*This post contains PR Products from Shark
If you’ve been a reader for some time, you’ll know the tos and fros, ups and downs and backs and forths I’ve had with routines. I’ve never been able to keep em.
Even when I was teaching and my ‘general’ routine was; get up, get ready, schedule tweets whilst walking to the train station, write blog posts on the train, teach, head home – once I arrived home, who knows what I’d do!
Sometimes I only had the energy to pick up a takeaway en route back to the flat and flomp in front of Friends, other days I’d have a burst of energy and whizz round cleaning, tidying, decluttering, (more blogging) and even give myself 15 minutes for a quick cleanse and sheet mask.
Since moving into our house and getting our puppy, I’ve craved more of a routine – which is made even harder when my work week is now all over the place. No more Maths 9-10 and English 10-11 every day – one day I’m creating Insta posts, the next speaking on a panel and the one after teaching the incredible Grow & Glow members all about brand-building.
But with lockdown, where I’ve not been able to get out of slinging a dusting cloth round the house in favour of an iced coffee or three, I’ve managed to create some habits and routines that I know, even with lockdown easing, I’ll be able to keep up.
They say it takes 3 weeks to form a habit right? These ones have been going for nearly 3 months!
Since purchasing my meal-planning pad from Sighh, and only being able to get an Ocado (due to the local Co-Op being an absolute nightmare), I’ve gotten into the routine of ordering our weekly shop on a Thursday, to arrive on a Sunday and then sitting and filling out the meals for the week.
This means we’re eating healthier – because there are no last minute takeaways available or mad dashes to the shop – and our food waste is virtually 0!
I also really like not having to do that classic married conversation every day of:
“What should we have for lunch?”
“Nah don’t fancy it. Salad?”
“Mmm not feeling it.”– and on and on forever
Or having to rifle through the cupboards wondering what we can sling together and whether mayo really does go with grapes and crackers.
P.S our lockdown favourite meal has been fajitas – the Old El Paso Fiery Jalapeno kit is a FIRM favourite and it’s Ben’s fave dish to knock up whilst I’m probably doing another Instagram Live about personal branding!
Our house is located not too far from some gorgeous orchards and public footpaths into woodland so we’ve made sure to keep up our daily walks – usually first thing.
Granted, my mind might change around this when it’s December, freezing and wet again but right now, when the sun’s up early and warm at 9am, it’s a delight to explore.
Without these morning walks, I can be guilty of scrolling social media for hours or jumping straight from bed into work.
This gives us time to spend together, think about the day ahead and get that much needed energy boost that my regular frothy coffee from the-lockdown-closed cafe can’t provide.
At the beginning of lockdown, Shark offered to send us their cordless vacuum with Anti-Wrap technology, triple battery which is great for pets.
When I lifted it out of the box, to my delight, it was super-light. Another fun surprise (depending on your idea of fun) was that the battery was already charged. Within seconds I was dancing round the house to some 90s tunes and getting into every corner with this bad boy.
Dare I say it? But I found the whole experience… enjoyable. And for a total cleaning-phobe like me – that is saying something.
We were previously sent the Shark hand-held cordless vacuum a couple of years ago too, and you could honestly eat your fajitas straight off our surfaces now.
I’m massively a carrot/stick type person when it comes to doing things I hate doing (aka cleaning) so coupled with the Shark being a dream to use, I also use the cleaning time to listen to my music or my latest podcast downloads so that means I’m more inclined to make regular time to do this more than just weekly (or sometimes when needs must)!
As I’ve spoken about before, in my wedding skin routine blog post, I’d not previously made my skin that much of a priority.
In prep for the wedding, I’d started regularly cleansing, toning, moisturising and… seruming (?) and I’m glad to say, I’ve kept it up!
I don’t see skincare as a thing about wanting to make my skin ‘look better’ but I’ve realised how important it is for me to do little things throughout the day to make me ‘feel better’.
Recently, I’ve been loving getting some bits and pieces from Beauty Pie (you’ll get your first month free with my link and I get a £50 top up – this is available to all Beauty Pie customers!). I particularly love their Japanfusion range for cleansing and moisturising and the Dr Glycolic pads and peels.
After a day at my laptop or after an evening of coaching calls with the G&G team, I enjoy those 15 minutes of quiet time in the bathroom and it means I’m more likely get a good night’s sleep.
This is totally a new one for me as I am the ULTIMATE fuss when it comes to being outside. Mud? Nah. Bees and wasps? Can GTFO. Too much sun? Horrendously sweaty mess.
But since we’ve had our little garden sorted, I’ve actually enjoyed firing up the hose (is that even the right term?) and watering my new little herb planters.
Each night, I check on my cuttings, water my new plants and just take a few moments to myself to be grateful and content with the home we’re creating.
And yep, I’ve been known to head to bed and on my head hitting the pillow, jolt upright and say, ‘Piss I forgot to water my Oregano’.
Just call me Alan Vixmarsh.
Working ‘ON’ the business
Anyone who’s trying to build a solo business or a personal brand will attest to the fact that you’re always doing SOMETHING. Either you’re creating content as part of your marketing strategy, you’re trying to engage with your ideal customers or you’re under a pile of emails and enquiries.
You very rarely make time to work on the bigger picture of what you’re trying to build.
Something my digital marketing coach, Alice Benham taught me a lot about was the importance of working ‘ON’ your business – tackling the bigger picture or more strategical long term plans, rather than the constant day to day grind.
Since implementing this and seeing how much it’s helped my business grow in the last year, I’m a huge advocate of getting into the routine of working on things.
Now, I block out every Friday to step away from the ‘content treadmill’, as I call it, to step away from emails and to ignore admin until Monday and focus on the best bits about building a business – the ideas, goals and plans!
I use a program called ClickUp where I list all my ‘On’ tasks and each Sunday now (after my Ocado delivery and meal planning sesh), I sit down and divvy out those big picture tasks for the following Friday.
Sounds weird but I genuinely ENJOY looking towards Friday to see what task I’ll get to tackle next and it genuinely makes the Monday routine of emails and admin way more bearable!
What are the best habits or routines you’ve picked up during lockdown?
Other bits and pieces I love weaving into my week are journalling – which I’ve written about here and reading! I make sure to set some time aside each day or every other day to read a couple of pages of my latest book. It’s a great way to unwind and get me off of social media!
What are the best habits or routines you’ve picked up during lock down?
Come and chat with me on Instagram!