Finding a Fall Routine
A Lazy Genius is a genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don't. In the Fall, there's a lot that feels like it matters. So how do you choose? How do you make time for regular life and all things plaid and pumpkin? This week's episode of The Lazy Genius Podcast is about finding a Fall rhythm which is different than routine. A rhythm is fluid and not tied to anything in particular. It's like the shelves in your pantry; they're set but can hold anything. A routine is more structured and regularly tied to a time of day, place, or task. If a rhythm is the shelf, the routine is the way you stack the cans inside. If a set routine isn't your favorite, just listen to the podcast episode to stay in your happy place. We're all different, and that is fantastic.
Now for those of you who like more structure? Let's get into it.
If you're barely organized, don't set your phone on fire. I'm not trying to turn you into a Leslie Knope.
But here's the thing: if you can create a routine around the regular parts of life, you'll find there's more than enough space to make the fun things happen, too.
Think about those few days after you organize your kitchen cabinets. When it's time to cook dinner, you can actually see all of your ingredients! It's almost fun! When you pack up the leftovers, you can easily grab the right container and matching lid (a miracle!), and suddenly you're motivated to do some yoga or eat popsicles on the porch with your kids or actually carve that pumpkin you bought two weeks ago. All of these fun things that you actually desire in your life suddenly become more natural because there's the tiniest bit of structure, of organization, of routine.
So let's figure out how to find yours.
1. Stay within your Organizational Quotient.
Yeah, that's not a real term since I just made it up, but hear me out. You need to know where you land on a scale of 1 to 10, on a scale of Nick to Schmidt. If you try and force yourself into rigorous organization when your Organizational Quotient is just a 4, you'll end up burning your house down in a chaotic rage. Colored dividers fly everywhere. A label maker lays unused and charred in the middle of the yard. You don't need that scene.
Give yourself an Organizational Quotient on a scale of 1 to 10, and don't create a routine that's beyond your number. If your a loud and proud 10, color-code away, but don't you dare set up one of those intense Family Command Central situations if you're anything less than a 7. It'll just frustrate you.
Be honest about your Organization Quotient, embrace it, and stay within it. This isn't the time to be aspirational.
2. Start small around your biggest pain point.
It's tempting to make everything a routine - meals, workouts, outfits, errands - but as we all know, it never works to overhaul everything at once. Choose your biggest pain point, and start there. What overwhelms you most about getting back into a regular fall life? Is it cooking meals for a family that eats dinner at different times? Being a chauffeur? Getting your grad school work done in the cracks of caring for your preschooler? Simply remembering everything there is to do?
If you can create a tiny routine around that one thing that makes you crazy, the rest of your life will have more breath. Then you can add more as you go.
3. Make it fun.
I hate exercise. Like SO MUCH. I don't feel like it matters, I don't see or feel immediate results, and it just feels like a waste. But I know that I'm doing my old lady self a favor by being kind to my joints and muscles. So if I'm going to have a routine around exercise, it needs to be fun. If I do yoga, I face the prettiest window in my house. If I go for a walk, I take a friend or favorite podcast with me. If I do squats and pushups in the living room, I play Maroon 5 SUPER loud. (They're my vice, y'all. No shame.)
If we're working within our Organizational Quotient and staying focused on our biggest point, it makes sense that any resulting routine needs to be fun in order to have any lasting power. So make it fun. That counts almost more than the actual structure.
And as you set your intentions for a fall rhythm, you'll have a better structure to create a more specific routine. They build on each other beautifully. When your life moves without your having to really think about it, you free up your brain to engage in the things of Fall that make you smile, i.e. all the pumpkin things (or hating on all the pumpkin things if you're a rebel).
It's easy to add to something that feels stable. Set a routine, and see what space it creates in your life.