Rituals and Routines — more a promise to self.

Rituals and Routines — image from XYZ invitation (Allied London)

I attended the very relaxed and serene Rituals and Routines event hosted by XYZ at Old Granada Studios a few weeks ago (26.01.17). The venue, perfectly chosen, was a former rehearsal/studio space surrounded by greenery and tucked away just off the main entrance to the former Granada TV HQ.

I’m fascinated by the routines of others. I have not yet mastered a perfect one of my own, and I find the success or motivations of others something addictive — even though I can’t replicate them in my own life. The panel, which seems to be a trend, unevenly made up of men, bared their souls, their passions and their goals. Unsurprisingly, two of the speakers were performance coaches focused on mind, body and soul. But what makes a perfect routine — it is possible with two rug rats who wake up very early, depleting me of time to myself in the morning? Or I am simply just making excuses to myself.

Personally, I have two blocks of time which are not my own. From 5.30am until 9.00am, when I share the responsibility of getting two tired kids to school or the childminder. This period is also when I begin the painful commute into Manchester. The end of day is usually the reverse journey home, followed by two-three ours of family meal times, bath times and bed routines. By 9pm, I’m usually free of any other responsibility, but then I’m ready for bed or get down to some writing for work or myself. Usually though, I want to switch off from all devices and read or listen to music.

So, do I get up uber early to get a march on the day? Do I stay up late so my days are planned? There are dozens of different routines and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. However, before you think I am becoming far too cynical and dismissive, there were some great points.

JFDI — get with the programme

  • Reclaim your time — apportion time better
  • Focus your time better — break up the day to match your energy and moods
  • Eat well — straight forward but better eating equals better energy and concentration
  • Be disciplined with your time — don’t leak time. It’s easy to let it slip through your fingers
  • Disconnect — make time for those important around you, but allow for rest and relaxation too.

Dodge the dodgy people

The best one for me was from John Sidlow, from Allied London. He simply stopped hanging out with people he didn’t like. Why spend (waste) time with people who aren’t helpful to your well-being? In so many professional networks, socialising is a key part of relationship building. Often it is within single gender groups as well.

John’s point really resonated with me. Over the past few years, I’ve struggled with fitting in. That’s not to say I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and some of the socialising, but I asked myself key questions -

  • is it really working for me?
  • are they really genuine people?
  • does it benefit me?
  • are there other people I should be spending time with
Stop bloody worrying about what everyone thinks of you!

I also worried far too much about missing out on things. Not being invited to social get togethers etc. It wasn’t healthy and it was highly disruptive. So at the end of 2016, I ditched them. I still like the majority of the people, I’ve met in my professional career, but I certainly wasn’t going to let my life be focused on them. This may well tie in to my depression since my father passed away, and the difficulty of leaving a great company with a high-status job. I suddenly found myself in the wilderness. From having gravitas to trying to be one of the boys? Perhaps. There’s another blog here about my lack of interest in Football and how it can be a block to networking.

Another ‘routine’ I have developed, is not looking backward. Rear-view mirror living is painful and destructive. While I still may like to have a BMW (bitch, moan, whinge) once in a while, I’m not allowing myself to be eaten up by the way someone has behaved or how I perceived I was being treated.

My tips are simple:

Get plenty of you time (without being selfish)

Invest in those great relationships — those that have lasted a long time and before social media!!

Put some effort into routines and organising yourself

Have fun, be fucking glad you’re alive and there’s another day to live

Thanks to the panelists:

Panelists sharing their thoughts and tips.

Martin R Hall — https://twitter.com/martinRhall/

Julia Mitchell — https://twitter.com/JuliaToastPR/

Simon Hall — https://twitter.com/simonhallbc

John Sidlow — https://twitter.com/JSidlow9

Mark Bohannon — https://twitter.com/UPFitness

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