6 days to go…

The thing is, I really don’t like routine – it feels boring and I’ve never been a great one for lists or priorities. As a creative person I’ve mostly signed up to the ethos of working outside the box, innovating and I enjoy being the ideas guy.

Here’s the problem.

We need a box, we need boundaries, we need routine to keep us sane and get things done. As a creative person, unless there is some sort of box, even if you end up climbing out of it, you need something to start with otherwise there’s the paralysis of possibility. Routine means I can work on things and get chores done without really having to think about them, they become second nature which reduces the head space it takes to organise them. Granted, I still need to work on doing what needs to be done before what I want to get done but I’m improving.

Kate’s been in Durham for almost a week and as we suspected, the time is flying by and we’ll be together again soon. Even though it’s only been a week, I have settled into a routine fairly quickly.

7am the kids bundle into the bed and the daily ritual of pretending to not be hiding under the covers begins…

by 7.45am we’re up, dressed, teeth brushed, having breakfast and the washing is in.

8.20am socks, shoes, coats (having already sorted their bags)

There is currently an annoying wait of 15 minutes between drop offs but my 8 year old and I have been learning interesting collective nouns to pass the time. My personal favourite is that a group of Flamingoes is called a ‘Flamboyance’. When we can’t remember any more we make them up – a swing of monkeys should be adopted globally.

by 9.10am I’m home and writing a blog post. It’s been nice to have the time to do this daily, blogging has been very sporadic over the last few years.

by 10am the tasks of the day await, mostly at the minute this is sorting out stuff for the move but come January this will be a solid 4 hours (with lunch in the middle) to do some freelance work.

12ish is lunch although It has been known to be 11.30 or 1 or 2.40 or not at all depending on the day and the flow of whatever i’m doing. I always think it’s better to eat when hungry rather than sticking to a rigid time table but I also have mild IBS so i’m sure the medical evidence to the contrary. The washing also gets hung out at some point.

2.45pm leave for school pick up (remembering to take a snack, especially if it’s been agreed what that snack is meant to be).

3pm pick up the younger of the two, who didn’t go in well this morning but will have a huge smile on the way out, not because she’s out but because she does actually enjoy school. There’s then a 20 minute wait until the older one comes out so we usually head to the car / camper and listen to radio 2.

We’re home by 3.45pm when chaos ensues around further snacks, homework, how many episodes of ‘Miraculous’ they can watch on Disney+, how long it is until dinner time and what dinner will be when it arrives.

Cooking begins at some point after 4 depending on the menu with the aim of serving up at 5. We’ve eaten at 5 since they were quite young and I think we’ll trial a change in this policy once we’ve moved as Kate won’t be home until about 6. TV generally happens during this period of cooking – it always used to be limited to 30 minutes in the heady days of Duggee and other 7-11 minute shows but the afore mentioned adventures of Ladybug and Cat Noir are 22minutes so they generally watch two. Still pretty pleased with the lack of TV we’ve managed with them although they did watch a whole episode of Bake Off the other day and I’m not one to talk as I watch hours of dramas, documentaries and films every week.

5ish dinner, this week has mostly involved chicken as I let them choose the menu but it’s Friday so it’ll be fish fingers and chips – one has baked beans (which there is ongoing debate about the vegetable content of) and the other has peas. Usually this is date night and we’d eat something that has more actual taste once the kids are in bed. I may go and pick something up today as I’m not very excited about fish fingers.

By 5.30pm the kids are playing, usually without too many arguments now they’ve eaten and I do the washing up and pack the next day’s lunches, although it’s Friday so I don’t have to think about that today.

6-7 I generally just have to keep the peace, there might be some art being made, some imaginative play, watch some funny youtube if they’re lucky (currently addicted to ‘Dude Perfect‘).

7pm used to be tidy up time but the house is now stacked with boxes with little space to play so it’s pretty much straight up stairs for books, bath and bed. Kate is video calling in for stories which has been great.

8pm lights out and sleep time.

Evenings are currently spent hearing about Kate’s day, messing about with the rebrand at anewloom, watching films and attending interesting webinars – last night was week 2 of an introduction to Feminist Theology which is really great and pushing my understanding. There are also some amazing documentaries on Disney+ about the creative process. I highly recommend the series ‘Inside Pixar’ especially the episode where Dan Scanlon discusses where ideas come from and his very personal journey to creating the outstanding film ‘Onward’.

I’d love to hear from you…

How do you prioritise or reduce the noise of life to get things done?

Do you have a top tip for creating a routine?

Where do you find your creative inspiration?

Right, I’m off to do the last bits of painting in order to get our deposit back and complete other tasks like phone calls etc because if they aren’t ticked off the list I can’t treat myself to today’s episode of The Mandalorian. #selfmotivating

1 Comment

  1. Another great post James. Loving the Mandalorian too and inside Pixar!

    For me, i’m enjoying a bullet journal – great way to organise and plan with limiting creativity. It helps create a routine too, although I do struggle with a full routine too.

    Creative inspiration, really enjoying David Hiatt, he’s great on all medium but very accessible on LinkedIn

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