I have worked for myself for well over 10 years and have spent just as long refining my schedule. From the best time to wake up to when I need to exercise to how to layer my work so that I’m my most productive, it matters to me how I structure my days. With so many variables as a freelancer and now entrepreneur, my schedule is one of the things I do have control over. So I try to make the most of it.
One of the newest factors that I take into consideration when I’m tweaking my schedule is seasonal change. This includes how I can be outside when the sun is out as well as what my body is asking for when it comes to movement and sleep. As someone with the privilege to adjust my lifestyle to support my mental and physical health needs, I am working on aligning my somatic wellbeing with what’s happening outside.
When I returned to Canada about 18 months ago I was in denial that winter would be as bad as it was. While the cold became bearable so long as I bundled up, it was the lack of sunlight that really got to me. What’s more, I had committed to not getting on a plane until my debts were repaid. So I couldn’t even partake in a quick escape somewhere South. And despite having complete control over my schedule, I moved through my days as if I were still in Costa Rica.
I want this winter to be different. I need it to be. So instead of maintaining the daily structure that carried me through summer, I am adjusting my schedule to set myself up for success in winter. This starts with the morning routine that creates a foundation for the rest of my day. With colder, shorter days coming, I feel a need to slow down in the early hours. What’s more, I’m longing for my mornings to be quieter and more contemplative.
Whereas in the early years of working for myself I was always trying to pack more in, these days I’m much more interested in editing things out. I want to do less and thrive more. Missing out isn’t a cause for anxiety. Instead, I worry that I’ll bypass the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from mastery. From choosing to dedicate myself to the creative work and experiences that matter most to me.
For those of us who live in places where seasonal change is extreme, considering how this affects how we structure our days and creative work is important. We are of this world and are inescapably influenced by the changes happening within nature. What’s more, any action we take that brings us more in touch with our dying planet can only be a good thing. Even if it’s the simple act of thinking about how your schedule might shift with the seasons.
What seasonal changes need to inform your schedule?