Why is having a daily routine so important?
We are all aware that our kids need a routine to provide structure and discipline in their lives. When we were younger, most of us were told to go to bed at a certain time, wake up at a certain time, do our homework after school, eat dinner at a regular hour, shower, even play with our friends at a specific time. But what about adults? Many grownups do not have a set daily routine and ‘wing’ their day. They have no idea what they are going to do when they wake up each morning because they have not thought about creating a schedule to adhere to. As a result, many people feel like they are stressed, anxious, overwhelmed and falling short of their goals and true potential. The answer lies in carefully designing a routine that works best for each of us, one which helps us be productive, in control, and be the best version of ourselves we can possibly be.
I used to view having a routine as being boring, rigid, and stifling, and I know that many people share this view. They live their lives in a capricious and whimsical manner, believing that it frees them. On the contrary, I have learned that designing and adhering to a personal daily routine is the path to freedom, productivity, happiness, and fulfilling our true potential. Some reasons why we would be better off with a set routine:
1. We are more efficient.
When we have a routine that we follow daily, it reduces the need to make decisions on a daily basis. It enables us to know exactly which tasks we need to do each day without having to contemplate, decide or think too much. When we are finished with one task, we know what comes next without much effort. Activities become standardized and we become more efficient as a result.
2. Reduces Stress In Planning.
When we thoughtfully design a set routine to follow, it eliminates the need to plan our activities every morning and budget and allocate our precious time. It takes the guesswork out of our day and allows us to wake up and ‘do’ instead of wake up and ‘plan’.
3. Creates Structure.
A daily routine provides structure and a logical sequence in our lives. It provides the framework within which we live our lives and conduct our daily activities. Soon we become comfortable with what we have to do each day. It allows us to experience a flow to our day. Research shows it takes 21 days to fully form a ritual or habit.
4. Saves Time, Something We Cannot Get More Of….
Time is the most precious asset we have, once lost, it is non-retrievable. By following a routine, we free up time that would otherwise be spent on planning, decision-making and preparation. Our routine has taken the guess-work out of our schedule, allowing us to use our time efficiently.
5. Reinforces Good Habits.
The secret to building good habits is repetition. When we create a personal routine that works for us, it facilitates developing good habits by encouraging us to repeat the same tasks over and over again. Just like brushing our teeth every morning, adhering to a routine allows us to foster habits that match our goals and aspirations.
Keep in mind that it is “okay” if you decide that you only want to follow your routine on weekdays and not on weekends, or if you have a different routine on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, etc. It is also perfectly okay to set aside certain times to do nothing. The point is that you have thought about it carefully and are mindful about your choices. After all, having a routine is nothing other than a conscious choice to live your life in a certain way through healthy repetition. It is one of the keys to success and happiness.
Each of us is different and has different goals, needs, desires, and resources. That is why it is important to develop our own routine after carefully deciding what we want to achieve in our lives. The rewards to be reaped far exceed the effort. Today is a brand new day and it is never too late to consider and create your own routine.