Staying On Schedule

Most days, my life is pretty boring. 

Despite the fact that I'm a freelancer, and a freelancer living abroad, no less, schedules and routines dictate my every move. I basically wear my routine like a thunder shirt.

Even though I'm lucky enough to be in the position where I could mostly make my own hours and work wherever I want on any given day, I choose not to.

Instead, I wear a work uniform, eat the same meals and drink the same drinks at almost the same time every single day. I get up when my husband gets up on weekdays, if not earlier, and (more or less) stop working when he comes home. I even sit in one part of our flat to work for the first half of the day, and move to the other in the afternoon hours.

It's paradise.

Routine guides me. It helps me, keeps me sane. When I fall off track and start to overanalyze or question things, it's usually because I'm having a day without routine. 

"An idle mind is the devil's playground," my dad used to jokingly quote.

But I think there's some truth to that. For all this talk of stillness, what about those of us who are happy and fulfilled when our days are scheduled and filled with routine? That doesn't mean our minds can't rest or that we swear off relaxation and mindfulness, but it does mean that, at least for some of us, there's a lot to gained from the regular hum of a filled schedule.

For many, the whole point of being a freelancer, small business owner, or working from home is that you're likely to have the luxury of making your own schedule. To work all night, if you like, and sleep during the day. I tip my hat to those who do that, but me? I've never been the type. Instead, I  like to be up with the birds and on with the coffee. And when the day is done, I (usually) put down my laptop and relax.

Erin swears by it. In fact, without strict routine, she wouldn't be able to be the mother and successful multi-business owner that she is. I was glad to learn that she's a stickler for routine, just like me.

Change and uncomfortable situations are of course paramount for growth. I try to put myself in uncomfortable situations regularly, and change often.

But the underlying current that keeps it all together is my routine. Knowing that no matter where I am, what I'm doing, or what's going on in my life, there will be a PBJ to eat at 1 p.m. each day and on Sundays, a flat white and a walk in the park. It's my constant and my comfort.

I'm breaking my routine for a couple of days and taking some time off at the start of next week. I'll be in Barcelona, enjoying the sunshine and sangria, forgetting about the routines. I'm looking forward to it – I can't wait to get into that Southern European sunshine and check out some of the incredible recommendations (thank you!) that have been sent my way.

But I'll look forward to getting back. Isn't that sometimes one of the best parts about travel? To smell your home again, sleep in your bed, wash your clothes, and get back on that routine.

My life can be pretty boring. And I couldn't – wouldn't – have it any other way. 


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/