Have you ever thought about why we have routines in the first place? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s because it’s what humans know best. Doing the same, old, comfortable thing over and over again is built into our biology.
When doing a quick search on Google of what the definition of routine is, here’s what I got:
Routine /ro͞oˈtēn/ noun A sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program. "I settled down into a routine of work and sleep." adjective Performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special occasion. "The principal insisted that this was just a routine fire drill."
Everyone has some routine. Whether it’s something you do every single day after waking up, before going to bed, or getting ready for work. It can even be things you do only on the weekends or specific days of the week.
Maybe some people don’t have routines and live each day differently. Who knows! I wish I could be like that and not have a total mental breakdown.
One thing that I know that’s hard for me is changing my routine or adding/removing something for my own good. I’ve always wondered why it was difficult to change my ways of doing things, but that’s for another post.
What I would like to talk about are the advantages of having a great routine implemented in your day.
1) THEY HELP TO SET UP STABILITY FOR YOUR LIFE
I remember when I use to have my head in the clouds (I still do but not as much), and I never thought for one second that my routine of getting up, going pee, and then scrolling on my phone for hours before I get dressed, would have any effect on how the rest of my day went. I was completely unaware. Somehow I stumbled upon the self-help community, and everyone was going crazy about their morning and night routines! It was quite appalling, actually. Like who obsesses that much about doing the same things over and over again? As I got older, I really started to understand what all the hype was about. Before I knew it, I was committing to a better night routine so I could sleep better. Then came the morning routine so that I would have more energy and concentration throughout the day. These routines helped tremendously, let me tell you.
When I was at my friend’s house, something weird had happened. I started to realize that I was getting anxious that I wasn’t in bed by 10 pm like I had been the month prior. Eventually, I got over that feeling and tried to stay present at the moment so I could have fun. But the next day was something I hope I don’t have to ever re-live. Maybe that’s a little dramatic because I only had a slight hangover, but the fact that I went to bed so late made me get up super late. Then I didn’t have as much time in my day to complete the full routine that I had created for myself. The rest of the day, I seemed to be “off.” I was late to work because I got up late and was in a hurry to get ready. Looking back, I could have avoided this by following my routine, and then I could have had a better, more prepared day.
2) DAILY ROUTINES CREATE THE FOUNDATION FOR OTHER HABITS
I know I said I wasn’t going to go all into how to change, remove, or add habits. But I felt like this is another excellent reason why we have them in the first place. I’ll go more in-depth on how to do these things in another post. However, once you’ve been completing a routine, it will be easier to add to it. For example, say you want to implement flossing into your daily ritual. You would use the cue of brushing your teeth to remind yourself that it’s also time to floss. If you wanted to add exercise into your routine, you could begin taking another route to and from work that passes by the there so that when work is over, you know it’s time to go to the exercise.
3) THEY HELP TO IMPROVE YOUR FOCUS AND PRODUCTIVITY
This is an advantage of a routine that I didn’t know it had until I did more research. Having a routine will give you the power to be fully in the moment with whatever you’re doing. If you have a habit of completing homework or anything for work, then you’re able to focus entirely on that homework or project you’re doing. Also, this increases your productivity because you won’t be worried about whatever else you have to get done. The same thing can go with whatever you have in your routine like cleaning, running errands, walking your dog, reading a book, etc. Your mind thinks to itself, “this is the time that I focus on this specific activity and nothing else.” It really is a fantastic superpower us humans have.
What you should take from this post is that having a routine set up for yourself creates stability, improves your focus and productivity, and is a fundamental building block to acquiring more habits. Routines are truthfully one of the best ways to building success in your life. If you want to learn more want how to create a morning routine, click here.