Creating Routine: Those of you who know me will admit I am a creature of habit. I am pretty darn predictable. I like having a routine. I don’t like when my routine is interrupted in any way. I take comfort in knowing that my time is structured and follows directional beacons. It’s what makes me tick. But straying from this routine activates my nervous tic!
I realize I am an example of taking routines to the extreme. I eat exactly the same foods throughout the week – it helps me keep track of my caloric intake. I insist on walking the same route and on the same side of the street against traffic. It’s a safe routine and I get perturbed when others are walking on the wrong side of the street. I mow the lawn on Wednesdays because that’s what I do. And, just to keep things “balanced,” I like to eat icky (Melissa’s word) junk food on Saturdays.
I realize that my routine, or my interpretation of the routine, is a bit much. But having a daily routine can greatly benefit one’s life. Routine equals structure and direction – and it isn’t just for kids. In the age of distraction and disorder (thanks to technology and social media), routines become ever more important. Routines also keep idle time at bay – and we all know that idle time can be a great enemy.
1. Develop good habits
One of the best reasons to create a daily routine is that it can help you combat bad habits. By replacing bad habits with good ones, you can gradually improve all aspects of your life. It can be tough to overcome bad habits, but a routine can help massively. Committing to a brisk walk after dinner instead of sitting on the couch will improve your life – without a doubt. When I first started walking with Melissa, I hated it. It was painful and I just wanted to watch TV. After sticking with it and not giving up, the walk not only became a routine, but a truly enjoyable habit requiring little thought. It may sound counterintuitive, but committing to routines can actually lead to new experiences.
2. Boost your efficiency
A good daily routine will make you much more efficient. You won’t be flushing your time down the toilet. A great routine to consider is checking and responding to email only twice daily – at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for example. This keeps you from being a ping pong ball constantly checking your email. It helps to free up time for more important tasks that can be completed sooner. Structure streamlines!
3. Sleep better
Routines help you sleep better. If you go to bed at the same time each night, and awake at the same time each morning, you’ll feel much more refreshed. I also recommend implementing things that help “shut down the brain,” such as switching off all forms of electronics an hour before bed. Unplug from the thumbs-ups, the editorials, and the selfies. All they do is elevate your blood pressure and rob you of much needed, quality sleep. Additionally, routine reduces restless sleeping, which reduces Melissa karate chopping me in the middle of the night. Sleeping better improves every aspect of your life. Which leads us to # 4.
4. Improve your health
Improved sleep improves our brain function and our health. Always remember the mind body connection. Whether you need to improve your physical or your mental health, a good routine can prove invaluable. By using it to introduce healthier habits, you’ll start to notice fast changes in your mood and general wellbeing.
5. Reduce and relieve stress
I don’t like surprises, even good ones. I take that back. I like the good surprises except the first couple of seconds when the person says: “Guess What??!!” I have a mini anxiety attack because I expect bad news! Having said that, a daily routine can help reduce and relieve stress. As you know what your day mostly consists of, and you use it to introduce healthier habits, your stress levels will naturally decrease. Routine doesn’t need to be boring! So be sure to schedule some fun and personal time into your day. It will give you something to look forward to as you check off the boxes on your schedule.
So, there you have it, 5 reasons for creating a daily routine. While developing an effective routine can take time, once you have it in place you won’t regret taking the time to create it. You won’t even have to think about it because it will become habit. ~Ted
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