"I love it when a plan comes together."
Hannibal Smith of the A-Team quoted that gem in every episode. I can proudly quote it now because after all that planning, grinding out details, working and reworking my time, I've finally got the first part of my day figured out.
At least until it changes again. I have teens. I have a husband. You know that sucker's going to change eventually. But for now, I nailed that thing to the floor.
I wake up at 4:30 am. By 10:30, I have finished my editing jobs, exercised, and eaten breakfast. Most of the business world is just attaining functionality by then, and I'm charged and ready to take on the world.
I'm also ready to take on the Ultimate Chaos- housework.
Basically the day is free to do with it what I will. I have wrestled the greased panther. I have changed the world (at least the one in my head) for the better, and I can take on whatever giants throw at me. I am David, King of the Slingshot.
Clearing my mornings helps me in other ways too. I get to chat with God in a relaxed state, because all the tough stuff is done. Oh I pray first thing in the morning, but that's more of a "checking in" phone call- "Hi Lord! Praise you a lot, here's the stuff I need, please watch over me and mine, let me know if You need anything, send money, thanks a bunch, Bye." Now that the proverbial air is clear, I can just chatter away with God and listen to the deeper messages He's trying to send me. I don't have to dedicate a huge block of time either- I can talk to Him sitting on the couch for an hour or discuss things as I'm washing dishes, or singing praise songs as I vacuum. It's all good with Him.
I like working in the mornings. The kids are fairly quiet as they get ready for school (or they're asleep when it's summer) and I have the house almost to myself. My writing room is naturally muffled by carpeting and a solid door, and there's a sense of leaving the world behind when the door shuts with a slight ka-thunk. When that door is shut I can conquer the universe, create something new, or brainstorm the next Great Idea.
It took me years before something in my routine finally clicked. This is the only time of the day that the schedule is entirely up to me, but I never realized it until now. I still struggle with the rest of the day, but that's because I'm dealing with other people- and other people tend to mess everything up. Especially teenagers. And husbands. And cats.
Yes, sometimes even this phenomenal accomplishment will get interrupted by chaos, but not very often. Not as often as the afternoons- at least for me. My afternoons would turn some people into hermits.
Root the routine. Be your own cheerleader. Put a pom-pom on your pen and write down your routine!
Do you have an unblemished, uninterrupted part of a routine? WOOHOO! You're ahead of most people! Still working on it? WOOHOO! You haven't given up and become a hermit! Don't have one yet? WOOHOO! Getting started is fun because you have the entire day at your mercy!
As for me? It's time for breakfast! WOOHOO!