Over the last 45 years of living with ADHD, I have learned a lot about myself. One of those things I have learned is that physical activity has a medicating effect on my brain. The 12 hours or so after I engage in vigorous physical activity it is easier to focus than it is otherwise. But like a lot of folks, my life makes it hard to always fit physical activity into an already hectic schedule.
I have written in several places about my morning rituals – I make my coffee a certain way, I run on certain days, write in a certain place. I like my routines, and they work – when I work them. And the reality is, winter is hard for me. I hate running in the cold weather. Most of the last month, I have had a pretty bad cold, and no way am I venturing out into 36 degree weather to run with a head full of snot. So no running for over a month, and as a result, very little productivity, too.
I am a big believer in letting go of things that no longer serve you. That is true of possessions, beliefs, and routines.
I needed a better routine.
My constraints are:
- I need to be indoors, especially in the wintertime.
- It needs to not get in the way of coffee.
- It needs to happen early in the morning, or it won’t happen at all.
- It needs to be available pretty much every day at the same time.
- It needs to not get in the way of writing, which also needs to happen in the morning.
- It needs to be available to me when I travel, which is going to be a bigger part of my life in the future (more on that in a later post!)
So I abandoned my routines I have spent the last few years building and decided to build some new ones.
I joined a 24 hour gym with thousands of locations. This allows me to be inside (crucial in the wintertime) and to work out early in the morning, when it is empty and before my day starts. My membership will also allow me access to the locations in other cities when I travel.
It is early days yet, but so far, the planned routine is looking like this:
Wake up, make coffee. Get dressed in gym clothes, drive to gym while drinking coffee. Run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, do weights on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Shower at the gym, then go to a nearby coffee shop and write until it is time to go to the office. (That is where this is being written, actually).
Will this work? I don’t know. But if it doesn’t, I will shift and adapt until it does.