Fred Astaire and Hermes Pan working out a danc...

Fred Astaire and Hermes Pan working out a dance routine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the best things about what we do for a living is that no two days are ever the same. I think this is the case for many of us that sell online, be it words or tangible goods. We may sit down and work every single day but exactly what that work entails can vary widely. I think this is definitely a good thing because it keeps us from getting sick of what we do.

But even with all this built in variance, we all have our little routines. Sure, it may not be the same as when I was working in NYC and caught the same bus and then the same train with the same people at the same time every single day but there are still comforting patterns.

An average day for me usually runs something like this:

  • I get up at 6:30 AM, eat breakfast and start work by 7
  • I work and drink tea until lunch time when I duck out to either work out or run errands and have meetings (depending on the day of the week)
  • I return, eat lunch at my desk, and get back to work until my husband calls to let me know he’s coming home from work (I also usually shower at some point in there, especially if I worked out)
  • I go make/help with dinner, eat and hang out with husband until whatever sporting event he’s watching that night comes on and then I return to work (usually on the laptop in the same room as him to keep him company) until I either start to lose my mind and need to stop for a break or husband tells me it’s time for sleep.
  • Sometimes I even go to sleep at this point. Sometimes I stay up way too late working.

You’ll notice this is not the most exact schedule ever. Not to mention that every time I talk about “working” it could be anything from taking photos of toy trains to sell on eBay to ghost writing an article about travel tips for a client. But there is a definite rhythm and familiarity to my usual day that I miss when things throw it off.

I currently find myself in the midst of a spot of chaos and days like the one I described above, which used to be my daily norm for years, have been few and far between. I never felt like I was that dependent on consistency or that I needed to be a slave to routine but I’m surprised at how much it throws me off mentally when I try to do the same work as before but outside of the structure of my usual patterns. I’m often unable to get as much or sometimes even anything done when I have to mix things up.

I find myself wondering: While there’s likely value in the comfort of the routine, if breaking it has such an effect on my productivity, was it wise to get trapped into a pattern like this in the first place? Is having a routine a bad thing?

What do you think? Do you have a set routine or is every day truly different? Do you find daily consistency to be a comfort or curse?