Routines: you either love them or hate them…there is no inbetween. Sometimes routines form organically. You have the mindset for it and understand how to navigate and set boundaries within your routines. However, there are times where routines don’t work. They often feel restricting or too time consuming–like, you’re planning too much and never getting the work done. One way to make routines more realistic is through changing our perspective of its definition. Instead of “routine,” we can adjust our focus onto the word “habit.” Habits are often formed cognitively and require little to no preparation/reminder. The most rewarding outcomes of daily habits include more productivity, better rest, peace of mind, better days overall.
Think of a really good day–how it plays out, what it includes, how it makes you feel. I’m sure it goes along the lines of: you wake up feeling rested, you have all green lights going to work, you’re continuously productive, you go home on time, and you get to relax. With daily habits, you can have days like this every single day (within reason). Good daily habits will not solve all your problems, but it will make you more productive. One of the best perks of daily habits is planning your day. It helps you visualize what you have going on, and you can set more realistic schedules. Start with the tasks you must accomplish that day or the ones that require the most time. Do not only block off times for those tasks, but also times to relax and step away from your work. You won’t be able to stay exactly to your schedule every day, but as you learn and grow with this habit, you will better react to emergencies.
Part of a good routine is a good night’s sleep. Luckily, when you have good daily habits, sleep becomes part of that. Regulating your day, regulates your body and your internal clock. It may take a little time, but once you are in your routine, you will better fall asleep and stay asleep better. You will also be able to wake up on your own most days instead of sleeping through your alarm clock. And, although you love sleeping in on the weekends, don’t do it. If you already have issues with falling asleep or if you never stay asleep, think about what keeps you awake. If it’s stress and responsibilities, a healthy routine will most likely take care of it.
Daily routines really are great, but it may take time to figure out what works best for you and the schedule you already have. Creating healthy habits don’t always require a completely new routine, but an updated and refreshed version that gets you to the best version of yourself. Do more research, make the time, and invest in the routine. It doesn’t have to look like something out of a lifestyle blog, but it does need to reflect you and your goals.