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Routine and flexibility

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I broke my golden rule this morning.

As usual, I woke up at 5:30am, made myself a cup of tea and sat down with my laptop. But instead of opening iA Writer and working on an article, I did some freelance work.

I’ve created something of a ritual around my writing each morning. That time is treated as sacred. Or at least it was supposed to be…

September was a funny month. We’ve been back on the home improvements and this time it’s our bedroom. So we’ve made way for the electrician, plasterer, fireplace renovator (my wife), plumber, joiner, painter (me), tiler and carpet fitter, and moved our mattress downstairs to the living room.

I’m a creature of habit and I had carefully crafted my morning routine, involving sitting in the living room with my cup of tea and my laptop while my wife had a cup of tea in bed. Now my wife’s spot and my writing spot are the same place, which gotten in the way of my ritual.

Luckily the writing habit is well ingrained but I’m not getting nearly as much done as I was. And snatching time here and there to try and keep on top is stressful.

I wonder whether my dropping the ball this morning was a form of procrastination, the first sign of shakiness since those early weeks of self discipline. It’s easier to deal with a few client emails and do a few small jobs than write.

So tomorrow I’ll be practicing flexibility; moving my writing space to the dining room and resisting the call of freelance until the weekend, when I have it scheduled.

A comfortable workspace is good but, if it’s rigid to the point that it halts productivity and causes stress, there’s a lesson to be learned.

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