Creature of habit

Estée Janssens

As we grow older and (somewhat) wiser, we soon realize that one of our most precious commodities is time.

I have always had trouble with achieving life balance. I work full-time, am a single mother and always have a list of my personal projects on the go. I habitually overextend myself and want to be the perfect mother, the ideal employee and the present friend. In order to achieve some semblance of this (despite not always being perfect, ideal or present), I have turned to time management and routine as the means of accomplishing more and achieving a better balance.

I began doing this a little over two years ago as my daughter had become a young adult and I realized that I had a lot more free time and did absolutely nothing constructive with it. I agreeably joined others’ plans, gave my all at work during the week and lived according to the rhythm of my daughter’s routine.

I felt like I didn’t have an agency of my own within my own life. I didn’t really make any decisions about my time. I drifted and got things done without really thinking about it. I watched an interesting Youtube video where an author I admire was speaking and discussing designing one’s life. It really made me think about my own aspirations, what I enjoyed and what was a chore.

On Sundays, I began to list what I wanted my weeks to look like. I included self-care (such as time to simply read). As time went on, I bought a planner and began to really block out time to accomplish what I want to do. Over a few months, I realized that I was at the best moment in my life to begin writing again which up to that point, I had decided I would do when I would retire.

I still struggle with maintaining my writing routine as life happens. Unpredictable things come up and we all have moments where we need to simply take care of ourselves and rest however, planning my time is still my go to when I feel like I have suddenly started standing still and am no longer accomplishing what I wish to accomplish.

It’s back to the drawing board over and over. I switch my routine all of the time but I stay focused and I stay on track, chipping away at what I wish to accomplish little by little.


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