I need structure. Like a multi-vitamin (neccessary but not life threatening if absent). Without structure, I just...flounder. Things get accomplished, but not particularly well (or in a timely manner). Work or working out - doesn't matter. Without a set plan of action that is consistent from day to day, I simply don't thrive.
In 2007 I made immense gains in my running speed and endurance. I was getting out on the road by 4:30 every morning, running a few miles with a neighbor and then continuing for another hour on my own. In the month of October I averaged 60 mpw, was injury free and virtually flying on my feet. The alarm went off, and without hesitation I rolled out of bed, into my gear and out the door.
Last summer, I was CrossFitting 4 days a week. I'd take a 5:45 am bus into the city to train at 7 am. 4 days a week, without fail. Again, alarm went off and without hesitation I rolled out of bed, into my gear and out the door. And again, I saw increases in strength and endurance.
But crack of dawn workouts don't lend themselves to a lucid remainder of the day, so in time the workouts moved later and later. The later in the day the workout was planned, the more likely something would come up to interfere (work, dishes - you name it and it needed to be done). Before long, workouts became the things I needed to squeeze into my day.
Logically - workouts (running or lifting) are NOT important. They don't pay my bills or put food on the table. In the grand scheme of life, they are nothing more than an accessory to a full, balanced life.
But that's logic. In real time, without the structure I find in physical activity, the fluidity in the rest of my day....drowns me.
OK, that's entirely too melodramatic. But I'm sure you get the gist of it.
So the struggle continues to find the right balance of activity in the right time slot. And keep it there. I guess at least that's consistent :)