How to make/implement a free-floating routine?
September 7, 2016 10:07 AM   Subscribe

Routines are vital in my day-to-day. However, if the morning doesn't start out right, the whole day gets derailed. How can I divorce my routines from time and make them more break resistant? Or, is it worthwhile in my case to trade morning sleep for later naps and preserve the time-linked morning routine?

I get up around 5am, give or take half an hour, have an hour of leisurely coffee drinking and family time with husband, and then do my morning work routine which takes 2-3 hours. This has been working great... unless I don't get up at ~5. Baby B goes through sleep regressions or whatever sometimes, so if he's been up repeatedly at night, I sleep in with him until 7 or 8. And then I usually feel like crap, don't want to get out of bed, and the whole day is just a big stupid struggle.

Also, I'm building routines for the rest of the day, but the necessary sitting-down times (meals, anything involving the computer) really kill the momentum. The 'get up at 5 no matter what' equivalent for this would be to not sit down/do computer work until everything else is done I suppose.

How can I better trigger/get into these routines?

Probably pertinent facts: depression and (or due to) inattentive-style ADD, on Wellbutrin and IR Ritalin (the Ritalin is new, started about 5 weeks ago, so maybe some dosage tweaking needed). I do have good days where there's a time-aware voice that encourages me to keep moving (rather than the usual kicking and screaming and dragging heels) but I can't remember whether or not it has ever appeared on a sleep-in day.
posted by Baethan to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Caffiene, upbeat music, and chatting on the phone all help boost me out of a lay-down rut. They get me up and doing something physical, like clearing the table, and then it's easier to get into a working groove. Would any of those help you?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:40 AM on September 7, 2016

While I don't have the family structure you do, I do have inattentive ADHD, and if it's feasible, I'd vote in favor of preserving your morning routine and napping later. You know the routine works; stick with the thing that works.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:41 AM on September 7, 2016 [4 favorites]

I'm a big fan of Tiny Habits which is a free behavior change system created by a behavioral scientist at Standford. It deals with setting environmental triggers to prompt habits. I've used it myself and have had excellent results with changing behaviors, some small stuff (remembering to lock my car or to put my keys in the same spot) and some larger (late night snacking, planning my day). There's a paid version, but I've only used the free one.

I never see it recommended on MeFi, but it's been super helpful for me.
posted by 26.2 at 11:30 AM on September 7, 2016 [6 favorites]

I'm not sure if I fully understand your routine or questions, but the reality is that my go to if I've woke up too late would be to skip some items from my routine. So if I normally get up and run, shower, eat go to work, a revised day would be "wake up late, eat breakfast, go to work"

That is to say, know what things can be skipped (make up, etc) and what things can be shortened (exercise, newspaper reading, etc)
posted by raccoon409 at 11:52 AM on September 7, 2016

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