The Benefits of Routine and Good Habits
Have you ever noticed that it gets harder to make decisions toward the end of the day? You’re too tried to figure out what to have for dinner or what to watch on TV. That’s because we all have a finite amount of decisions that we can make in any given day. One of the benefits of routine is that some of those decisions have been made ahead of time.
Knowing that helps us prioritize. We can cut out a lot of decision making by implementing habits and routines. That way we save them for the important stuff. It also frees brain space for more creative and productive thinking. Routines are a great tool that simplify your life and cut out a lot of your daily stress.
Establish Good Morning and Evening Routines
Chances are you already have a morning routine. You get up, you get your coffee, read the paper or check email and fix some toast before heading into the shower. Let’s expand on that. If you create a “uniform” for yourself, you don’t even have to think about what to wear. You just grab a pair of pants and a shirt, or a skirt, tights and sweater and off you go.
Two brilliant and successful men who are known for their uniforms are Steve Jobs, of Apple Computer fame, and Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway. Jobs is famous for his black turtlenecks and Kamen for his jean shirts. Not thinking about what to wear each day can free your mind to think about more important things.
Implement some routines into your workday wherever possible. Meal planning helps you figure out what meals to fix and eat. A cleaning schedule makes sure you stay on track with your household chores without you having to spend any valuable decision making skills in the process.
Wrap your day up with a bedtime routine that not only helps when you’re too tired to make smart choices, it also helps you fall asleep more easily. What works for your toddler works for you as well.
Include Planning for Tomorrow in Your Routine
Start by doing a few chores that make the next morning easier. Making sure the kitchen is clean and the kids’ school things are in order are great examples. Come up with a few calming things that help you slow down and get ready for sleep. Read a book, listen to some music or wind down with a cup of herbal tea.
Sit down with a pen and piece of paper and think about what parts of your day and week you can turn into routines. Write the down and create daily to-do lists for yourself until you’ve established these new habits and routines.
Spending a little bit of time creating routines and habits will make your day run a lot smoother. You might just find yourself less stressed and able to get more done during your productive hours. And that’s a beautiful thing. It allows you to save plenty of decision making for the fun stuff like figuring out what park to go to, what family movie to watch or what board game to play.
Start to cultivate good habits and enjoy the benefits of routine in your life.