I’m a person who loves his routines. Getting diagnosed with ADD in high school, my academic performance was really dependent on staying in a routine to help me keep focused. That and running.
Routines have helped me stay focused and productive in my working life as well. Getting up early and having quiet time alone helps me stay alert. Being able to carve out specific time frames to get stuff done has helped me not lose track of my work like I would in high school. Those routines not only helped me get work done but also make time for the reading and learning required to stay ahead of the game.
However, the introduction of kids has made the idea of routines laughable. Once we got our toddler into somewhat of a routine, we were surprised with her little brother. Having an infant that may or may not sleep through the night stacked on top of a trigger-happy-with-tantrums two-year-old has totally disrupted my productivity rhythm.
In fact, many days, there is no rhythm. Just survival.
How do you maintain a GSD mindset when a routine eludes you? For me, it’s been finding little micro moments of productivity.
What does that look like?
Basically, it’s just finding a window of time and taking it. Tactical examples include:
The other morning before work my two-year-old was eating breakfast, our infant son was on a playmat. Both were content and didn’t actively need anything. The time window wasn’t long but I was able to knock out a chapter of a book sitting at the breakfast buffet with my daughter.
Listening to educational podcasts on marketing and business on my drive to work. I have an hour commute, which could be a curse. However, it’s an hour to spend doing something moderately productive with my brain.
Both kids are taking a nap at the same time on a Saturday afternoon so I can make a small dent in a work deliverable
A Sunday morning, both kids are asleep for the next 20 minutes, so I can write this blog post
You just have to be aware of those windows of time and take them. Ironically, this is somewhat beneficial for me having ADD. I work best in small windows of time and normally can’t spend countless time on one task if I even had the chance to. These micro moments actually fit well with my focus time.
Micro Moments Don’t Always Have to Be Productive
Sometimes you get windows of time to be productive…and they may best be spent doing something non-productive. This doesn’t mean scanning Instagram or something mindless. It could be reading a book you enjoy. It could mean doing nothing at all and just letting your brain take an honest break (not a fake social media one).
While some windows of time are great opportunities to get stuff done, other windows may best be served by not doing anything at all. Sometimes those micro moments of rest serve our productivity best.
How do you adjust to getting out of a routine? How do you get things done when life seems to be a little more crazy than usual?