One of the things that I think is so easy to forget about any kind of habit or hobby is the importance of building a routine. Routines are the backbone of any habit. They make or break getting things and when they fall apart, well... it's easy to fall off track. Simply, a routine is a series of steps or actions followed regularly.
I speak from experience because when I started a new day job at the start of the summer all of my routines fell apart and I've been trying to piece them together again. First I denied that my routines would need to change and then reality set in hard. So I've been trying to rebuild these routines and create a pattern to my life. So here's some of the things that have been helping me rebuild the scaffolding around my life and my creativity.
1. Re-Establish Themed Days
I work on a lot of different projects. I run a podcast, Ink and Brain Monsters; I help run a Dungeons and Dragons Twitch channel, Roll for Trouble, and I write. Not to mention the daily life habits that creep in and take up a surprising amount of time every day. It's hard to managed all of it and not let a ball drop somewhere along the way. What's helped me is coming up with specific days to focus on a project. I work on my podcast every Tuesday. That could mean I record an episode, edit an episode or write up a script but that's what I try to do every Tuesday. By trying to give certain days themes it helps with the overwhelm because I know I have the routine of themed days to get work done.
2. Track My Time
I'm trying to pay attention to how I'm actually spending my time. What I've found is that if I don't go out and do something in the day then by 2:00 I am asleep on my feet. Learning that pattern has helped me realize the best time for me to work out or go on a walk is lunch time. I'm trying to build routines around my body's natural patterns and not against them.
3. Start Small
One of the best things I have done is started small. I give myself 10-20 minutes per task and that has started building these routines into place again. It's strange feeling like I'm starting over and it's easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed, but by starting with manageable chunks of time I feel like I am getting a handle on them.
Those are the three main things I'm doing right now to try to rebuild my routines. It's all in small steps and something that I am still struggling with, but I think it's important and I'm going to keep at it!