Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mission 2011: Getting Back On Schedule

Gentaur scheduleImage via Wikipedia
Welcome to a new month of Mission 2011 posts.

This month I want to focus on the related topics of schedules and routines, mostly because my recent increase in life stressors has almost completely and totally thrown off my own habits. Since things have finally started to calm down, it's time to get back in my groove.

When I initially set out my plans for my year-long series of posts for Mission 2011, I set this goal:

Making and sticking to a schedule of rest breaks throughout the day.

Now that is still a great goal, but I have recently realized I need to work on so much more than rest breaks when I comes to my schedule.

For example. the other day I could not remember if I had taken my once-a-day diabetes medication. You would think that since it is an injectable, I would remember poking myself. I literally stood in front of my diabetes supplies for several minutes racking my brain for recall. In the end, I decided against a possible second injection for fear that I might take too much medication and have to deal with the consequences.

Not a good way to start my day.

Back in 2009 I wrote a whole month-long series of post about developing a daily routine. One of the earlier posts in that series was Can Routine Help Me Manage My Fibromyalgia? Two years later and it seems I am in need of a refresher course on this topic.

The good news for both you and me is that can take that refresher course together by clicking this link: routine.

In the meantime, I did one thing this week which I hope will get me back on track. I call it a brain dump. I recognized I was getting bogged down by a bunch of things rolling around in my brain. So I took the time, a few minutes each day, to write down all the things floating around in there.

I've found that a To Do list and/or scheduling tasks with due date makes me feel pressured, overwhelmed and unproductive. So this brain dump was more about creating a prompt I can reference to help get me focused when I have the energy to accomplish something.

When using this prompt, I emphasizing flexibility and breaking things down into smaller steps, which works so much better with my fluctuating pain and fatigue levels. Sure, there are things in my life that have specific due dates, but I've learned that the majority of things aren't so time and date dependent after all.

I have to say that getting those things out of my head has really helped me get clearer and more focused. I am also being diligent about adding to the list whenever I hear myself talking about other things that need my attention. Yes, the list is long, so I hide it away when I am feeling tired, overwhelmed and not up to taking on tasks.

One thing I have come to accept is that not all the things on that list are going to get done...and that is just going to have to be OK.

I'll be back next week to write more about this subject. At the very least, by the end of June, I will schedule those regular rest breaks during each day and figure out a daily routine that ensures I take my diabetes medication every day without fail.

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Tami Stackelhouse said...

Routine really helps me keep things under control. Today for example, I do have more pain than normal (which normally is none). Why... stayed up too late. Broke my routine. Totally my fault. I ignored my alarm that told me to go to bed. =)

It's funny you're writing about this today. It's so much like what I wrote about this week too. Rhythm, Calendars & Scheduling, Timers... Great minds think alike! <3

Kathleen said...

A brain dump is one of the best terms I have heard. I know how you feel - insomnia due to pain and flucuating cortisol levels - cause me to obsess about things that need to be done. As I have taken this year to try to get better - I find that I am not too concerned anymore if all the little things don't get done. It is ok. I like your article.

Felicia Fibro said...

I like the title you gave brain dumping! When I've got too much floating around in there I have to get it all written down too.

For your meds - one thing I thought of was keeping a pen/marker with your meds and a post-it note that has a calender "grid" format of sorts that you could give yourself a star/checkmark each time you took it. Of course, you'd have to get in the habit of marking it each time.