my goals and weekly rhythms. The end of the first quarter would require that I adjust my routine for the next one. You see, I had given my notice for the job I was in and was preparing to strike out in a whole new direction. None of us could have predicted what this year has morphed into over the past couple of months. I know I have had to re-evaluate those choices, roles and rhythms. Needing to adjust my routine for the next quarter was true for completely different reasons!
Instead of leaving a job, I chose to extend my time there- both to help them out in turbulent times with the knowledge I bring and to continue to bring in stable income for my family. Only now it is working from home while homeschooling my daughter. I am so grateful that I had this option with so many without jobs in the space of days. Instead of freeing up time to pursue my goals and accelerate my business plans, I have had to postpone some and make small pockets of time for others. I had been pushing myself hard in the first quarter to set up well for the second. It was an unsustainable pace but it was only going to be for a few months.
I scheduled the first quarterly review for the first weekend in April. It was the worst timing as I grieved the changes in plans and felt adrift in the uncertainty. It was the best timing as I sought to bring rhythm and order to my days and longed to find space to keep my dreams bubbling along. This was the time to adjust my routine instead of trying to cling on to what might have been.
How do I adjust my routine?
Evaluate what has been working for me and what needs to change
I started this process reflecting on the routines and practices that have been working for me and would likely continue to work in these next few months, with tweaks. For me, that included a rhythm of shoulder rehabilitation, times of quiet reflection and prayer, theme days dedicated to a particular role or focus area and a day set aside for rest without social media or emails.
Next, I looked at what would need to change. That included when I schedule writing time, the hours I work during the day to make space for homeschool support and allowing myself to sleep longer in the morning with increased sleep issues in our household.
Reassess the goals I would pursue in this quarter
I had my goals split over the year. The ones I had assigned to this second quarter were no longer in the most appropriate space. I took time to re-write my goals and reorganise my focus for this season. Honestly, this was more about allowing space for my emotions and headspace to adjust than shuffling goals on a piece of paper.
Review what the months ahead include
I can be certain that things are still uncertain! Planning ahead seems a little pointless right now. Vast quantities of events and deadlines coming up are no longer there. However, my calendar is not empty and new opportunities open up. Seeing what does remain helps to frame these next three months. I know what my major focus will be at different times.
Adjust my ideal week routine
Over a year ago, I implemented this idea of an ideal week. Not a rigid routine that I had to stick to or fail. More of a weekly rhythm that had space carved out for what was important and helped me to keep moving forward.
That ideal week routine that I set up for the first quarter needed to change. It is set out in blocks of time across my week so that I don’t need to think about what to focus on that day or in that time. Barring any major priorities conflicting at that moment, I can see what I aim to do next and do it. It is laid out in all its colour-coded washi tape glory (colour coding and washi tape optional for you, of course!). An ideal week does not guarantee a perfect week! It helps to shape my week even when life throws in curve balls. I can pick back up and keep going.
Notice that actually adjusting my routine was last in this process. I used to have this backwards. I used to try to schedule out my week then figure out what time I had for what was supposedly important, paying no attention to what had worked before or the practices that needed to change. Now, this process sets me up to implement an ideal week that genuinely reflects what is important to me and the goals I am wanting to achieve in my family, health and work. There is allocation for the practices that feed my soul and bring me rest.
Maybe you are searching for a way to bring rhythm to your days. Maybe you have had a routine but it has been thrown out the window right now. I hope this process helps you as it has helped me.
I recommend the Lead to Win podcast and Michael Hyatt’s book Free to Focus for more inspiration and help.