How to get back into a routine after a major move.

I hope your summer has been a good one.

Mine has been extremely busy with the move and even a mini vacation, but now it’s time to get back into some sort of routine.

With moving comes semi-organized chaos, bittersweet moments, and then learning the ins and outs of a new place. It has definitely been an adventure for me.

I have my new office set up, complete with two desks, a beautiful built-in bookcase, and plenty of room to move around. It’s a nice change from the spare room I used as an office in my other house. Amd the bright paint is a motivator in itself.

I spent the majority of July either moving, packing, unpacking, or painting. I do have to say I’m glad the packing and moving part is done at least. The unpacking and painting will be done over time, but at least I have the main things unpacked.

It has been wonderful to just spend some time in my new house to figure out what I want to put where, which light switches do what, and do some yard work. I know it’s going to take time to get it all figured out, but that’s all part of the process.

I looked back at my last blog post and realized it has been over two months since I wrote anything. I honestly thought being able to do it from my phone would be easier, but it seems I was wrong. Apparently I need a little more structure than I thought.

Getting back into a routine after a major move doesn’t come easy; at least not for me. And this time it was me doing the majority alone; aside from help with the big stuff over the course of one weekend. Going through my late husband’s things wasn’t easy; it was hard to decide what to keep and what to give away. I don’t wish that scenario on anyone.

Now, to let you know what’s working for me in regards to getting back into a routine:

  • A view. My office faces south (as did my other one) but the view isn’t blocked by trees. I can see the road and the field across the road, plus I’ll see bison during the winter as they graze in the corn field. (Perhaps some inspiration for my fiction.)
  • Books and work-related things only. My office is only for work; no crafts allowed. That means no yarn, no fabric, no sewing machine, and no weaving projects. My Cricut is allowed, but a lot of its use will be for products in my Etsy shops.
  • A Kanban board within reach. I have used a kanban board before and it worked. Somewhere along the way I stopped using it, and my progress went to shit. Getting back into using it is helping. The first time I heard about a kanban board was when I watched one of Sarra Cannon’s Heart Breathings videos several years ago. Here’s a post from her in January 2021 resetting hers. I love her enthusiasm, and her methods work.
My Kanban Board ready for the next set of sticky notes. And of course my AWAI Copywriter’s Cheat Sheet.
  • Cutting the clutter. Yes, I am in a new space; but yet the clutter finds a way. It doesn’t take long for the mail to pile up on my desk, or the binders full of printed material to not be put back on the bookshelf. I find if I tidy before I leave it for the day, the next morning is easier to get right to work.
  • Take breaks. I’m terrible when it comes to regular breaks/mealtimes, but I’m getting better. By taking breaks for a snack, meal, or to refill my water bottle, I find I am more productive and can stick to a schedule.

It’s a big change being in a new home; but a change that needed to be made. As I get settled and figure out the creaks, groans, and lay of the land I’ll also be growing as a person.

The hardest thing I’ve had to do since I moved was to make the decision to have my Buddy euthanized. His loss of sight and hearing left him terribly anxious all the time, and I couldn’t bear to see him suffer because of it. I believe him and my late husband are now howling together (something they did on an almost daily basis) in Heaven; and their ashes are side by side on my mantle.

In closing I want to leave you with this: no matter what life throws at you, find a way to keep moving forward. Ask for help if you need it, or change your postal code if necessary…and always remember you’re never alone.

It’s a ME Day

I hope you have all had a great weekend. Mine was good, and the weather even cooperated so I could bring in part of my garden. Yesterday wasn’t as nice, so I worked on cleaning out the bathroom cabinet and figuring out a plan for my bedroom closet.

Today I decided to make it a ME day, and drove to a small city less than an hour from home. I bought some organizers for my closet and pantry, ordered some new glasses and spent time in the bookstore. I have been spending so much time either working, doing yard work and my course, I decided today was a good day to just do something for me.

Plus, I bought a spinning wheel. It’s different than the one I have, and needs a little TLC to get it working properly. I have my sister to thank for noticing it listed on a local Facebook Group. I can’t wait to get it set up and working right. I’ll bring it inside tomorrow; tonight it’s going to stay in my Jeep. I’m not quite sure where to put it yet, so need to figure that out before I bring it inside.

As part of my ME day, I decided to do some crocheting this evening. As I walked down the yarn aisle in Walmart I spotted some nice blanket yarn. I think it will be perfect for a throw for the new sectional. I don’t think it’s going to be very big, because I only bought two balls of it. But, it’ll be perfect to keep my cold feet warm as I write.

And yes, I tend to be most productive writing when I’m sitting in a comfy spot. When I’m comfortable I get a lot more accomplished, and the words flow freely. My desk and computer chair don’t usually produce the number of words I can come up with when I’m relaxed in my “spot”. Granted, I’m going to have a new spot when the new furniture gets here Wednesday. If I’m right, the chaise part of the new furniture will be perfect.

It’s going to be warm!

I don’t usually take a ME day, but with the next course starting on Wednesday I decided to regenerate a little. It’s important to take the time for ourselves, and I know I need to practice what I preach a little more often. So, tonight the computer will stay off and as soon as I finish this post, my iPad will be set aside as well.

Do you find yourself taking on too much sometimes? What helps you get everything done while keeping your sanity?

Have a wonderful week!

Diane

Photo credit Diane Ziomek. It’s the first half-dozen rows of my blanket yarn throw.

Mastering Time Management

Stock image courtesy of Canva.

The week has flown by, and the weekend is already half over. The scariest part, is July is almost over. Where has our summer gone?

My work weeks never seem to be productive at home, because after spending all day on my feet I just don’t feel like doing much. I probably shouldn’t let it bother me, but it does.

I hate to admit it, but something I struggle with is time management. When I’m working my shift at the library, I seem to get a lot done in a day. But when I’m home it’s a whole different story.

I have been using a bullet journal for about a year and a half (give or take). I have tried several different layouts and have decided simple is best. Sure, the bujos on Instagram are nice to look at, but they must take a lot of time to make pretty. When I started out, I followed the pretty layouts but soon found myself spending more time journaling and planning than doing what I was supposed to be.

I borrowed a copy of Ryder Carroll’s The Bullet Journal from my local library (yes, the one I work at) and his method is super simple. Granted it doesn’t look as fancy and colourful as others I have seen, but there’s something to be said about the simplicity.

I have added a habit tracker this month to mine, because I found myself rewriting some of the same things day after day. I stepped away from the habit tracker for several months, but found it’s something I benefit from. This way I can keep track of how often I do my morning pages, water my plants, vacuum, do laundry and so forth. Plus, I also have the bottom half of it as a health tracker. I like to keep track of how often I walk in a month, how many nights I get to bed before midnight, do my yoga/pilates and even lady days.

Not all planning and time management systems work for everyone, which is why I like the flexibility of my BuJo. I like the concept of the future log, as pictured below. I can plan the major events a year in advance if I like, then add to it each month as occasions and appointments pop up. It’s looking pretty empty right now, but it will fill up as time goes on.

In previous months, I have actually drawn out a calendar but am finding Ryder’s method much easier. The days of the month are listed, one per line, and events, holidays and appointments are added as the month goes on. It not only takes up less space, but I can see at a glance what I can schedule for when.

When it comes to the daily pages, I had been dedicating one page per day, but found some days the pages were almost empty. Now I’m filling the pages with one, two or even three days worth of tasks/notes. I haven’t been doing a task list for each week anymore, but the daily pages take care of what needs to be done each day. I’ve gotten into the habit of filling it out right before bed, or first thing in the morning. That way, I don’t miss anything.

The photo below shows a couple of entries for days earlier this month. The tenth has a list starting on the previous page, but notice what was scheduled, what was done and the notes added to the days.

I know I still have a long way to go to manage my time perfectly (or even relatively close), but having it in writing has been positive for me. I find the more things I have going on, the more I need to schedule them in. One thing I haven’t scheduled in is novel-writing time, and have thus not touched it.

My manager and I were checking out Lynda.com yesterday; an online resource for courses available to library patrons. One of the first I will be taking is on time management. Since I work from home more than the library, I really need to learn some tricks to keep my household obligations separate from my work time (side hustle). I may be doing a follow up post after I take the course, providing I find it helpful.

Do you have trouble budgeting your time? If not, what system (if any) do you use to stay on track?

Photos (Copyright Diane Ziomek 2019) were taken specifically for this post, and are intended for single use only.

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