The benefits of routines are plentiful. It may appear boring to have routines but in the end I argue that it might just make your life more fulfilling. For starters you will not be wasting brain power worrying if you have left something undone. It is that mental bandwidth that is more draining than taking care of a large project. Similar to stress. It is the ongoing subthreshold onslaughts that take its toll on ones energy level. There is evidence that the ability to cope with larger single stressors are more manageable while these “death by a thousand cuts” are mentally taxing. That is the benefit of routines and systems. To help diminish the death by a thousands cuts dilemma.
Routines aid with the ability to fit everything that matters to you into your life. Your big ticket items. That leaves some room for the other items if you plan your life this way. The ability to develop rhythms is vital. Many of us are very visually and mechanically triggered and having routines would benefit us. For example. I leave items for errands close to my entryway. With that simple act, I tend to forget things a lot less as I rush out the door.
Routines allow us to not succumb to the numerous distractions throughout our days. Mothers in particular would benefit from having routines. They should carve out a period of time for themselves preferably in the mornings where they can do something just for themselves. They would be happier throughout the day since they would have spent time replenishing their energies first. Most women will spend the rest of their day micromanaging everyone else’s schedule and needs. That is why many women simply stop wanting anything. It is too much hassle dealing with what everyone else wants. A lot of women do not want to add to that burgeoning list.
Many of these concepts seem very simple. But the world is full of people who constantly quip “I already know that!”. However when you look at their lives, it is as much in shambles as if they did not know or understand the lessons.
Routines are best served first thing in the morning as well as before bedtime. Both triggers occur everyday so they are much simpler to plan around. My main routines occur in the morning. My evening routine is simply viewed as a way to get an early start to the next day.
Use the morning routine to build habits that benefit you. Prayer, meditation, yoga, drinking tea or coffee while quietly reading your favorite book are all suggestions. Do not spend the time worrying about other people or their issues. You might already spend the rest of your day doing that. This is your time of the day.
Routines help with decreasing mental fatigue as you will not have to remember what to do next. This allows your mental energy to be directed to more important things in your life. That is the main benefit of all this. I view this as mental rest. And keep it simple. That can not be stressed enough. You do not require any further complexity. This is also a good place to trigger your keystone habits such as going for a run or making the bed.
Developing routines help one organize their lives. Having said that, it also pays more to delete extra stuff from your life. That is the most efficient. First rule of thumb is to eliminate, then automate and then delegate. In that order would be practical. Many people have an ever expanding to do list. However, there is a limit to what can actually be done in a day. Admittedly, most things can be eliminated and the rest can be automated. If you look around, you may find that many of your to do list consists of taking care of stuff. House, cars, pets, taking care of finances, insurance, cleaning, organizing. The list goes on and on. That is why decluttering is a great place to start and let this extend to your activities and obligations. Even moving keepsakes from one location to the next makes one realize how fruitless all this is.
Start making everyone around you accountable for their stuff. This helps them realize that keeping a lot of things will only be a hassle they may not even want to maintain. That would be a useful revelation for many teenagers and husbands to recognize.
Allowing a routine will free up your mind. You may be better able to craft other ideas since you would not have to waste time and energy trying to recall simple routine lists. This writing for me has become a routine. This is a perfect example that if you allow it to be done at a “more convenient time”, it takes longer and also it tends to be pushed aside. My convenient time for writing is during my morning routine. If I leave it to be done when I feel like it, it appears to never happen.
That is the reality of the times we live in nowadays. If you do not make a claim for your time the universe will conspire to fill it up for you. Many feel at the end of each day that they have accomplished minimal. They feel tired and they are not even sure why that is. The ability to concentrate on one task at a time has become more difficult as the temptation to distract ourselves have become more convenient. Think Netflix, You Tube and social media to list a few.
So try writing a simple routine for your mornings or evenings. Start with a simple list and expand after you are more comfortable and able to complete the shorter list. My initial list started with listing three things I was grateful for, a simple prayer and short affirmations. Then I would read while enjoying my morning coffee. Thereafter I started meditating for only five minutes. These simple acts make you feel better. And isn’t that the whole point of life?