Setting up a schedule

People like routine. They also like adventure, rainbows, and cute puppies. YeaaaaaawwwwAnd cats. People really seem to like cats. So here's a cute cat picture, courtesy of FunnyCatPix. I'm not sure I get the attraction but that might because I've cleaned up one too many hairballs. Plus, the last cat we had was named Bearacuda. She lived up to both parts of the name.

Moving on, routines.

Most people like to have a routine as they go through the day. Have a few events disrupt the routine and crankiness ensures. I'm no different. I like routines. I just don't have any. My schedule for work is dictated by the demands of the marketplace. As a Realtor friend once put it, being in business for yourself means setting your own schedule, so when the client asks to get together at 5AM, you can't say "Sorry, the office doesn't open until 9AM."

You say, "Sure, no problem." Because the client is the BOSS. He or she is paying you and, if you want a paycheck, you'll be there at 5AM.

All good until you want to do something on a personal level, like saying hello to the kids while they're awake. Or, in my case, prepping to run a marathon.

I just got done filling up the next two weeks with work. It's gone slightly crazy in the real estate market for whatever reason and I'm not going to complain.

What I am going to do is pare down my list of activities to those that are essential to getting what I want. Yep, my focus is on me. Yours should be on you - unless you have a saint in the family or are a child, odds are nobody else cares as much about you as you do.

So I spent time paring, trimming, and snipping at things.

And guess what? Getting the garden ready for spring didn't make the cut. I'll cheat on the vegetable garden and not start from seeds this year.

TV time? Gone except for basketball. Reading fills into the gap. Which I need because I just started two new books. Plus the three I'm already reading.

Reading blogs? No time, so uh-buh-bye.

The gym? I can fit it in by shifting appointments slightly and going in between inspections. Might be able to sub in a run instead if I don't have clients attending. Not an option if the client is attending; nobody needs to have an inspector that sweaty. Or potential odiferous.

Running? Change the day of the long run to Wednesday. Work longer on the weekend to make up the time. Speed work on Sunday so I don't overburden family with help crewing.

Writing? Early mornings, when I'm most productive (and when I wrote this.)

How long will the new routine last? Probably a month or two. The change in seasons will help by giving me warm weather and more daylight to work with. Since I'm already at record levels on the business side, I don't see room to ramp that up. I might have to increase prices and drive some clients to competitors (and cherry-pick the best.)

The key to my routine is simple. Be flexible and ready for change. My routine is to plan for change. Or, as the military maxim goes, no plan survives contact with the enemy. Or, as the General said, "Strategy is a system of expedients."

Build change into your routine, folks. It'll make it easier when everything heads sideways.