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3 reasons why routines are your best friend

Routines sound boring. The cool people are agile, flexible and always juggle 10 different things.

Yeah. But all that juggling and adjusting takes up a lot of headspace, energy and reduces their productivity. So if you want to get things done, you may want to look into routines. That, by the way, is one of the reasons why Mark Zuckerberg always wears the same T-Shirt or why home organization queen "The fly lady" propagates having your weekly tasks written down. It reduces the time needed for these tasks, because they become automatic, efficient and they are not forgotten (once they have become a routine).

So here are the three reasons why I think good routines are your best friend:

Routines help you to build good habits

So if you want to start exercising, want to be more structured in how you go through your work day, want to eat cleaner, keep your home tidy....all these things are much easier, if you build yourself a routine. And as written in the great book "The 1% rule", it is much easier to "stack" a new routine onto an already existing one. So if you want to stretch daily, maybe start by adding two stretches to your daily toothbrushing routine. Or if you want to have a tidier kitchen, maybe experiment with unloading the dishwasher while you wait for your coffee to brew so that you have an empty dishwasher throughout the day to load your dishes into.

Once you have established the routine, you need to stick to it for at least 4 - 6 weeks, ideally daily, for it to become automatic.

Routines can be tracked to keep you accountable

Write down your routines and track if you do them daily. That could be a little checklist on your fridge or an app for habit tracking (that is what I use). Checking something off in your tracker releases endorphins and keeps you accountable and motivated to continue. So leverage that and keep tracking away.

Routines reduce the mental load

One think less to think about in your daily grind. Once you have established routines like exercising, drinking water first thing in the morning, eating a high protein breakfast or resetting the house 15 min after dinner each night, you will find that you feel you have one less thing to worry about. One thing less to schedule into your busy life, one thing less to shame yourself because you continuously forget to do it.

So here is a small and non-comprehensive list of where I use routines in my life to make things easier for me:

  • meal planning (take-out wednesday, pasta sunday, etc.)

  • 1 glass of water right when I wake up

  • early morning exercising (based on the "Miracle Morning" book by Hal Eldrod)

  • after dinner reset of the ground floor

  • putting out clothes the night before

  • having my daughter pack her school backpack the night before

  • daily "stand up" with myself on what are the top 3 priorities of the day at work

  • cleaning routines

So if you don't have any routines set up for you, try them. You'd be surprised how much they can take the sting out of some mundane tasks in your life. And how much better you will feel once you have implemented them.

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