When you hear the phrase “Daily Routines”, what do you think about? Some people may see that when they are creating daily routines that their life will become boring and predictable while most people find that when creating a daily routine, they were able to get more things accomplished and are at peace at the end of the day. Daily routines are all in how you utilize them.
Are Routines Good or Bad?
Routines are neither good nor bad. It all depends on the context by which you apply them. If your routines are making you crazy, or in a rut, it may be time for you to break away from them, at least temporarily. On the other hand, if you don’t have some structure in your life, routines may be what you need.
If you are feeling in a rut, consider going on a vacation. This can be a great way to reset the ordinary. It can also lead to meeting new people or opening up opportunities. How many stories have you heard of people going on vacation and falling in love with the place they visited? Of course, when you uproot your life to this great new place, eventually what you do there will become routine.
Another way to shake things up is to join a club that you wouldn’t normally join. For instance, if you never tried a certain type of craft, join a local club where you can learn all about that craft. Or, join a group that plays music together. You may have to learn an instrument or try out with the group as the singer. No matter what the activity, try something that is different from what you normally do.
If your life is a bit unstructured, and that isn’t working for you, try to introduce some routine into your life. This could be as simple as creating a to-do list. However, if you tend to be a person who hasn’t had much routine, you may want to find someone who can hold you accountable for the routine. People form accountability partnerships for this purpose. You can hold your partner accountable for whatever they are trying to accomplish.
Many people find having a mix of routine and spontaneity works best for them. Doing something spontaneous helps to break up the routine before the people get into a rut. Getting back to those routines after taking a break will restore order in their lives. This isn’t necessarily the way everyone will work best. But, it is something to try. Give yourself some time before dismissing it as not working, however.
Only you can decide whether you need to incorporate a routine or if you have too much routine in your life. You also are the only one who can determine if you need to do a mix of routine and acting spontaneously.
Why Routine Is Good for You
You’ll hear people refer to routine as being dull or boring. It implies that life is the same from one day to the next. However, routines are a great way to get your work done. It’s also a great means for teams to work together towards a common goal. When everyone has an understanding of what needs to get done, i.e., what routines each team member needs to perform, projects tend to run smoother.
We also have routines in our society. In some ways, laws can be considered routines. You know that you aren’t supposed to run a red light and that can be thought of as a routine. When you come to a red light, you stop as best as you can. There may be instances when you accidentally go through one here or there. But, most people will stop at red lights. And this is good to reduce accidents.
You set up routines for your kids in the form of chores. You know that certain tasks need to get done each week. Many parents tie their kids’ allowances to these chores. When the kids finish their chores, they receive their allowances. It teaches the kids a work ethic. They need to perform tasks, and when they complete those tasks, they receive money for them.
When you pay bills, you tend to have a routine for this. Some people like to get everything sorted on one day and pay all the bills on that day. Others will pay them whenever they receive them. Others, still, will set up their payments to be paid automatically by their bank or brokerage. There isn’t a right answer for how to do this. Whatever works for you is the right answer. However, the method you choose will be routine.
Contrast this to people who don’t have routines to manage their lives. They tend to handle tasks when the mood strikes them. These people are usually late with their bills and have messy environments. Some of these people will say that this way of life works for them. However, for most people this is chaos. It’s something that can easily be avoided by setting up routines for the tasks you need to complete.
Of course, people are not robots. Hence, they do break up their routines on occasion. You may use weekends to do activities that you don’t get to do during the workweek. Also, many families use vacations to help break up their routines.
Setting Your Daily Routine
Who doesn’t love a bit of spontaneity on occasion? It helps to mix things up and keeps life interesting. However, too much spontaneity can lead to an unstructured way of life. Some people love that, but most find would find that difficult to maintain.
For starters, enough sleep is important to function properly. If you don’t have a routine, it’s not likely you will get the right amount of sleep every night. Your body needs to have its internal clock set to the same sleep habits. If you refuse to develop those habits, you will find it difficult to go to sleep at night, and you will find that you wake up frequently during the night.
To help you get to sleep faster, make sure you go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time in the morning. Try to avoid drinking too much alcohol as this will disrupt your sleep. You may fall asleep easier, but you will not go into a deep sleep. That deep sleep interrupts your internal rhythm, and you may not be able to fall back to sleep.
Try to limit the use of electronic devices before you go to bed. There are studies suggesting devices such as laptops and tablets, stimulate your visual senses, making it difficult to sleep.
You should have a routine for your diet, too. If you don’t set up the right diet and eat at the same time daily, you will likely have digestion issues. You may also struggle with weight issues because your body won’t know how to regulate based on your erratic schedule.
An article about routines would be incomplete if it didn’t cover getting exercise. Exercise is also the one element where many people have a problem being consistent. However, a routine here has been shown to help people deal with stress, and it can help them sleep easier. You don’t have to incorporate intense exercise. If you walk consistently every day or every other day, that will do wonders for your exercise requirements.
You should find the routines that work for you, and work hard to stick with them. Routines are habits, and it takes some effort to develop habits to the point where you don’t even think about them. There is room for some spontaneous activity which everyone needs once-in-a-while. Don’t try to make major changes all at once. Small changes are best as it’s easier to succeed with them.
Create an Evening Routine to Be More Productive
Did you know how you go to bed at night will influence just how productive you are the next day?
Invariably a night of tossing and turning makes you lethargic at work the next day. Even when you think you’ve had enough sleep and the right kind of sleep, you could be mistaken.
The right kind of sleep that leaves you rested is deep REM sleep. But things like worry and stress keep you from reaching REM. And then, typically what little benefit you did have from the sleep you got, is stripped away by the way that you rush around trying to get a handle on the day come morning.
1. Start with letting go of the day properly. Being able to look back and acknowledge that you’ve accomplished things in the day goes a long way toward helping you to shut down your mind come bedtime. Typically worrying about what was left undone and whatever perceived failure of the day will keep you from solid rest. That’s why it’s so important to let go.
2. List what you need to do tomorrow. This exercise is part of that “letting go” process. By relegating the unfinished business to your To-Do list, you’re forcing it out of your mind and into tomorrow – where it belongs.
3. Give yourself time to wind down. Studies show that we need two hours to clear our heads so that we’re ready for sleep. That means no work and nothing that’s going to engage you profoundly before bed. What that means is going to vary from person to person. For some, watching TV before bed is how they turn their minds off and gear it toward sleep. Others will find their brains become more actively engaged by TV and will need to do something else (like read a book) before bed. Whatever is right for you, take the time you need so you don’t compromise your ability to get that REM sleep.
4. Optimize your sleep environment. Now that you’ve dealt with clearing your head, how about your space? The ideal environment for sleep is absolutely dark and a space cool enough to sleep comfortably. Make sure that you’re not using your bedroom as a workspace as doing so keeps your mind keyed up and focused on other things when you’re trying to retire for the night.
Establishing a solid sleep routine is essential for proper rest. With only a small amount of preparation, you’ll sleep better, making for a more productive tomorrow. Sweet dreams!