Friend and colleague Markus inspired me to join him in the Daily Blogging Challenge. Since my wife got ill two weeks ago, I didn’t get to deliver a single substantial work result. The clear objective of publishing an article every day seemed like a good way to get a sense of achievement back.

Alas, this new ambition might end right where it started. The writing prompt for today, “routine”, got me thinking how my daily routine fell apart when I had to take over running our household.

Which, in hindsight, I did not. All I did was add a few household tasks to my existing, functioning home-office routine. Underestimating the effort required to run a family home left me in constant firefighting mode preparing meals, helping my kids in remote learning, keeping the fridge stocked, intervening in fights to the death, picking up medication from the pharmacy, and making sure the house didn’t drown in dirt.

The amount of distractions generated by four people confined to their own home made getting some decent length of focus time impossible. Far too many interruptions ranging from “Can I please have another cup of tea?” over “Did you bring X from the supermarket?” (narrator: “He didn’t.”) to “Dad, he keeps kicking me!” later, I resigned and gave up on planning my day altogether.

Unsurprisingly, abandoning my routine didn’t improve things. “I’ll be unproductive again today” became a self-fulfilling prophesy sponsored by Youtube and Netflix.

I should just have taken time off work. Even if you have a robust daily routine like mine, you can’t just dump another day job on top of it and expect it to survive. This week, I’m going to clear my day for a “family routine” in the hopes of both increasing my chances of achieving my new goals, and eliminating the frustration over not meeting my old ones.

It remains to be seen if there’s any space left for daily blogging, though…