As we head into 2021, I want to talk with you about moving from a reactive life to a proactive one by resetting your daily routines. In 2020, many of us picked up some bad habits and time-wasting activities that snuck into our schedules. I am working on recapturing my time for purposeful action, and I want to share my thoughts and strategies with you.
When I consider daily routines, I look at the morning, afternoon, and evening time periods. I am going to discuss each of these and share what I was doing pre-pandemic, how 2020 dramatically changed these times of day, and what I want these routines to look like in 2021.
I actually think afternoon routines are one of the most important and often overlooked transition periods, especially for women. I first introduced my 2017 afternoon routine in Creating Afternoon & Evening Routines. You can listen to that if you want more information about my morning routine before the pandemic of 2020.
As you adjust and adapt your routines, I really recommend small changes. Small changes over time are more successful and create more lasting change than big sweeping changes that are difficult to sustain. Afternoon routines are the transition from work or school back to home and family time. It is the bridge from your daytime activity to the dinner hour. The afternoon routine is one you have to be conscious about setting up, especially if you want to be deliberate about what you do during this time.
Depending on your phase of life, the afternoon routine can include dinner preparation, cleaning up the house, checking kids’ homework, and sometimes driving to and from activities. But, it is the change over from work to house life.
For many years, I did not actually stop working at a typical time, so my afternoon routine was a pause to just get my family on track. However, as Organize 365 has grown, I worked to develop the habit of stopping work at a reasonable time to give my family my full attention. I delighted in my habit of spending time with Greg every day.
During the Pandemic, Greg and I both began to work later every day. We both worked a lot more and did not end at our normal times anymore. I did run to Culvers almost every day to give myself a commute and some alone time. Over the summer, I began to spend more time at the warehouse and continued to work more than my basic 40 hours a week. In the Fall, I began to work more at the warehouse and office. I still need a transition from work to home and some private, quiet, alone time for my thoughts. I want to keep the transition, but I no longer enjoy eating all this fast food.
Updating my pink slash pockets has already given me more motivation and desire to work on my own projects after my work hours. This is a more desirable way to use my time than driving to get fast food. And, we are spending more time sharing meals together as a family.
Of the three routines, this one is the most nebulous for me, and the one that is still in process. I am not fully sure how I am going to achieve these changes to my routine, but I am giving myself grace as I figure this out.
So, as you figure out what you want to adjust in your afternoon routine, be patient and observe what is working and not working right now. Do you want to spend time with your family? Is this a helpful time to tackle your The Productive Home Solution task of the day? Do you need to focus on your food and nutrition? Do you have hobbies or personal projects you will focus on?