My writing routine is #BetterThanBefore

I recently finished listening to Gretceh Rubin’s book Better than before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. It was great because I understood my own habits much better after the book. Refreshing! Rubin uses many fun categories for readers (listneres) to reflect their own ways of organising their lives.

I wasn’t reading it for any particluar purpose but after a while I was encouraged to rethink my writing habits. After an intensive 2016, which was mainly about delivering against deadlines, early 2017 has been about transforming my writing habist from goal orientation to time orientation. That has not been easy since I had gotten used to writing because I had a deadline. Therefore, developing a habit of writing because it was time for it (i.e. developing ideas) seemed difficult.

Out of curiosity I decided try follow one of the examples she gave for larks, i.e. people who are at their best in the mornings.

Start immediately after you wake up.

Before I had started my writing sessions after morning streches, breakfast, and orienting for the day’s tasks. As a contrast, the new style meant starting immediately after waking up and moving on to other tasks after an hour or so. My only edition was to have something to eat while writing because everyone close to me knows what happens if I delay the first meal of the day. You do not want to be around for that event.

After a week I can happily conclude that my new habit of 60 minutes of early morning writing seems to work GREAT. It pairs up with a to do list for writing that sets up my priorities per each day & week.

Before finishing each day, I decide what I write after I wake up.

The to do list has two columns per day: (1) early morning writing goals (60 mins) and (2) before lunch writing goals (60-90 mins). In the worst case scenario, I will have to skip the second writing session because of teaching/meetings/fieldwork – but NEVER the first one. So I get writing time every week day (or every day if in hurry) no matter WHAT. And like Rubin argues, such a freedom from choice is extremely liberating. I’m in awe!

Apparently writing life can be a beach.

But remember, I’m a LARK, which means I love waking up early. Like really early. Like before 6 am. I’m serious. If you aren’t a lark, this probably feel likes a terrible idea. But if you don’t know, it doesn’t hurt to figure out if one is a lark or an night owl or something in between and rethink one’s writing schedule based on that.

Teleported to Roskilde

I missed my bus this morning. Twice. In a row. I took another bus which is not as convenient for me and finally made it to the Roskilde university. I need a bike, start to act like a Dane and bike to work.
This episode captures something elemental about moving to another country for a time period longer than a vacation but shorter than “for now”. The fact that we put our life on hold in Helsinki for six months and moved over here in the meanwhile makes me feel like I have been teleported.
The smallest things are new, like shopping for basic groceries or finding the nearest playground for our toddler. It takes a lot energy although we get to see fun things too we wouldn’t see in Helsinki. Yet, soon we too will to be carried away by our routines and stop seeing. So now when I notice people going on with their everyday tasks I feel like stopping them and telling all the great (and not so great) things I have observed in the environment and lifestyles. But I guess I’d have been annoyed if someone did that to me in Helsinki.
Yet, feeling like a character out of Start Trek is a unique situation and I should cherish it as long as I can. Soon I’m routinised too. With a bike there will be no more random morning buses.