Despite some of us associating routines with a boring activity or a creativity killer, I’d like to show you how routine can make you have a better life.
A few years back, just hearing somebody mention the word ‘routine’ would instantly put me off. Even more so, I used to think that having a routine is something to be associated with non-creative people, who resent innovation. Later I was proven wrong and more and more I find it to be completely the opposite. Greg McKeown’s book “Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” (which I cannot recommend more) only added to my seemingly unexpected discovery that routines are actually beneficial to one’s life. In his book, he has even devoted a whole chapter to it (FLOW – The Genius of Routine) that only confirmed my beliefs. I even ‘borrowed’ a couple of advantages and explained them below, as they were ‘new’ to me and only afterwards did I let the information sync in and realized it makes a lot of sense.
Additionally, when looking around at my friends and family who have smoothly integrated routines in their lives, I can’t help but notice that they are living a happier, more relaxed life. So, how can then routines improve your life and what are the advantages of relying on them?
- Having a set of routines allows you to focus on other things. Because of routines, a mental space is freed up to concentrate on something new; thus, routines enhance both creativity and novelty.
- Having a set of productive routines doesn’t allow you to get pulled into nonessential distractions that might hamper your productivity otherwise.
- People who have a routine are usually better managers (this insight came from a friend of mine coordinating a team of 70 people). He explained that in order to successfully manage other people, you need to have a routine or sets of weekly recurring activities that periodically measure progress.
- You can have both daily and weekly routines. When it comes to weekly routines, you can have different activities lined up for each Monday, Tuesday, etc. So, if you diligently play tennis every Monday at 8pm, then you’ll have less on your mind around that time of the week, as your brain is already synced into following it’s routine.
- If, for example, you have routines but you feel that some of them are not very ‘good’, there is also the possibility of changing the counter productive routines with the productive ones. Thus, if you got accustomed to having a Mars for afternoon snack every Monday and you’ve realized that doesn’t really help with your exercise routine and your goals, substitute that with nuts or a banana instead. If you regularly do it for a few Mondays in a row, your brain will get accustomed to the new, healthier routine.
I’m still working on developing a set of routines that work for me and that help me accomplish my goals. Until now, I have the following:
- My daily weekdays routine consists of waking up at 7-7.30, having a glass of water and starting my day with 25 minutes of exercises FocusT25. Then I shower, get dressed, have my breakfast and walk the dog. Only afterwards I’m ready to ‘start’ my day.
- Every Monday at the same time I play tennis.
- Tuesdays and Fridays I go to the gym at the same hour every time (unless Rick changes my time cause his schedule got mixed up ;))
- I have a preference for organizing my conference calls during the first hours of the morning except the situations when it’s impossible due to time zone differences or lack of availability from the other party.
- I aim to write my blog posts every Wednesday evening to make sure I have a gap day in between, in case some other ideas occur to me or to cater to Presi’s objective feedback :))
So, here is where I wrap it up, guys! I hope it’s been an insightful article that made you reconsider integrating routines into your life (in case you haven’t already). They seem to positively impact the lives of family and friends that adopted it… and mine as well. Don’t forget to share how you feel about the content of this article and your own set of routines that have positively impacted your lives.
11pm on Wednesday evening,