You’ll hear people refer to routine as being dull or boring. It implies that life is the same from one day to the next. However, routines are a great way to get your work done.
It’s also a great means for teams to work together towards a common goal. When everyone has an understanding of what needs to get done, i.e., what routines each team member needs to perform, projects tend to run smoother.
We also have routines in our society. In some ways, laws can be considered routines. You know that you aren’t supposed to run a red light and that can be thought of as a routine. When you come to a red light, you stop as best as you can. There may be instances when you accidentally go through one here or there. But, most people will stop for red lights. And this is good to reduce accidents.
There are many benefits to derive from a solid daily routine. You set up routines for your kids in the form of chores. You know that certain tasks need to get done each week. Many parents tie kids’ allowances on these chores. When the kids finish their chores, they receive their allowances. It teaches the kids a work ethic. They need to perform tasks, and when they complete those tasks, they receive money for them.
When you pay bills, you tend to have a routine for this. Some people like to get everything sorted on one day and pay all the bills on that day. Others will pay them whenever they receive them. Others, still, will set up their payments to be paid automatically by their bank or brokerage. There isn’t a right answer for how to do this. Whatever works for you is the right answer. However, the method you choose will be routine.
Contrast this to people who don’t have routines to manage their lives. They tend to handle tasks when the mood strikes them. These people are usually late with their bills and have messy environments. Some of these people will say that this way of life works for them. However, for most people this is chaos. It’s something that can easily be avoided by setting up routines for the tasks you need to complete.
Of course, people are not robots. Hence, they do break up their routines on occasion. You may use weekends to do activities that you don’t get to do during the work week. Also, many families use vacations to help break up their routines.
Do routines mean you’re stuck in a rut?
Routines are neither good nor bad. It all depends on the context by which you apply them. If your routines are making you crazy, or in a rut, it may be time for you to break away from them, at least temporarily. On the other hand, if you don’t have some structure in your life, routines may be what you need. Routine can be an important component of mental health.
If you are feeling in a rut, consider going on a vacation. This can be a great way to reset the ordinary. It can also lead to meeting new people or opening up opportunities. How many stories have you heard of people going on vacation and falling in love with the place they visited? Of course, when you uproot your life to this great new place, eventually what you do there will become routine.
Another way to shake things up is to join a club that you wouldn’t normally join. For instance, if you never tried a certain type of craft, join a local club where you can learn all about that craft. Or, join a group that plays music together. You may have to learn an instrument or try out with the group as the singer. No matter what the activity, try something that is different from what you normally do.
If your life is a bit unstructured, and that isn’t working for you, try to introduce some routine into your life. This could be as simple as creating a to-do list. However, if you tend to be a person who hasn’t had much routine, you may want to find someone who can hold you accountable to the routine. People form accountability partnerships for this purpose. You can hold your partner accountable for whatever they are trying to accomplish.
Many people find having a mix of routine and spontaneity works best for them. Doing something spontaneous helps to break up the routine before the people get into a rut. Getting back to those routines after taking a break will restore order in their lives. This isn’t necessarily the way everyone will work best. But, it is something to try. Give yourself some time before dismissing it as not working, however.
Only you can decide whether you need to incorporate a routine or if you have too much routine in your life. You also are the only one who can determine if you need to do a mix of routine and acting spontaneously.
Who doesn’t love a bit of spontaneity on occasion? It helps to mix things up and keeps life interesting. However, too much spontaneity can lead to an unstructured way of life. Some people love that, but most find would find that difficult to maintain.
For starters, enough sleep is important to function properly. If you don’t have a routine, it’s not likely you will get the right amount of sleep every night. Your body needs to have its internal clock set to the same sleep habits. If you refuse to develop those habits, you will find it difficult to go to sleep at night, and you will find that you wake up frequently during the night.
To help you get to sleep faster, make sure you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning. Try to avoid drinking too much alcohol as this will disrupt your sleep. You may fall asleep easier, but you will not go into a deep sleep. That deep sleep interrupts your internal rhythm, and you may not be able to fall back to sleep.
Try to limit the use of electronic devices before you go to bed. There are studies suggesting devices such as laptops and tablets, stimulate your visual senses, making it difficult to sleep.
You should have a routine for your diet, too. If you don’t set up the right diet and eat at the same time daily, you will likely have digestion issues. You may also struggle with weight issues because your body won’t know how to regulate based on your erratic schedule.
An article about routines would be incomplete if it didn’t cover getting exercise. Exercise is also the one element where many people have a problem being consistent. However, a routine here has been shown to help people deal with stress, and it can help them sleep easier. You don’t have to incorporate intense exercise. If you walk consistently every day or every other day, that will do wonders for your exercise requirements.
You should find the routines that work for you, and work hard to stick with them. Routines are habits, and it takes some effort to develop habits to the point where you don’t even think about them. There is room for some spontaneous activity which everyone needs once-in-a-while. Don’t try to make major changes all at once. Small changes are best as it’s easier to succeed with them.