Do you resist structure and routines too? I think of myself as a spaghetti thinker. I love the freedom to change my mind whenever I wish, choose my own adventure, and live by my own rules. Structured routines always felt confining when I worked from home.
“I’m creative, I don’t do structure!”
I spent thirteen years as a stay at home mom before I became a working mom. There was never a rhyme or reason to my day. I would work on “non thinking things” when the kids were awake and the house was bustling and then rush to cram in some time two work on things that required focus when the kids fell asleep or were preoccupied with something else.
I always felt frustrated because I didn’t get done all I wanted to accomplish, whether it was project for the house, or a blog post for my business. I tried dozens of day planners, thinking they would help me get control, but nothing worked for more than a few days. The only time I really felt like I had control over my life was when I was following FlyLady, but in my typical A.D.D. style, I got excited about a new adventure (I became a VA to my Arbonne upline while building my own Arbonne business) and slowly my daily flight plan started to slip.
Before I knew it, I was back to square one, spinning my wheels from project to project all day, then rushing to get a shower in at 5:30 before my husband got home so I didn’t look like a stereotypical house wife living in my bathrobe all day, eating bon-bons while accomplishing nothing.
Conforming to Corporate Structure:
I was forced to conform to structure somewhat when I started working for FatWallet. Thankfully I still had the luxury and freedom during the work day, to work on whatever tasks I wanted whenever I wanted, as long as my work got done. However, for the first time in my mommy-life, I had a defined start and finish time to my day.
My mornings were absolute misery. Trying to get 3 kids and myself ready for school and work on-time was a Herculean task. I always ended up working up a sweat, running up and down the stairs, while screaming, “Hurry up, we’re late!” over the commotion of scarfing down last minute breakfast and hunting for shoes, backpacks, and homework.
While not perfect, we eventually developed some simple habits and fell into a pretty comfortable morning routine. Amazingly enough, the structure gave us freedom from the stress of getting out the door on-time and the luxury time for a morning snuggle with my 4 year old. I never would have believed it before I started working, but developing structured habits has helped me to feel so much more relaxed and creative.
It’s summer, and we’ve slacked on the structure once again:
I’m here again, at the point of needing to create some more structure and habits. After working from home today, and getting a glimpse of the chaos of my “old work at home life,” I’m putting my foot down, on my laissez-faire attitude, and forcing myself to get back on the routine wagon.
The kids are going to be heading back to school again soon and I’ve added more to my routine with juicing and working out.
I’ve got to control my life so my life doesn’t control me. I want to have time to enjoy the kids and my husband, but if I don’t develop routines, it will be at the sacrifice of time for me.
I am starting with baby steps–FlyLady style–adding one simple thing at a time into my bedtime and/or morning routine until it becomes a habit. Tonight I
start restart the habit of setting out my son’s and my clothes for tomorrow. I’ll add another baby step in a few weeks after this one becomes an automatic habit. I can promise it won’t be perfect, but hey, progress rarely is.