Routines. You may love them, you may hate them. But the real question is, do they work, and will they work for you?
Before I get into today’s blog post, I’ll admit that routines may not be for everyone—at least, not on a large scale.
Mapping out and planning your entire day down to the minute and second is just overkill, and if you miss just one detail, your entire schedule would be off. But I do believe that routines on a basic level are helpful for everyone.
After all, there are certain things we do (or should do) every day. Whether it’s your personal hygiene regime, chores around the house, errands to run, or schoolwork, adding it to your routine can’t hurt!
What Is A Routine?
When I use the word “routine” I use it loosely. Think of your routines as guidelines, not rules. They’re there to help you, not hold you captive.
Your routine doesn’t have to be a strict repetitive thing you do just because you feel like you have to. It may just be a small list of tasks you need to complete, like a to-do list. Either way, a routine is a plan, formula, or system that will help you to be efficient in your day-to-day life.
What Do Routines Actually Do?
Whether you love routines or hate them, several benefits are hard to ignore.
#1 It makes tasks harder to forget
Have you ever promised a friend or parent that you’d do something—only to completely forget about it?
If you have everything you need to do written down in one place, then you won’t have to rely solely on your memory (no matter how good you are at remembering things, we all forget chores, assignments, and birthdays now and then).
Just be sure to keep checking your list throughout the week so you don’t miss dates, times, and tasks.
Having a plan is only helpful if you actually use it!
#2 Less Wasted Time/Stress
I used to waste so much time being overwhelmed by all the tasks I had to complete instead of completing them. Especially when it came to schoolwork. I’d sit there worrying about due dates, projects, and the sheer amount of work I had to accomplish in time.
Recently I’ve found that recording all my assignments in a bullet journal and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks, lowers my stress and keeps me focused on my goals.
After all, going into battle without a plan of sorts rarely turns out well!
Having a plan and getting the work done feels great. Once the things on your list are crossed off, you have the time to do other things that you’d like to do without feeling guilty about doing them.
But on that note…
Warning: The Dangers Of Routines
Don’t let yourself become too attached to your routine!
As with all things, routines can become the center of our focus. We can obsess over our plans if we let ourselves—which will lead to the stress we were trying to avoid in the first place.
Give yourself room to breathe, and expect that things won’t always go according to plan. Life happens, and getting overwhelmed and stressed about it, is only going to make you feel worse.
Besides, doing the same things over and over again and clinging to your routines no matter what will make you a boring person. At some point, you have to let go and live your life instead of trying to control it.
Are Routines Right For You?
Routines can be tricky to work with because they require you to balance tasks and structure, with the spontaneity of life.
But in the end, routines are whatever you make them, and the important thing is that they work for you, instead of you working for them. It’s up to you to decide if a routine would help you become more efficient, and how loose or detailed your routine should be.
Before You Go…
How do you stay organized in your day-to-day life? Let me know in the comments below!
Interested in learning about the history of to-do lists? Click here!