The secret superpower of routines
Routine is the unsung hero of many peoples successes, their well-being, productivity and confidence. Is it not a sexy subject and not even that exciting but it can play an important role. Personally I have been a convert to routine for a long time, I have my mother to thank for that. As a teacher she knew the benefit of routine, especially for me as a tween; coming to terms with dyslexia, in an educational system not equipped to handle those of us who learn differently. I’ve seen the benefit when applied to University, work, as a mother and with my personal goals.
For a lot of us our daily habits and routines have gone out the window over the past year. Often we are winging it on a daily or weekly basis. This can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, procrastination, overwhelm and a general feeling we are falling short. Routine can help, routine is there to provide you with structure and goals. It doesn't have to be a rigid minute by minute plan, the whole idea is to give yourself goals and time frames to meet them.
Routine allows you to be more efficient, as it reduces the number of decisions you have to make on a day to day basis. In the same vein it reduces the need to plan things. Being more efficient and having more of a plan in place when it comes to your day to day life can alleviate stress or the need to spend time thinking about what you are going to do, have for dinner etc. It frees up your most precious resource, your time. Time is your most precious asset; don't waste it on unnecessary decision making and preparation.
Routine helps you to instill good habits into your life.
‘We are what we do repeatedly, excellence then is not an act but a habit’
Instilling good habits in your life is so key to moving forward with goals you want to achieve, both personally or professionally. The great thing about habits is we have the ability to create new ones and retire those that no longer serve us. Think about some of your goals and what habits you could in place into your day to day routine to help you achieve them.
Creating a routine that focuses on good habits can also highlight habits that no longer serve you. It can be an opportunity to explore what you may want to stop or change in order to achieve your goals.
Last but by no means least, a routine allows you to build your confidence. By creating a structure in which you do what you say you are going to do, you see yourself achieving your goals, no matter how small. Each of those small wins adds up, it reduces that stress, that feeling of overwhelm and helps you feel more confident and in control.
Where to start:
If you are new to routines, start small. Think about what part of your day or when in your day you feel that pressure or anxiety and start there. For example if you are ‘bad’ in the mornings start by having a look at your evening and morning habits. Are there behaviours that no longer serve you? How do you think you could change them?
Or perhaps you have a goal you haven’t been able to find time to work towards.You may want to move more/ exercise, try playing with your daily structure to find time to fit it in.
Try making these changes for a week and see what happens. If you want to explore further there are a lot of resources out there about routines, day planning etc. The internet is your oyster!
Remember, whatever you are going through you aren’t alone.