When you were young, did you have a specific bedtime? Did you sit down and eat a complete breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day (no matter how busy you were)? Were your afternoons scheduled with regular basketball practices or piano lessons? Did you have to finish your homework and complete your chores before you could go outside and play?
I’m willing to bet that you answered “yes” to at least a handful of these questions. Why? Because when we were children, our parents knew the importance of following a daily routine. They created structure and predictability in our lives, which helped us thrive as we discovered the world around us.
Now if you’re anything like me, as you entered the world of “adulthood,” some of those regular routines slowly fell out of practice. Sure we maintain the big habits – we take showers and brush our teeth without prompting. Things like going to bed early, eating three balanced meals a day, and having regularly scheduled exercise and play dates, however, seem to fall to the wayside. In turn, that sense of consistency and grounding slowly slips away.
Now I know for some of you the word routine makes your stomach turn and a shudder run down your spine. Perhaps the word routine sounds both restrictive and boring. And I hear you.
But what if I told you that a daily routine provides just the opposite effect? In fact, what if I told you that following a routine actually allows more time for spontaneity, flexibility, and freedom? Really – it’s true!
Read on to learn about the importance of following a daily routine, and discover how it helps you plow through your to-do list, maximize your time, boost your efficiency, and ultimately discover more time in your day for fun!
Interested in additional tricks to crush your to-do list? Check out this post!
When I say the word routine, what do I mean exactly?
Basically, a routine is a set of habits that you follow on a consistent basis. And the word consistency is key here; by adhering to a regular schedule, you create a sense of rhythm and balance in your life.
Does following a routine mean you have to do the same thing at the same time every single day? No, of course not. No one wants to live so rigidly that there is no room for adventure and change. Rather, establishing a routine helps you identify what is most important to you, and helps you incorporate those things in your life on a regular basis.
By establishing a few basic routines that work for you, and following them with regularity, you will improve your productivity, better manage your time, prioritize what is important, enhance your confidence, and provide a sense of stability.
Following a daily routine maximizes your productivity:
If you take on the day without a plan of attack, all of life’s tiny details quickly pile up. When this happens to me, I often find myself overwhelmed. I need to make a new decision at every turn, which not only adds unnecessary stress, but is also mentally exhausting.
By taking some time to establish a routine, you eliminate the guess work for your everyday tasks. What’s more, you can take all of that reserved energy and put it toward toward your bigger tasks at hand. What does this mean? You crush your goals that much quicker.
Following a daily routine saves you time:
If we adhere to our regular routine, we have a better idea of what we’re up against each day. We avoid wasting time due to lack of direction, and all of those brief moments quickly add up. By the end of the day, you have a whole chunk of valuable time for whatever you feel like doing. Why, hello Netflix!
Following a daily routine helps you prioritize what is important:
One of the things I especially appreciate about maintaining a consistent routine, is that it helps me highlight what I value in life. If something is important to me, I need to make time for it. And in order to make time for it, it needs a space in my daily routine. Simple as that.
Let’s say it is important for you to meditate before work in the morning. By arranging your routine so you wake up 10 minutes earlier than you normally would, you successfully fit in that meditation. If you need to shower and read for 20 minutes to ensure a good night’s sleep, you shut down your computer 30 minutes earlier than normal, and you make it happen.
If something is important to you, include it in your daily routine. By establishing the habit with consistent repetition, the behavior becomes second nature. Before you know it, you’ve filled your life with that you value the most.
Following a daily routine enhances your confidence:
I don’t know about you, but when I have a major goal in front of me, and I don’t seem to be making any process, I find myself quickly disheartened. I start doubting my ability to accomplish the task, and I wonder if it’s even worth continuing. Have you ever felt this way? It’s rough.
One of the best solutions I’ve discovered to counter this discouragement is to take my goal, break it into steps, and make those steps part of my routine.
If I want to get my book to my editor by the end of the semester, for example, I need to set aside an hour each morning dedicated to research, writing, and editing. If I want to run a half-marathon, I need to reserve time for long distance training 3-4 times a week.
By allowing regular time for these important goals, you not only make progress toward accomplishing your task, but you also increase your confidence along the way. It’s a win-win!
Following a daily routine provides stability:
When we take time to establish a daily routine in our lives, we create a feeling of structure and predictability. We know what we need to accomplish each day, and we’ve discovered the most efficient way to get it all done. This stability provides a sense of comfort, so when we’re thrown a curveball, we take it in stride. We can fall into our rhythm, and quickly find that balance once again.
I’m willing to bet that you already have several routines firmly engrained in your daily schedule. I’d also guess that you have a handful of habits that you’d like to incorporate more often.
For week one of our daily routine challenge, I ask that you reflect on both sides of this coin. Using the FREE worksheet below, take some time to reflect on your routine. Think about where you excel, where you would like to improve, and write it all down.
You will use these reflections as reference next week when we examine how to build on your strengths, and start incorporating your new goals into your daily routine.
- Find week two, creating a bedtime routine, here!
- Find week three, creating your ideal morning routine, here!
So tell me, what do you already include in your daily routine? What would you like to incorporate more often? Let me know below!
Interested in time management and scheduling? You might be interested in this post on Bullet Journaling as well!