Archive for the ‘Routine’ Tag

Back In A Routine   Leave a comment

So yesterday I was talking about getting caught up.  I am happy to report that I was successful yesterday in taking care of all the details that had piled up.  Now it is time to get back into a somewhat normal routine.  Summer is officially at its end since school started back in session today.  This means that I am moving into my list of fall activities, tasks, and responsibilities.  There is something comforting about routine.

I think that routine provide for me some stability.  I am sure that like many of you, life can become extremely hectic.  Summer provides an opportunity to be a little more laid back about life.  Routine also allows a little more laid back approach in the sense that you can know what to expect and what most days will hold for you.  Now, that does not mean there will not be interruptions and unexpected events pop up.  However, for the most part, a routine provides a path that is often


workout-routine (Photo credit: Tier 1 Leadership)


I am truly a person who likes change and new experiences.  However, I have come to realize that I also find value in routine.  For me, it is not an either/or situation but more of a both/and.  I enjoy when the routine is shaken up or becomes relaxed.  I enjoy when new opportunities present themselves.  But I also enjoy the stability and dependability of routine.  I need both.

So today, it is back to a routine.  Well, at least until, a change or new opportunity comes my way.

Posted August 21, 2013 by thoughtfulbeliever in Experiences, Life

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Changing Tracks   Leave a comment


Switch (Photo credit: pferriola)

Sometimes I find it very difficult to abruptly change the direction of my attention or my focus.  I was gone from the office at the start of this week and today is my first day back.  I have an extremely long “to-do” list and two days full of meetings.  Yet, I struggle to change tracks.  The start of the week was focused on one subject, much contemplation time, and some rest time (throw in being sick for one day so lots of bed time).  Now, I am back in the fast-paced, high demanding time and I struggle to move forward.

This has caused me to consider the value of transition time.  It is very difficult to make abrupt transitions.  That is why after being gone for a period of time, I usually try to put at least one transition day in place.  However, that is not always possible, as this week is an example.

So how do I successfully change tracks?  I think that it begins with taking time to plan.  This is true in almost all aspects as a leader.  Poor planning usually results in poor outcome and a lot of stress.  It often creates anxiety which is easily transmitted to co-workers and those who are looking to your leadership.  So as I change tracks, I need to take some time to plan out how I am going to manage the “to-do” list, be prepared for the meetings, and not feel overwhelmed.  There is also a great need to prioritize and to realize that some items might not be finished as desired.  This can also be managed during the planning stage.

Next, it is important to try to maintain routine.  If I stay on my typical routine (realizing that items might arise that impact that routine), it will help me transition to the daily track that I am accustomed to follow.  I cannot let the clock become my enemy.  I know that I have been successful in clock management due to aspects of my routine and so I need to have faith in that.

I am eager to hear what ideas you have about changing tracks.  I can always learn new ways to be more successful in this area.

A Snow Delay   2 comments

Today I did something that I don’t believe I have ever done in my years of working, I took a 2-hour snow delay.  Our local school system called a 2-hour delay because of the heavy, wet snow that we received last night and the impact it had on our roads.  When I heard that the school had made such an announcement at 5:30 this morning, I decided to do the same.  So I crawled back in bed and waited until 7:15 to get back up.  I then went out and cleared the snow from the sidewalks and driveway before starting my normal routine.  What did it cost me?  I was 30 minutes later than normal getting started in the office and had to skip my morning coffee at the coffee shop.

Now the more important question that I ask myself is what did it gain me?  First of all, I was able to gain about an hour of sleep which helps me feel more energized this morning and definitely has given me a positive attitude.  Second, it helped me break out of the monotony of routine.  Sometimes I need to be shaken out of my routine to appreciate other aspects of my life.  Third, it helped me clarify some priorities of my day.

Snowed trees on mount Brocken, Harz, Germany

Image via Wikipedia

You know, I think this is why God established the sabbath.  The Lord knew the value of having a break.  The Lord knew the value of breaking up routine.  Once again, the Lord is way ahead of me.  Some day I might actually figure out that what the Lord tells me to do in the aspects of my life are truly for my benefit.  Until then, I will continue to experience these “Aha” moments.

So I think that I am going to take the school system for my cue.  If a snow delay or snow day comes along, I might just have to take it as a message from God to change my plans.

Posted February 24, 2012 by thoughtfulbeliever in Uncategorized

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Back To The Routine   Leave a comment

The Passage of Time

Image by ToniVC via Flickr

Alright, the Iowa State Fair is over and now it is time to get back to business.  Today, I shift from my normal routine at the Fair, to my normal work routine.  But even as I make this transition, I also realize that I am transitioning from my summer routine to my fall routine.  Yes, I know that fall is officially little less than a month away but since school is back in session and activities are starting to fill the calendar, the fall routine has begun here.

I find routine to be a blessing and a curse.  Since I am the type of person who likes organization, routine provides a level of comfort because time and activities are a bit more organized.  So the blessing is that I am returning to the familiar; I am returning to organization.  The curse is that it can be a struggle to move back from the leisurely to the rapid pace of my routine.  I look at all the items on my “to-do” list and wonder how I am ever going to make it through this day.

This has caused me to give thought to the importance of sabbath.  That much-needed opportunity to rest and to commune with the Lord.  The need to turn to the Lord for re-energizing.  The need to admit that we cannot go at a rapid fire pace all the time.

While having time away at the Fair was truly a sabbath for me, coming off of that sabbath isn’t always easy.  But I know that the Lord is always ready to re-energize me, I just need to take the time to turn to the Lord.

Posted August 23, 2011 by thoughtfulbeliever in Faith/Life Connections

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Becoming Aware   2 comments

WDNR Schedule

Image via Wikipedia

When I decided to begin a new blog, I found myself taking a much different approach than I did with my first blog.  I am hoping that is because I realized that some of my methods fell completely short and resulted in me ending any type of regular blogging.  I decided to take some time to consider what direction this new blog would take.  I put thought into the content and focus of the blog (thanks to a great tutorial provided by WordPress).  I spent time considering what the name of the blog would be and how that would invite individuals to check it out.  I even changed the hosting site for my blog.  I decided that I had to be very deliberate about when I was going to write my blog post and include a time in my day when I would isolate myself to write.  One of the other choices that I made was that I would try to become more aware of the connection of my faith and events of my daily life.  I must admit that the decision to become more aware is proving to be the most difficult aspect so far.

I do not think that I am terribly different from most people in one aspect – I often get so caught up in the routine, I don’t put a lot of thought into the daily living.  Like many of you, I am pretty active.  I seem to thrive on activity.  So my schedule is usually very full and I need to remain on the move and steaming through my “to-do” list.  I also have discovered that I am the type of person that benefits from routine because it helps me make sure that I don’t forget something.

An example of the value of routine for me are my morning rituals.  After waking up and working out (except Saturday and Sunday), I take my shower.  My activity in the shower is always the same.  I get out of the shower and proceed to shave and take care of other personal care items, again it is always in the same order.  Then I go downstairs and have a routine that includes making coffee, taking medications, making toast, getting cereal, eating and reading the paper (always in the same order).  That is followed by filling the dog’s water bowl and food bowls if needed, putting up the flags, grabbing my coffee to go, getting my computer and keys from my home office, and heading out the door to go to the office.  This routine works very well for me.  But if anything disrupts this routine (which we all know is bound to happen from time to time), I usually find myself forgetting to do something.  Maybe some of you have similar experiences regarding the routines of my life.

Now I share all of this because of the problem that I have encountered with becoming aware of the faith/life connections each day.  I believe that it is so easy to become accustomed in our routines that we go on autopilot basically.  We are in the motions but there really is not a much of a thought process.  When I am in autopilot mode, I am definitely not aware of much of anything unless whatever it is causes me to come out of autopilot mode.

So I am finding that I need to be deliberate about becoming aware.  I need to develop a new pair of lenses to look at life through so that I can see those connections.  This is going to require discipline, as all new habits do.

What are your experiences with overcoming the autopilot mode?  How do you deliberately find those connections between faith and life?  Please share your stories so I, and possibly others, can learn and grow.