5 Keys to Starting a September Routine
The more years I live as an adult, the more I have come to realise September is a time of change. Weather you are a parent with kids going back to school, a teacher who is going back to school, a student, or a regular full time worker like myself, September always leads to change. It could be a change in the weather, a change in the energy, or a change in routine but something this month shifts.
Here are 5 keys to starting a September routine that I find are really helpful.
1) Lay it all out
What I find the hardest part of starting a new routine, or having your old one shaken up, is trying to find time to fit everything in.
If you have kids back in school you now have the added tasks of juggling after school care, a change in your job hours, less time with the kids, the start of afterschool activities, etc. If you are a teacher, all your summer vacation is over and you are back to a full time job.
For me, my work schedule changes as coverage for vacation time is no longer needed, my part time job starts up, my blogging gets busier, and all at once I can feel like I have too much on my plate to handle and something has to go.
What I do when I need to crate a routine is lay it all out, write down on pieces of paper what you do in the run of a week that requires time. ( I mean everything, even things you don’t enjoy doing)
2) Write out the time required for each task
Take each piece of paper and write on the back of it, time required for each task. What you enjoy about this task and what you dislike about the task. This step serves two purposes: it helps with the planning later, it will weed out what you do not want to be doing at all.
If you find on the back of a task that you don’t really have a lot of positive things to say about this then I invite you to ask yourself why you are even doing the task to begin with? At this point you can decide if you want to keep it and carry on or ditch it all together.
This is the back of my card for blogging for my own blog (www.thebankofjennifer.com)
3) Decide what is a “priority” and a “non priority”.
A priority is something you NEED to do. For me my full time job is my priority, I NEED to work because it provides me with a means to having a roof over my head, food on the table, and clothes on my back. This is my priority and may not be the same for everyone. I also NEED yoga in my life, this keeps me mentally, and physically in shape and I need these things in order to be the best me possible for my family, co- workers, and self. Everyone’s NEEDS may differ but it is really important to distinguish what you need to survive versus what you want to survive.
I make two lists Priority and Non Priority and place the papers on the list
4) Cut out what is not going to fit
Look at your two lists. If you only have work and yoga ( like me) in your priority list and everything else is a non priority, ask yourself what you have time to fit in. Just because it is not on your priority list does not mean it is not really important to you, it just means you do not NEED it to survive. If you want to do it all, take a look at the back of the paper and see what provides you with the most benifits. Also be careful not to add too much onto your plate. I had someone very wise tell me recently “Ask yourself Jennifer, why am I taking on so much? what am I running away from?”. I have also come to know that if you take on too much you are not giving 100% to anything.
5) Make a schedule!
After you understand you cannot do it all, make a schedule out of what you can do. Over time your routine will become easier and you will realize you may have more time then you thought and can add something else in. Maybe you realize you don’t have enough time at all and you need to cut something else out. Making a schedule can be the hardest part of this whole adventure. It often takes me 3 or 4 kicks at the can to get it all flowing perfectly. Give yourself time for nothing, meaning don’t fill every hour of the day. Filling up too much time will cause burnout.
Finally, make sure you enjoy what you are doing. Even if it is a priority, if you do not enjoy it, it may be time to start looking for something else!