When Ryan was first being evaluated for autism, the question of routine kept coming up. “Does he need to follow a particular routine?” “Is he routine oriented?” “Does he thrive with routine?” I initially did not realize the little routines he followed so carefully, and how well he did when he had a routine that he could count on. As we learned more about autism and the way Ryan’s mind worked, we really discovered just how much a solid routine helped. Ryan truly thrived with a routine.
Similarly to Ryan, I also really thrive when I have a routine that I can follow and stick to. It is a way for me to create and follow my own expectations and make sure that I actually accomplish what I set out to do. Without a routine, I tend to end up feeling more anxious and accomplishing less. At the same time, there is a risk of more anxiety, if I slip in my routines and then feel as if I have let myself down. The magic solution to this seems to lie in creating the right type of routines for my needs and being kinder to myself if I struggle.
Ever since Saoirse was born, I have really struggled to find a routine that works for me. I feel that it is important to follow the baby’s needs and cues, rather than force her to conform to my schedule (whenever possible). This makes for a very happy baby, but a much less predictable day for me. So it is time for me to come up with a happy medium. I way that I can have a routine that I can stick with, and that I can mold this routine to fit the baby’s needs on a given day. I need this, there are so many things that I need or hope to get done, that aren’t with my current (non)system. Ryan needs this too. When we moved to New Hampshire, Ryan started thriving. He was doing so well, we dropped a lot of the routine of his day. Ryan can manage with a certain loss of routine at this point, we have been working on flexibility and he tries very hard. However, when he has a routine he thrives and is more confident and comfortable (the same goes for me!).So, it is time for me to get back to that routine oriented place both for myself and for Ryan.
I know that bullet journalling is a popular system that many people use to organize their lives. This system has always appealed to me, so I am considering the ways that I could bullet journal to help me develop more explicit routines and accomplish more. I have been slightly overwhelmed by the endless possibility of bullet journalling when I have looked into it previously. I am worried that it might take away from my blog. Although, I suppose I could blog about my bullet journaling as well.
In the meantime, while I figure out whether to bullet journal or not, I know that I need to set more routines for myself. I need routines for fitness, writing, working on my thesis, cleaning, etc. Basically anything that I really want to accomplish. I am much more likely to achieve my goals if I have a routine to reinforce them.
The first step that I need to take is to figure out what I am currently doing with my time. So I am going to start keeping a log of everything I do during the day. I plan to do this over the next few days, so that I can look back at my time spent and see how I can reallocate my time. This way, I know exactly how much time I am working with and don’t overcommit myself to routines that I am then unable to follow. That is exactly the type of thing that leads to me feeling overwhelmed and giving up.
So, I will post back on Monday with what I have learned, and possibly with more information about bullet journalling.