This year is going to be start of a new phase of life for me because I have finished taking classes and have embarked on my dissertation. Normally, my time is structured for me by my professors and the classes I teach. However, this semester (and for the rest of my career!) I get to structure my time. It's actually quite daunting. There are so many things that I want to accomplish, so I think I need to work on making a schedule that works for me.
I have been working on developing a morning routine that includes some sort of writing, whether that writing is on my dissertation, blogging, pieces for publication, etc... The main goal here is to develop the habit so that my morning does not feel complete until it's done. I recently read Courtney Carver's book, Mini-missions for Simplicity, that describes habit stacking. A habit stack is any time that you do something that prompts you to do the next part of your 'stack.' For example, when I take a shower I shampoo my hair, then wash my face, then floss, and then condition. Each of the items that I need are right next to each other and it would feel weird to skip a step. I am looking to develop something similar for my mornings on the days that I don't teach. (Teaching days are bit different because I have to leave for the train by 8 AM which leaves little time in the morning for me to do much of anything.)
My current morning routine is a bit of a mess because every morning seems unpredictable. I think some of that is because I try to cram a lot into the time before my husband leaves for work. You would think that after being married for four years that I would have learned to not try to do any 'thinking' work before he leaves because inevitably he will want to talk about something and break my concentration. Instead, the usual morning goes something like me trudging to the kitchen for coffee, doing the dishes while the coffee brews, heading back to the office to boot up the computer, starting to collect my thoughts, and then getting irritated because of interruptions. I know that this isn't working, but haven't done anything to change it.
My new morning routine is going to need to be split into two parts: Pre-work and post-work. Pre-work will be the things that I can do prior to hubby leaving for work, while post-work will be the things that I can do after he leaves for the day. Now that I've realized that I need two separate stacks, the next task will be to set them up.
What does your morning routine look like?