Second cup of tea in hand, I’ve always been in my home office for 8.30 am. Or thereabouts.

Back when I was Project Managing a team and was expected to be available in office hours, it was a perfectly acceptable expectation that I was available and at my computer. But I stopped offering that service almost a year ago, I have no ‘time-sensitive’ work to carry out and often write away from my desk (in the garden sometimes, but don’t tell anyone)

Over the last few weeks, I’ve seen lot’s of people reminding me of the benefits of keeping to a routine, and I have no doubts that these are valid points:

  • Increased efficiency

  • Reduces the need to plan

  • Creates a structure to your day

  • Develop good habits

  • Break bad habits

  • Easier to prioritise

All very valid.

Except, at some point over the last four weeks, I’ve realised that some of the routines and habits I had formed over the previous months and years were no longer serving me. They were making life MORE DIFFICULT. And at the moment, I’m all about making life easier.

The first thing to go was being in the office at 8.30 am.

Instead –

  • Leisurely breakfast with my daughter

  • Battle the queues at the supermarket 

  • Drop shopping off for my parents  

  • Collect a prescription  

  • Go for a run  

All of these things were much more important than the false importance I had attached to turning my computer on by 8.30 am at the latest.

Changing my routine has reduced my stress and anxiety, the overwhelm and the feeling that I was somehow failing somebody (me?) if I didn’t sit down to work at 8.30 am.

And the whole change of pace from being in lockdown got me thinking about other habits and routines that I had that were no longer serving me (Because I do like routines )

Is it laziness or a fear of change that keeps us in these routines that no longer serve us?

After the realisation that I didn’t actually have to start work every day at 8.30 am, I began to reassess other habits – finishing at 2 pm, using specific software, methods of carrying out work, carrying out tasks in a particular order. It turns out that a change really can be as good as a rest, and that even a single tweak can totally revitalise your day.