I've decided that, starting tomorrow, I'm going to ease myself back into my new, steady routine. Like many people, once COVID19 occurred, I found myself with more free time than intended. Consequentially, I also wasn't positioned to hang out and enjoy that time. The result was a chaotic mix of constantly changing dates, times, events, inconsistent wake-up times, etc.
Where do I even begin?
In many ways, I actually prefer flexibility and spontaneity, much to the surprise of those who would assume otherwise from someone with PTSD. Having worked in the fitness industry for awhile, reorganizing my day on a dime was something I constantly did because I valued what it was I was doing. In return, I was valued for my time.
How are you time oriented?
Time orientation can be past, present, future, or no time oriented. This can be culturally or personally influenced. When really building a routine for myself or somebody else, I start with strongly-held values about time orientation and strongly valued activities that require said time. I think of this as our "core time spent" where it's especially important to define the habits that subsume a routine.
My time orientation: My PTSD personally informs me to be past-oriented while living in a typically future-oriented country.
How do you use time?
Chronemics is the the study of time usage. This can also vary per cultural or personal reasons. For instance, Monochronic cultures tend to possess structured time regiments that is singular. Polychronic cultures tend to approach time from a fluid perception where the division of time appears more arbitrary where events activities blend simultaneously. Cultures can also blend as "variably monochronic" with an influence of both structures.
My chronemic perception: I'm informed by a polychronic culture. So, I have a sense of "I'll do when I do it, and it'll get done when it gets done" and really haven't grown up in a "due date" culture. Part of that means that yes, I do have to play catch up and learn how to organize and adapt my inner perception of time to a culture with hard-fast "you don't get that closure until you do this thing" dates.
What is your life tempo?
There's been many studies (that I won't jump into here) that demonstrate that our internalized life tempo is influenced by much more than just our personal preference. We're informed by the economic system we live in, the level of industrialization we live in, the climate, the size of our population, and our attitude toward money. To break it down to bite-sized understanding: what is you pace when you do an activity?
My life tempo: I'm variable. I don't necessarily seek closure to any one activity, but I do value mastery of something to the point of achieving flow. Both being introspective and having PTSD-DS (not a formally recognized sub-type of PTSD) has informed me to operate from autopilot such that I enjoy when I'm able to work without stopping to process the steps.
My personal statement about time.
I'm typically past-oriented with a polychronic perception and a proclivity to accomplishing "flow."
So... where's the routine now?
To trim blogs up, I posted my routine in T H E F U T U R E
Website: Exactly What is Time?
Book: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszenmihalyi