This is something I never thought a non-conformist fond of change and exercising creativity like me would admit – routine is important. More so if no one else (such as an employer) is providing the structure for you.
I had overlooked just what effect waking up every morning and being able to what I wanted, when I wanted, would have. I guess I had assumed that I would get to work 9-5 just like before but in a different location. Boy was I wrong.
What are the implications of a lack of routine? The main issue is that using your limited pool of conscious effort to make decisions about things other than your important tasks means that you are significantly less effective than if you devoted the majority of your Slow Thinking daily quota to your daily priorities. As discussed here, your Slow Thinking system appears to draw from the same limited pool of available effort as willpower.
Looking at routine as a subject for the project was not what I thought I would be focussing on in the early days. But following the realisation about effectiveness and its relationship with routine I had to quickly redress the balance of structure in my day before I flittered away too much time (and yes this does sound like someone for whom Slow does not come naturally. The purposeful part of Slow does for me, but not the patience part).
Having a consciously chosen routine means your mind is freed up to focus on what is important. Being on autopilot is not Slow, but deliberately choosing what to allow routines to take care of in order to stay purposeful, is.
Much like my journey with living with intention, this is all a work in progress but thought I would share some lessons as I go:
Do you have any tips for making your routine work for you not against you?