Routines are one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. Humans literally thrive from routine.
We start having routines as soon as we are born. We are dictated by a sleep and feeding schedule. Later, our schedule is determined by the school and extracurricular activities. As we grow older, work and other activities create the majority of our schedule.
Routines help us do things, like create a brand. What we do daily is often related to our personal brand. Following a routine helps us make sure we accomplish everything we need to get done.
When we don’t have a routine, our lives suffer. We often struggle to focus, lose things, miss events, etc. In fact, people who are diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, and concussions are told to follow a schedule and keep a strict routine to help their brains. Your mental health is not the only thing affected. Your physical health will be better when on a schedule-specifically your gut health. Predictability is key to our lives. In addition, people who follow stricter routines are often more successful. They accomplish more at work because they’re on a tighter timeline.
How to Create Routines
- Find out what is important to you | Do you like to sleep in until the last minute or do you need to get your day going? What about at night? When do you exercise?
- Determine what things must be done at a certain time | These are things you’re going to plan around. For me, this means that I have to plan around school starting in August through May. However, in the summers, I don’t have much to specifically plan around. These are typically things you need to do every day, but at least a majority of the days.
- Keep your routine the same for at least a week and tweak as needed | When creating a routine it is important to keep it the same. However, you might need to make some changes. For instance, I changed my schedule for when I arrived at school (earlier) and when I left (typically closer to my contract time). I found that I could do more work when I got to school early compared to when I stayed later. I would suggest not making big changes, but having smaller ones implemented. For instance, when I find out my school schedule, I start eating lunch at that time so that I’m preparing myself ahead of time.
- Keep some flexibility | Just because you’re creating a schedule to help you, doesn’t mean you have to say no to everything that isn’t on your schedule or in your daily routine.
While routines are vital to our lives, it is also important to realize that we do not always have to maintain them. This means, that if you don’t follow it exactly one day, be forgiving with yourself! It’s okay, I promise.