For the self-employed and those who regularly work from home, routines are sacred. It's scarily easy to let your schedule slip and before you know, your productivity has plummeted and procrastination has set in. I experienced this recently and the culprit was entirely unexpected -- an espresso machine.
A few weeks ago, after taking stock of just how much coffee I drink (two, sometime three cups a day), I made a decision to buy an espresso machine. At the time, it seemed a wise course of action -- it'd pay for itself in time and eventually save me money; I'd be able to experiment with different grinds and beans and I'd learn some new skills.
That and a good latte would be available on-demand.
Alas, as you do with fancy purchases, you're consumed by the positives and in this case, they completely overwhelmed the negatives beyond the short-term ones, such as cost. What I failed to account for is what this new gadget would take away from me, or more accurately, my routine.
Going out for my morning coffee had several benefits I hadn't realised until they vanished. The invigorating, wake-up walk to and from home; the void of time during that walk to mentally plan out my day and consider problems I might otherwise sideline; the small acts of socialising to stave off my hermit inclinations; and the motivation derived from acquiring my first shot of caffeine.
These elements -- or the sudden lack of them -- hit me via a moment fridge logic and since then, I've made a promise to myself to alter my routine to reintroduce them.
My current plan is to actively "reassign" the time I've gained from making my own coffee, which has slipped into simply working more... or staring gormlessly at my screen. For example, I can add more exercise into my day or just finish working earlier. At the moment, I haven't quite found the right balance for my new routine, but recognising the fact it was disrupted has put my on the right path at least.