Friday, December 01, 2006

A creature of habit

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a creature of habit.

There's something comforting about the familiar aspects of life. If we are granted the gift of waking up in the morning, most humans tend to go about their day following a certain routine.

I need the structure that following a routine provides. Without it, I feel like I'm wasting time. I'm the type of person who needs to-do lists. The sense of accomplishment I feel when I check something off is as close to a drug-induced high as I'll ever get. It's remarkable. But, the flip side of the coin is the disappointment that comes when I go through an entire day without checking off a single item. Now that's remarkably horrible.

So, in order to keep the heady sensation of accomplishment going, I decided to physically write out a schedule. Here's the routine I've tried to establish this week:

6:15 a.m. - Wake-up and prepare to run (umm...didn't really stick to that this morning. It was more like a 7:30 wake-up time).
6:30 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. - A two-mile run along the Mississippi River. (Nope, didn't happen this morning).
7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. - Check email, eat breakfast, dress for writing and work.
8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. - Head out to my fav writing spot (this morning, the drive took more than twice as long as I drove around town searching for a place to get an inspection sticker for my car. Mine had been expired since July. Shhh...don't tell anyone.)
8:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. - WRITING TIME.
11:15 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Drive to the day job.
12:00 noon - 6:00 p.m. - WORK. (Okay so the word "work" is relative. You see, I work for the coolest company in the world, and during these six hours, I'm allowed to conduct all the things I have to do on the business side of writing. I'm also allowed to write. In fact, when I was working on the revisions for Deliver Me, I was granted time to work with limited interruption from my co-workers. What can I say? I'm blessed.)
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (depending on traffic)- The drive home.
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. - Feed my television addiction.
10:00 p.m. - Midnight - Prepare for the next day, and get in a little recreational reading.

Over the course of the past week, I've discovered places where this schedule should be tweaked a little. For instance, life is filled with errands that just cannot be avoided (going to the post office, especially when you have to mail out review ARCs, and bookstore mailings, going to the bank, putting gas in the car, etc). I didn't really think about those as I was making out the schedule.

Additionally, I'm not sure those six hours of sleep are working for me. Well, maybe if I'd actually gone to bed at midnight, but for the most part, it's been closer to 1:00 a.m.

So, if this new routine is really going to work for me, it looks like this creature of habit will have to establish the habit of following her schedule.