Routines, routines

As someone who is currently juggling unemployment, the occasional freelance assignment and a seemingly hopeless search for a job, I have been struggling with creating a routine for myself. A routine that allows time for myself, but also puts me in a state of focus. I have always been driven by external expectations – something I gained some extra perspective on through Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies (2017). I am perfectly able, perhaps even slightly intense, about doing what I am told. However, when it’s me telling myself what to do, all effort seems to go right out of the window. As I mentioned in my previous post, this has been something I’ve been struggling with for quite a while, and have been looking for answers, advice and support to deal with this.

Rubin’s book states that basically everybody falls into one of four categories when it comes to the question Why do we do the things, and why don’t we do things : upholders who respond well to both external and internal expectations; rebels, who respond to neither expectations; questioners who respond more to internal than external expectations; and obligers, responding mainly to external expectations. Rubin goes much deeper into these tendencies, its pitfalls and strategies to work with them than I intend to do here, but it was a fresh of breath air to read her book and realize that one’s way of dealing with internal and external expectations is just… the way someone is! I am a complete obliger, which is something –though without giving it a name- that has been frustrating me to the core lately. Reading The Four Tendencies has given me a good insight into how this characteristic actually works and how to work with it, and that it is not necessarily a good or bad thing. It just is what it is! Number one thing I have to do: create external expectations. I’m trying to put this to work in order to create a better routine. A friend of mine has joined me in getting up at 6 AM and checking in on each other definitely motivates to stop snoozing; my boyfriend and I remind each other of our good intentions of going to the gym; and I have someone chase my about my freelance assignments to make sure I start early in the morning at a coffee shop with something that resembles a regular work day.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it certainly has been a good way to create more structure and productivity in my life. Lets see how I can arrange some external accountability for this blog as well!

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