This Old Routine ....

This weeks article is for anyone who's ever been outside of their routine: whether you're coming back from a tour, finishing a stint in a musical or a play, spent some time preparing for College auditions, or you've been buried in the recording studio with Oreos and cups of tea; getting back to some kind of normality and into routine can be a tricky challenge, especially for us creatives who tend to use the term 'routine' pretty loosely compared to normal society, as it is! 

I'm coming at this from experience, as today is my first back after being under a rock for what feels like months now (in reality, it's been six weeks). I've been appearing in a Neil Simon play, which involved an all consuming process of learning many, many lines and learning to be a crazy actress (that part was tricky!!).

This morning I sat here reflective of a remarkable experience, but also mentally listing everything I haven't done for the past week! I then physically listed it all and have spent my day crossing everything off. And, in an attempt to help others like me get their house in order, here's the diary of my day:

  1. "Re-read and reply to ALL my messages". Modern technology is both a blessing and a curse. When I've got my head into a large project I can sometimes not read messages, or look at them and forget. In an age where everything is so immediate, it can seem impolite not to respond immediately (take me back to the pre text message days!), so today I have been going back over the past couple of weeks to make sure I haven't missed anyone. 
  2. "Clean the house". I was barely here for the whole of last week, so there was unopened mail and a washing pile higher than I've seen it since I first moved out from my parents house! Fast forward a couple of hours and I have clean sheets on my bed, all of my post is dealt with and the last load of washing is finishing off. 
  3. "Food". Usually top of mind constantly in my world! In order for me to be my most effective this week, I need to have a fully stocked fridge and meal plans ready to go: the slow cooker is now going with lunches prepared for the week, along with tonights dinner. All food is clean (meat and three veg) so I can stay on top of my vocal health, ahead of a very busy week. 
  4. "Sort the diary". This is something I do at the start of every week as things do tend to shift and change, but there a couple of things to add in since I've been away; as I've now finished the play there's space in the diary for a couple of new projects I've been postponing, plus I've cleared space for the important people in my world, as if we're not spending time with them too, then what's the point?! 

All of the above is designed to ensure that tomorrow morning I can get back to my usual routine of early morning yoga, followed by my own vocal warm up, before I head down to the studio for a full days teaching with a clear mind. Is there anything else you do in addition to this list that can help?