It's my second day of blogging and it feels good to stay consistent, but I've never been able to really maintain a stable routine. Life has thrown me so many curveballs that I can literally never stay in one place long enough to establish a consistent routine. And without routine, it sometimes becomes difficult to stay motivated as there is no end goal in sight.
Since February I've been struggling with routine (maybe longer, but especially starting in February) when I first began being harassed by my administration at SHAPE ES while I was teaching in Belgium. Long days and nights of working were never enough to satisfy the unrealistic demands of my incompetent administrators. However, things especially got thrown off in April. I was scheduled to get married in Greece over the spring break, however I was placed on administrative leave from my job on April 3, 2019. The following day, I was then notified of my termination that would take place April 12, 2019. There was extreme uncertainty of what would happen next and each turn hit a dead end when I would realize offices like EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) only exist to defend the organization rather than to protect employees from harassment and discrimination.
To make matters worse, they removed the license plates from my car giving me uncertainty of how I was going to get around. They refused to pay to ship my belongings giving me uncertainty of how I was going to get home. They took away base access and tried to cut me off from my colleagues.
I was able to go to Greece. In fact, I went to Bulgaria prior to Greece, and flew from Greece to Romania before I flew back to Belgium. Once back in Belgium I had to figure out my plan to get home. I eventually moved out of my house and into my neighbor's house. Then I moved from my neighbor's house to the house of one of my colleague's in Belgium. Then I flew back to the US and I am currently staying with my parents. Shortly after I will move in with my wife. Then I fly to China. And then finally, finally, I will be able to return to a somewhat normal and consistent routine.
Without routine, I feel lost. There are so many tasks on my plate that I have no idea where to begin and then instead I immerse myself into an endless sea of YouTube streaming. I still have a second wedding to plan with my wife since our parents had made it difficult to have a single wedding. I still have bills to pay. I'm still dealing with fighting DoDEA and their corruption. I still have to finish off my semester of graduate school. I need to start working on my café or at least find another job. I'm sure there is more to do but my life lacks the organization and consistency I need in order to thrive.
Quit Whining, What's Your Solution?
So yes, I can go on and on, with woe is me. But no more shall I be beholden to time and location for finding the ability to maintain my morning routine. There are a few tools that I will use for my personal morning routine to keep me consistent and I hope you can find something similar. Times may be variable, but I want to use roughly this order in order to stay consistent. I leave gaps in the time so that I don't ever fall too behind on my schedule.
- 5:00 - Wake Up
- 5:10 - Eat Breakfast
- 5:30 - Shower & Get Dressed
- 5:45 - Brush Teeth
- 5:50 - Make Bed
- 6:00 - Language Study (Memrise & FluentForever App)
- 6:30 - Write Blog Entry (Pick Topic, Conduct Research or Brainstorm, & Write)
- 7:30 - Start My Day
I think by making sure that I follow these exact steps, I won't encounter as much decision fatigue as I'm deciding what to do with my day. Especially now that I don't have a job, I need to find a routine to structure my day. By structuring my day, I won't have to think as much, which will leave me to be more productive for longer periods of time.
I think language study is especially important for me. Using an app like Memrise gives a quick and easy way to pick up learning the language without having to think too hard in the morning. But consistent, daily use of the app means that my recall for certain vocabulary words and grammar structures is much higher than if I do less frequent, but intense study sessions. Completing a few sessions on Memrise or a similar language app in the morning makes me feel accomplished, which motivates me to complete more difficult tasks later on in the day.
I positioned my blog writing directly following my language study as it will require a bit more concentration and sustained effort on my part. There is less structure and it's more difficult to estimate the length of time it will take to write a blog entry. However, by getting my initial hit of dopamine through completing a few rounds on Memrise, I can remain motivated for longer to complete my blog entry.
Daily blogging will hold me accountable and make sure that I'm doing something productive and creative on a daily basis. It will keep my ideas flowing about whatever topics, but give me an outlet for those ideas rather than letting them die in an abyss. This blog will be sloppy, littered with errors, and inconsistencies. However, this blog will be an outlet for me to truly express myself and my ideas. It will help me to establish the morning routine that I lack, but desperately need.