Experimenting with a no routine routine

With everything that’s been going on it’s totally normal that many of us may have no motivation to keep going, creating, or to simply go on.

Even in places where COVID restrictions are lifting, many of us may return to friendships that are no longer the same because a lot has happened in the past two years: divorces, deaths, new relationships, new jobs, new cities, new living arrangements, quirks, rediscovered hobbies, and a barrage of life changes that are darker or larger than anything mentioned.

Dinners, socializing, or even grocery shopping look different now, especially for those of us who are more sensitive than others.

I lost my ability to focus during this pandemic and was thankfully able to find a remote job with a tech startup that has saved my life. I get to do research and only pitch stories once in a while.

But I’ve ceased to be able to wake up early.

The last place I visited prior to this pandemic was Brazil. I stayed in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Iguaçu Falls. I’d often wake up at 7 or 8 am every day and then work, check out local sights, and try to make friends at the hostel I’d stay at. I even made friends I got to see in several places, and had a French hostel buddy I’d eat lunch with (mostly sushi buffet outings), friends to drink with in the evening, and even several musician friends who gave me drumming tips.

But all of these things are gone now. The carefree nature in which we navigated life, and even the shape of my own dreams. I turned from directing to comedy and content creation for now.

The reality is that being a digital nomad meant I often stayed in hostels, which mean I had to wake up early so I could eat breakfast. Now I live at home and never have to abide by a schedule.

I’ve felt tired and sleepy lately, but I’ve found it difficult to wake up at 7 or 8am now. 9am is as early I can muster on most days. I’ve tried many of the routines out there but have realized that life is unbalanced for me and has been for some time now. I’ve been reading posts by The Nap Ministry and have watched all kinds of productivity videos until I found some I like. I’ve also listened to some podcasts here and there. Here are a few things I found helpful:

  • Tamarindo Podcast’s episode on building habits to help you thrive
  • The Nap Ministry talks a lot about rest as resistance and a way to disrupt capitalist and systemic oppression. I’m still digesting the points so I recommend reading the site directly so I won’t misrepresent anything The Nap Ministry says, but one thing I’ve realized is that routines can be restrictive and confining to man of us (raises hand).
  • However, there are days when a routine or a master to-do list is necessary and on days or weeks where this is helpful, I’ve learned it’s important to be intentional. This means setting up priorities. I did Rowena Tsai’s 2022 reset videos and discovered Notion in the process, and yes, I’m probably going to get a subscription.

There’s a lot going on, and I encourage people to listen to experts and vet all information they read. In the meantime, I’m gonna rest and plan. What else is there to do?

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