Working with a lack of routine and scheduled activity

Almost immediately after the kids came home from their last day of school on Thursday, any semblance of routine or schedules went out the window.

There are no fixed breakfast eating times, lunch is a free for all grab what you want, ice cream and popsicles are the go-to “I’m hot, I’m bored, I want” answer and dinner is…whatever, whenever. Depends on who wants to cook or grill and what’s in the house or how much we are willing to spend on food elsewhere.

No one goes to bed at a reasonable time either (well, I do, but I don’t care what they do, so I don’t police them).

For the rest of the summer, with all of us home, schedules and routines will take a backseat at this house.

I realized today that this isn’t going to work for me.

My best time to write is in the mornings, typically during ‘school hours’. With those gone, that optimal time-frame is also gone.

I’m missing deadlines and forgetting to continue working on in-progress drafts. Endless parades of chatty girls regularly want to know WHEN the pool opens and CAN they go there on their own and WHAT flavour popsicles are there and and and…

Constant interruptions.

Up until now, I have not had the need to schedule deadlines into my calendar. I typically don’t work on more than three, maximum four projects that have deadlines (which are often several weeks long), so I’ve managed to stick to a fairly fluid, flexible work schedule. Simply sitting at my computer during school hours has been enough for me to stay focused on my work.

But now, not so much. Now, when I write in my head without the opportunity to make a physical note, my thoughts are often lost in the new normal that is summer vacation.

If you’re a writer you know that you never really stop writing. I constantly have my drafts in my head, think up of the most perfectly formed sentences at the most inopportune times of the day (in the shower, while making meatballs and covered in raw meat, when driving the kids to x or y location).

Not anymore. Now I think of something I want to note down and on the way to the computer/note pad/dry erase board, I get interrupted, trip over a toy, can’t find my strategically placed pencil near my now missing note pad…


With several deadlines looming during this very open-ended, dog-days of summer atmosphere, I lose not only track of time, but track of days. What day is it today? Monday? But it’s not a normal Monday, it’s a statutory holiday. When are the kids going to x? What about dog sitting, when is that happening again? I will have to check my draft that’s due when was it again, the end of this week or next week?

I’m all outta whack. And it’s only been four days.

So, my calendar will once again be activated, and posted to walls. I will assign my work related postings in a separate colour to highlight my deadlines. I will also post the swim schedule and direct them to its location, and train them to not interrupt me when they see I’m sitting at the laptop.

And as far as popsicles and video games are concerned, those have already been canceled for the remainder of the day so any looming question about those topics will be met by no. Or rather with “think before you ask since you already know the answer to that question”.

PS I too want to have some summer vacation. I’ve announced this and told them I will not be working every day. However, since regular household stuff still has to be completed, the expectation is that they pitch in and help out. This includes keeping their play area somewhat cleaned up, the common area tidy to my expectations, meal prep is a family event, as is clean up before and after, and please, do occasionally wear dry and clean clothing, not just wet bathing suits or quick-dry, dusty, sweaty athletic wear.

And so it beings…happy summer!




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