After two long weeks of holiday, yesterday marked the full return to work for many people in the UK. It also marked the return of my semi-retirement routine, something I’ve learned is a crucial part of staying sane when your life is no longer dominated by work. It took me a listless few months to get into it but now it’s essential part of my life.
Here is my daily weekday routine which goes something like this:
|6 am||Mrs Jones awakes for work and therefore so do I! Check and respond to work emails, brief freelancers etc.|
|6.30 am||Write and promote blog.|
|7.30 am||Walk to gym – a fertile time for life ideas which I record en route.|
|8.00 am||Exercise – treadmill or weights followed by a swim|
|9.15 am||Catch up, chew the fat, put the world to rights, have a moan with other like-minded semi/retirees at the gym.|
|9.45 am||Walk home listening to music or a podcast.|
|10.15 am||Work – more emails, calls, meetings or other work-related activities.|
|12.15 am||Watch the BBC’s Daily Politics and get annoyed at what the politicians say!|
|Eat lunch or breakfast.|
|Free time – see daughters, gardening, other life planning activities.|
|Work – complete tasks before end of day.|
|Tidy house I’ve messed up ahead of Mrs Jones return.|
|Tidy office, update ToDo list in readiness for tomorrow, do more little life chores.|
|Mrs Jones gets home from work, dinner and then the evening begins.|
Sure, the schedule and timings change from day-to-day but this is the default and feels busy and productive enough most of the time. When I was working full-time I became a bit of a devotee of the Default Diary. After 30 years of work it was something I’d never heard of and found to be a powerful tool for which I credit the ActionCoach business mentor I worked with for some time. Check it out here.
This activity-based start to the day with writing, walking and fitness has also helped me cut-out one meal a day, a crucial component to my weight loss campaign. The 30 minutes in the sauna talking to others gives me the all-important social interaction I now feel I need.
There’s then a bit of a routine around my weekly activities including making sure I make the most of our weekends together, see family, do parkrun, eat out etc.
Finally there’s the more informal goal of trying to do something a little exciting at least once a month such as holidays, weekends away, trips to the theatre etc.
I’m such a nerd about routine that I’ve actually got a default diary in place for my whole waking life though rarely referred to. It’s strange isn’t it that when humans are faced with freedom we need routine, or at least I do, to give life structure.
Am I unusual in this? Do other retirees crave order and routine. Drop me a line, I’d love to know.