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Appreciating The Power Of Routines

Once habit is established, your routine will stick and you'll reap all the benefits that come with it.

Daily routines

I enjoy routines, I really do. I do not mind being called a creature of habit as I enjoy the comfort and certainty surrounding my routines.

Let me share a few examples.

  1. I make my own pot of coffee every morning and I have a large cup before I start my day.

  2. I lift weights at the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.

  3. I run outdoor on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday mornings.

  4. I buy the same lunch from the same restaurant on weekdays.

  5. I reflect on the three good things that have happened to me before going to sleep every night.

I have other routines but the above are intended to offer a glimpse of what my routines look like.

Routines are usually simple and straightforward, and they are rarely complicated. And that is the beauty of routines- they help simplify our lives!

Some people might consider me boring and unadventurous, and that is fine. Personally, routines are purposeful for me as they help sustain the rhythm of my daily efforts so that I am able to focus on important things and accomplish my set deliverables. With routines, I do not need to sweat the small stuff and I am able to focus my attention on more important things.

Benefits of routines

I am a proponent of routines and if you do not have any, I would encourage you to consider starting some.

Let me tell you about the benefits of having routines…

Benefit #1: No sweating the small stuff

Routines help you avoid sweating the small stuff and remove unnecessary decision making. Instead, you are able to focus on important things that you have decided to accomplish for the day. Your routines also serve as rhythm of your daily efforts.

Benefit #2: No reinventing the wheel

Let me use my example of buying and eating the same lunch from the same restaurant on weekdays. Imagine you have to decide where and what to eat during your daily lunch break. This will slow you down and waste precious minutes, won’t it? With a lunch routine in place, you do not have to reinvent the wheel each time your lunch hour approaches. It is key to realise that this is applicable in many instances and not just specific to my lunch example.

Benefit #3: Improves discipline

Routines do not just improve discipline, they help make discipline more accessible for you. You do not need to be discipline in all areas of your life, you just have to focus on establishing some daily habits and keeping the schedules. Repetition of the tasks in the routines sew the routines into your daily life and over time becomes a regular part of your life. And this is exactly how I have conditioned myself to exercise regularly.

Benefit #4: Boosts productivity and supports cognitive function

Your daily routines help to free you up so that you can be more productive and also support your cognitive function including enhancing your creativity. When you spend less time and less cognitive energy on recurring tasks, you will end up improving your focus, effort and creativity for more complex tasks. You essentially free up your time for other (important) things you want to do in your day!

Benefit #5: Promotes health

Routines can help you have better control over your daily life and when that happens, you can take positive and proactive steps to manage and improve your health. As part of your daily routine, you can make time for exercise to meet your recommended daily activity levels, prepare healthy and nutritious meals to bring to work, and sleep/awake at set times so that you get enough sleep. Besides this, if your routines involve participation in meaningful and engaging activities, you will benefit in terms of improved mental health. These routines may be simple but they can pay dividends in the long run as you age healthily over your lifetime.

How do you start?

It is really simple and boils down to what you are comfortable doing and/or what you plan to achieve. Your routine needs to be purposeful and meaningful to you, otherwise you will not stick with it. Timing wise your routine has to be convenient to you otherwise you will end up using 101 excuses to convince yourself not to do it or not continuing with it. Last but not least, create a reward system (at least in the initial stage) to motivate yourself and keep you going. Keep at it by staying focused and determined. Once habit is established, your routine will stick and your reap all the benefits that come with it.


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