I don’t have an answer to that question. Putting myself on a schedule to do anything is something I actively, aggressively resist.

I would rarely show up for work on time if doing so didn’t risk getting fired and, therefore, becoming homeless. Which is to say, it’s not dedication but primal fear that has me married to the day!job’s clock.

While I’m good at showing up “on time” if I promise to do so, I do not like being on a schedule. I loathe it, in fact, and will self-sabotage myself into the ground to avoid it.

Mind you, a schedule is not the same as a routine, which is also not the same as a checklist. My mornings are defined by the latter: I have a mental list of things I need to do (get out of bed, walk dog, make coffee, drink coffee, play with dog, shower, daily drawings, get dressed for work, etc.) but the time I do them and the order in which they are done vary every day.

I have a few routines, short step-by-step processes I go through regularly without changing anything, but they are not married to a specific time. When I get to work, I set down my phone, then my coffee tumbler, then my backpack before turning on my computer. Always in that order, whether I get to work at 7:45 (bus on time) or 8:30 (bus running late).

Oh, I’ve tried being consistent. I’m 48 years old, believe me, I’ve tried.

Is it a firmware problem? Is my brain just not down with scheduling? Is it because I was homeschooled by parents who believed that too much structure ruined creativity? Is it because they always let me sleep in late? (Poppa was a morning person, but he understood the fact that I most definitely am not; Mother was just incapable of structure.)

I’d love to be one of those people who who has a scheduled routine, those people who go to the gym after work and then do dinner and then do the dishes and then something else. Or those people who think, “Sunday! Must be time to wash all the bed linens and clean the bathroom!” I do not relate.

It’s not a matter of just failing to follow through — I run a guerrilla warfare campaign against schedules if I try to create them. I hate feeling tied to them, as if I am not a free agent with choice.

But look here, see: I am totally not a free agent with choice. Ever. I have a job, I have a dog, I have rent to make every month, I have a body that needs 8 hours of sleep to be legit functional. To be a writer, I have to write. To be an artist, I have to draw. There is zero choices to be made, here.

I resist that, and the battle continues…


Also published on Medium.

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