This weekend, I could have done my normal routine, but I chose not to. Instead of waking up, going to yoga class, eating breakfast and diving into my laptop, I decided to go for a very long walk — nearly three hours in total. I ran a few errands, grabbed a smoothie, and listened to a podcast. Other than that, I just kept moving — one foot in front of the other.
Routines can help you find clarity, but they can also be a little prison in which you can lock yourself up. Suddenly, all of your time is going to your routines; there’s no time left for you. Then, before you know it, you’re waking up on a Saturday wondering when you’ll have time to do the new things that you want to do, rather than the things your routine dictates for you.
So, today, I threw my routine out the window, which is risky since habits, once broken, are difficult (and sometimes impossible ) to get back. That being said, sometimes it’s worth risking the habit to see how you might spend your time differently. I think of it a bit like experimentation. I know that the experiment I’ve been running for weeks or months is already working. Now, I need to see if I can figure out a new experiment to run. I may try something, and it bombs (for example, walking for three hours in a day is not something I see myself doing every Saturday). Then again, I may try something else and it really works out well (such as waiting until the latter part of the day to start writing, and using the morning for errands). So, I’ll try to make that a new routine going forward.
I used to think “make time for yourself” meant sitting around and doing nothing or that it had to be on a resort far away from home. Sometimes, it means freeing yourself from the every-day routine, creating space to do things differently and discover new patterns that better fit your life as it evolves and changes.
Time is an unstructured box, which can make it frustrating and lead us to make routines. Those routines can be incredibly comforting, but they can deprive us of opportunities to experience new things. So, every once in a while, it my be good to break your routine, if only to make time for yourself — and the new things that interest you.