Monday, January 14, 2013

D: Daily Routine Part 2

What is a Daily Routine?

It is something done daily. Duh. Is it breathing or eating? No, duh. Sorry, I don’t mean to be condescending. Let’s cut to the nitty-gritty right away.

The daily routine is a plan for the day as a means to reach your goals, rather than a mundane list of things to do. Yes, I need to eat, get gas for the car, go to the store etc. These activities are not what I am talking about. The daily routine is a grander list, especially for that group of people who are not in the workplace.

Having a regular 9 to 5 job daily takes the effort out of creating a routine. People who stay at home have the burden of setting their own goals and also the tasks needed to accomplish those goals. This group could consist of stay at home family providers, self-employed people, or those who are retired from regular work careers.

Let’s make an example of getting healthy as a goal. What daily routine would a person need to follow to reach that notable goal? Wake up, go right to the kitchen and eat a breakfast of waffles and a side of bacon. NO. Rather, the routine would consist of tasks focused in a different direction. Wake up, personal hygiene (wash, brush teeth, take medications etc). Perhaps get dressed for exercise or to the kitchen for a meal of yogurt, fresh fruit and coffee. Are you getting the picture? The tasks fit the goal.

I need to submit notice of an upcoming event to the local newspaper for an organization I am affiliated with. Maybe the first thing I do after breakfast is read the comics, check my email and then walk my dog. These are activities I normally do, but doing them wouldn’t help me get the list published. Maybe I should contact the event organizer to confirm date, time and location of the event; then follow up with an email or call to the newspaper to check on the deadline for the submission of the information to the appropriate editor who handles the calendar. The tasks are the plan to reach the goal.

Flying frog waiting to be rejuvenated
In my garage there are several unfinished woodworking projects on hold. What tools do I need, supplies, and space to accomplish my desire of refinishing the flying wooden frog? I need some planning time to make the detailed work plan and supply lists, then one or more trips to the home center, and clean my work bench. I need to estimate the time needed for each task and start at the beginning. To complete the frogs I first need to clean up the garage and dedicate a dirty and clean work area for the project. This project will probably be a modest one spread out over several weeks, depending on the weather. Time must be allocated for cleanup in between certain major steps. My point is the specific routine is geared to the goal.

Things get done when the tasks and goals are synced.

What advice do I have to give? That’s a lot to ask this blogger, after all my daily routine currently revolves around work. But I think about it frequently because in the near future I will be much less involved in the workplace. Someday I will retire. Someday I will be at home. And that thought is fraught with apprehension. I have some hobbies and interests. But having them is different than having them fill my time productively.

My home office has a folder titled “Retirement Plan.” My short term plan is too continue to review and refine this plan. The folder contains three major items: a calendar with various possible dates circled, a full page to-do list containing a variety of specific items in no particular order and a page with the specific items assigned to one of three categories (specific, general and personal). The next major task is to ponder the lists and work them into fairly specific plans.

One of the items in the general category is to “Take a Class.” Take a Class is a fairly broad concept that needs development. What do I want to learn? Spanish, Poetry, Photography, Calculus. Not Calculus. But, what? And then where do take this hypothetical class? There are several public school districts in the area that offer a variety of Continuing Education Classes, one of the Universities or Colleges in the area (I audit some very inexpensively), or someplace else. Take a Class is goal that will need a formidable routine. Homework, classes and tests sound hard. Would it be one class or a series towards some sort of certificate? License Certified Gezzer.

What to take ?

One of the specific items is to “Cook from Scratch.” I come close to that now and think it would be an easy project to do on a regular basis. I do a mean stir fry, but could I make a cake or muffin from scratch, roast a flavorful chicken or perhaps make homemade ice cream? Jam, salsa, pickles or homemade pies sound delicious. Cure a ham, age beef, or distill whiskey could be more difficult and expensive.

One of the simpler items on the list is to read to children. There is a library, an elementary school and a pre-school close to my home. I could start jump right in with no training as I already know how to read. Easier tasks, broken down into smaller chunks have a certain appeal and a better chance of success and fulfillment.

Gardening was on the list and then scratched off when I remembered how hot and dry the summer gets in San Antonio. A visit to the supermarket or farmer’s market would result in a much better product. Scratching items off a to-do list is an accomplishment in and of itself. I finished before I even started.  That said, I may grow a small herb garden on the patio to complement my cooking from scratch desire.

What I what is different from what you want. The routine needs to be customized for each person. No one size fits all. Your list doesn’t have to be on paper or very formal but the list must exist between your ears.

Speaking of ears I heard a good comment this past weekend about martial relations. Wife says she uses both of ears when listening to her husband. What he says goes in one ear and out the other. I would believe that my wife might agree with this about me on occasion, especially about my desire to cook from scratch. “Stay out of my kitchen.”

The final thought on a daily routine is to be flexible and remember to have a Plan B in case it rains during your golf game.

Plan B ?

 SEO Services & ToolsSubmit Express


  1. How much of your day will be taken up with checking all those lists? ;) I have cooked from scratch all my life, growing up there was no other way. Fast food was a banana. Nowadays I will eat a burger, but it has to be home made by me.

  2. Do any of your routines consist of giving yours kids money?