Routine Goals

Posted: July 15, 2008 in goals, Headspace, Listy goodness

I am the type of person that if I don’t have a routine and a plan (and a list, natch), things do not get done. I don’t know if this is due to my inherent laziness, a symptom of my depression and anxiety, the unconscious knowledge that there will always be crap to do and I’ll never catch up so what’s the point of doing anything at all, or what.

Coming off of our camping weekend, I am somewhat renewed to take another stab at being better at this whole life thing. I feel like I should try to discipline myself out of this wasted time and these wasted weekends and a whole lot of getting nothing worthwhile done. Maybe get better at certain things that will make my life easier in the long run. The only way I know how to do any of that is to make certain beneficial things a routine. Things that will make my life easier, more productive, less hectic, less wasted. Mostly they are just small things, things that many other responsible adults and households employ unconsciously, just because they make good sense.

Here is my list, which you will find amusing in the extreme, I’m sure. Note, if you will, that not only ONCE, but TWICE did I add to this list to MAKE A LIST. It frickin’ works for me, a’ight? I can’t stand not having an item crossed off a list. I. CAN’T. STAND. IT.

Laura’s Ten Eight Ways to ‘Get Better at Life’ Self-Improvement List

  1. Get up each work morning at 6:45.Why? Because normally I get up at 7:00, which gives me an hour to do my thing, do the pets thing, drive to work, park, and get to my desk. Suffice it to say that I rarely get to my desk at 8:00 on the button. AcronymCo (at least, my group) is very flexible and lenient about start and stop times. Still, it’s unprofessional of me, and makes my morning more hectic than it needs to be. There is no wiggle room for delays in my morning routine. So, I will get up fifteen fricking minutes earlier and suck it up, already.

  3. Get up by 8:00 on the weekends. Why? Because we waste so much time sleeping our weekends away. Part of that is depression, and nothing works better against depression than action. In keeping with that…

  5. Make a weekly list of things we want to accomplish on or by the weekend.Look! A list on a list! Why? Because we have just been sitting on our asses all weekend every weekend getting nothing done. There’s plenty that needs doing around the house – around our lives in general. Repairs and general maintenance on the house, trash runs and decluttering and organizational projects, and eventually the stuff we’ll want to do to the house to make it “saleable”. The way it usually happens, once we find one thing to get done, it leads to another, then two more, then fifteen… and by the end of the weekend we feel so much better about ourselves because we got stuff done.

  7. Make a weekly list of things to get done at work. Look! Another list on a list! Why? Well, this is a practice that used to be a routine for me, which I’ve fallen out of over the past couple of years. I need to get back into it for the simple fact that I have a huge project going on right now that takes up a good 50% of my time, leaving the other 50% of my time for the “maintenance of business” core aspect of my duties that used to comprise 100% of my job. I’ve been missing and/or forgetting things. Time to stop that.

  9. Take my lunch to work every day, and cook dinner at home every night.Why? Because we spent too much blessed money eating out. Way. Too. Much. Plus it’ll be easier for me to follow South Beach if I’m not going to Taco Bell all the time. Yeesh.

  11. Do a finance check every day, instead of once a week. Why? Because it will take less time to do a check every day than to balance things at the end of a week. Because I’ll catch goofs caused by my error-prone bank more real-time. Because we have Grand Financial Goals (hello, pay off debt, move to Maine…) that require closer monitoring in order to ensure that we actually ACHIEVE them. The budget is just a suggestion at this point, something I intend to firm up. A once per week review isn’t cutting it, we’re still finding too many ways to waste money. This is all a great cause of stress for me. So, to manage this stress I shall DO SOMETHING about it. Novel idea, eh?

  13. Stick to my diet and exercise. Why? Because I finally found a combo that really works to get my stubborn body to lose weight and strengthen up. Because I feel so much better in so many ways when I eat right and exercise. Because eventually we’ll go back to Hawaii. To supplement this, when the cool weather comes back (October?), I plan to start riding a bike to work. Why? Frickin’ gas prices. And it’ll add to my exercise regime. It’s only about three miles round-trip. I’ve been entirely too lazy not to have done it before this.

  15. Get laundry and grocery shopping done by Sunday evening. Why? Doesn’t this one seem dumb? Why yes, it is! But it needs to be added. Because it has been a major disruption to our weekday lives to have to dig for clean clothes from the pile mounting in the corner of the bedroom, and that’s just slovenly of me. Because I’ve been passing off grocery shopping until after work on Tuesday or Wednesday, adding tasks and stress to my mid-workweek (I HATE running errands after work, always have) and relying more on eating out and fast food to make up for the fact that the house is low on meal-able items.

I can hear all of you mocking me right now. I know, I KNOW. Do you think I don’t know? THESE are the pressing issues that the lack in my current routine create. Sad, yet perhaps it’s good that I don’t have to list, oh, “quit heroin” or “stop killing kittens” or something like that. So, it could be worse.

Ah, hell, who am I kidding. My OCD is only eclipsed by my patheticness.

  1. Taoist Biker says:

    Who says your OCD is eclipsed? 😉

    Hey, go with what works, and if lists work, rock ’em. And screw anybody who doesn’t get it.

    I like lists. Dys likes lists and hates lists and likes lists and hates hates hates lists.

  2. Jen says:

    Take my lunch to work every day


  3. rai says:

    Those are great ideas! I think I’m going to take a page out of your book and start making lists. Again.

  4. Shannan says:

    I am constantly making lists like this too because I feel like life just happens and nothing gets done if you don’t. I even schedule liesure things on future free weekends, like “Take a drive to the beach and take photos of the baby there” because otherwise we waste our weekend over and over. Also (this sounds so dorky!) I wrote “Take up scrapbooking” on my calendar last week because I have wanted to do that for ages and just haven’t. Well, now I have done four scrapbook pages in less than a week. I knew I would like it, I just hadn’t bothered! My final confession is that I have sometimes written things on my list that I have already done just to cross them off! Sick!

  5. Heather says:

    Oh sure, vow to get up early on weekends when I’m not there to benefit from it!

    “Heather! Don’t call me before 10am on the weekends!”



  6. Jayne says:

    Lists are a good way to get into a routine. I’ve just found a handy little ‘List gadget’ for my iGoogle page so that tasks are up there when I go on the internet. I’ll send you a link if you like? One word of advice, apparently 6 or 7 tasks is about the limit of what we can cope with at any one time. That makes sense to me. I’ve sometimes had such long lists that I’ve become *more* depressed looking at all that I need to do! Prioritise therefore.
    Getting up at roughly the same time each day, including the weekends, is apparently better for us as the body follows a regular routine each and every. At the weekend you could use those early hours for something like a walk or bike ride before the searing heat of the day. Fresh air is honestly one of the best ways to help ease depression. As is exercise.
    You are certainly *not* pathetic my friend.
    This is a good step and I hope it helps you. I feel sure it will.
    {Take care} x

  7. Kim says:

    The worst feeling in the world is getting to Sunday night and realizing we’ve slept most of the weekend away. Then it’s Monday morning and back to the grind. I had to go grocery shopping last night because I was too lazy to do it over the weekend and didn’t get home until almost 7. Not fun. It’s proven that people who stick to a time management schedule are happier on the whole – and definitely less stressed. You’ve inspired me again too; thank you.

  8. I like lists too, though I’ve also gotten out of the habit of making them. As for this getting up early on weekends to get *more* done – not so long ago, I was telling Neal that I had no idea how you manage to get so much done, both during the week and on weekends, because I can’t seem to do a fraction of what you accomplish!

  9. Laura says:

    TB – BWAA!

    Jen – Yeah, and you know how often I forget my lunch at home or just plain ol’ don’t feel like eating it.

    Rai – Good luck!

    Shannan – Oh dear God, you do that TOO? I thought I was the only one. We’ll be sick together.

    Heather – Heather! Call me at 8am on the weekends!

    Jayne – Thanks! I put it on my Google homepage. I did manage to get up early on Saturday and Sunday, and I think I feel better for it. Also, HI. MISS YOUR BLOG.

    Kim Thanks, and you’re welcome! (Also, don’t you HATE running errands after work?)

    Amanda – Wait. You were telling Neal that about *me*? Or you were asking Neal how HE manages how to accomplish so much? I’m confused…

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