I may have left my old job behind in December, but I took my old habits with me.
When I had to sit in an office all day, I developed coping mechanisms. As I’m a late riser and night worker, I’d spend the first hour or two of each morning just trying to force my brain awake so I could start being productive. This involved visiting news sites, reading my RSS feeds, downing enough coffee to dispatch a small elephant and generally killing time until I either had to do something time-sensitive or felt like my brain was present enough to start writing an actual article.
These days, I set my own hours. If I feel like working early (say, noonish), I work early. If I feel like getting groceries and working out and making a nice dinner during the day and then working until the wee hours, I do that. I don’t have a set schedule, I have a schedule regulated by necessity and efficiency. I work when I feel I’m most productive. As for email, it’s no longer a flood but a manageable trickle.
And yet, I still won’t answer some messages for days, though they require minimum effort on my part. Worse still, I find myself spending significant parts of my day visiting news sites, reading my RSS feeds, drinking coffee and energy drinks and generally killing time. Except now it’s my time that I’m wasting, not an employer’s, and I’m the only one losing out.
As I prepare to transition from my current job that I am no longer aligned with to a new phase of life which is starting to shape, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and listening on the topics of figuring out what you want and how to get it. Mostly from the standpoint of re-programming my thinking.
I’ve gotten to a point where I just want to be happy. There are lots of things that I’m really happy with. And some things that I could do better on. But I know a lot of the work on improving happiness is simply re-programming my mindset.
So I read the above and of all the things I’ve read, it resonated so strongly I couldn’t do anything but sit there for a while and read it over and over. It completely captures my current state. That is so me, you guys.
I’ve said that one thing I’m looking forward to about being a full time grad student is the opportunity to re-create my day in a way that is more fulfilling. Missy pointed out that I could incorporate some aspects now, simply by getting up earlier. She’s right. I completely acknowledge that making a habit out of getting up earlier to set up my day with some quiet time would have some benefit right now. Missy has made a habit of it. I’m not there. I don’t want to get up earlier. I want to re-purpose the 9 hours of my day that are taken up by work and commuting. Or I want the freedom to get done what I need to, go to bed when I’m ready, and get up when I’m rested. Maybe somewhere down the line I end up getting up earlier for it.
Regardless, new habits are in definitely in order. Time to change from “I want new habits” to “I choose to have new habits.”