Stop fighting your natural workflow

Photography by Emmanuel Kontokalos | Unsplash

You can look for inspiration on having your optimal workday but in the end, what works for you, does work for you. Accepting this could be the best thing you ever do for yourself.

I have tested

  • getting up at 4.30 in the morning
  • working at night
  • working only weekends
  • have a normal workday from 9-5
  • working/sleeping/working for a couple of days
Two goals

With the stress of relating to covid19 (thankfully none of us has been sick), and a long recovery from operation since last Christmas, this summer I felt like being alone for a couple of weeks when the kids were off on summer holiday with their dad. My husband went to see his parents up north and gave me the space I needed. It was the most ingenious thing I ever did.

I wanted two things out of this time: to find the flow that made me productive and I also wanted to find what was realistic for me to complete during a normal day. I decided to pretend that I had no responsibilities, other than myself and my body. So I posed the question: If I were to get into my writing flow, what would I do? How would I become more productive?

Then I found my routine.

First writing session or wake up

I like writing as soon as I wake up. At 6 pm I brew a cup of tea and get a bowl of biscuits before I cosy up in my big blue writing chair in a window filled with plants. Most days. Other days I roll out of bed, go downstairs to listen to a podcast as I wake up. This is mostly due to an active night with dreams or something else that disturbs my sleep. Listening to someone either speak on being in wonder or talk about writing gets me in the right frame of mind for the day. Around 7 I grind coffee beans and brew black coffee for my husband and me, pull out two cups on the living room table, one for him and one for me.

Family time

I spend from 7-8 with my husband and kids. I like this hour, connecting with them in the morning and seeing that they have everything they need for a great day at school and work. When they are off I hit the shower and take a walk after I have tidied and wiped all the surfaces downstairs with a scent I like. When I get back, my home is my office.

First (second) writing session

Around 10/10.30 pm I am back from my walk. In my purse, I have paper and pen in case I have ideas I’d like to jot down which I often do. Now starts the first big writing session over 2,5-3 hours of constant writing only disturbed by pouring of coffee, drinking water or going to the bathroom. After I find the film music I am in the mood for at that moment, I drift into a flow and will only stop when I am done.

Around 1 pm I have mush for brain and put on a 20 minute Yoga with Adrienne video so I can balance out the feeling in my body of exhaustion. The intensity is released whilst listening to her and moving my body and the namaste in the end is a treat. Pen and paper is again at the ready since most days I get more ideas when I do my yoga. Often those elusive ideas I have been looking for that show what I would like to focus on next with what I have just finished. Then I have my lunch watching a author interview on YouTube and sleep for half an hour. By 2 pm I am ready for more.

Second (third) writing session

This writing session is two hours, so I am done by 4 pm. My family is home by then and I spend a few hours with them before I do administrative work and marketing for an hour or so from 7 pm. Now my husband and I sit in the living room, with each our laptops. We often discuss our work and support each other with perspectives on challenges. For that hour, he is the coworker I need. Otherwise, I am quite happy to work by myself.

If I haven’t had my writing session first thing in the morning, because I was too tired, I often write for 30minutes to an hour in our bedroom around 8 pm on Lily and Marcus, my fiction novel with no due date, just for the pleasure of writing in the fantasy world of shapeshifters, magic and more.

The end of the day

At 9 pm I watch a series on tv or a movie before bed around 11pm (at the latest). In bed I read 4-5 pages in a book before I fall asleep. Of course before the book I have spent around twenty minutes on TikTok or Pinterest. It is just too good to not check in a couple of times a day.

I never knew how important it was for me to move my body every day. That it balances me out after being creative. And having a nap.

Conclusion

Three sessions a day works for me. I also like to create multiple products from one so I create inspirational posters and design on Redbubble from my text. I have a daily podcast on storytelling, writing and workflow called For the Love of Storytelling. I create a lot and many would say that they would get stressed out by doing my workflow, but that is just it, right? I am accepting what flows naturally to me so I have stopped working against me, trying to find the ideal workflow, made up by someone else.

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