Every day, there's a barrage of information reminding us how potent the tool of routine can be. Books, TED talks, blog posts, you name it, the benefits of regular habits are extolled everywhere.
Yet, there might still be a reluctance or even fear holding you back from truly harnessing the power of routines. Perhaps you're scared of monotony, or losing your spontaneity, or simply feeling controlled by a rigid structure.
We turned to the wisdom found in the book, "The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress" by Elizabeth Grace Saunders. The insights we found were eye-opening and led us to think critically about routines. They pushed us to explore the lesser-known facets and to address the questions that often go unanswered.
&Better is about to navigate these uncharted territories of routines together, empowering you to critically consider their true essence and create one that aligns with your lifestyle.
Will Routines Stop Me from Grabbing Opportunities?
Not at all! In fact, routines can help you seize the day better. Let's imagine Lucy, a budding entrepreneur who loves spontaneity. She always thought routines would limit her. But the truth? Routines reduced her stress and gave her more freedom.
Lucy began by setting a routine for her mornings. She did the most important tasks first, like planning her day and answering crucial emails. And guess what? This structure freed up the rest of her day. She had more time to explore new opportunities without the worry of unfinished tasks.
And sometimes, Lucy just didn't feel like sticking to her routine. What then? She knew she had the freedom to choose. She learned that her routine was a guide, not a rulebook. It was there to help her move forward consistently, even on days when she didn't feel like it.
So, a routine isn't a chain that holds you back. It's a ladder that helps you climb higher, faster, and with less stress.
Do Routines Control Me?
No, you control your routines, not the other way around. Imagine Jack, an artist. His routines are his servants, not his masters. Jack has routines, but he designed them in a way that they help him achieve his version of success.
For instance, Jack paints every morning. This routine is aligned with his personal goal - to become a better painter. It's a realistic expectation. But if Jack wakes up one day and wants to go hiking instead? He knows he can. His routine doesn't own him; he owns his routine. It is there to help him, but he's in charge.
In the end, your routines serve you. They are tools you can use to shape your life according to your dreams.
What if I'm Not in the Mood for My Routine?
It's human to wake up some days with a lack of enthusiasm for your routine. Maybe it's too cold for a run, or your creativity is just not flowing for that article you need to write. During such times, your routine can serve as a beacon, nudging you gently towards your goals.
Take the case of Emily. She's a mom, a professional, and an aspiring author. She committed to writing a bit every morning, and even on days when inspiration was low, her routine acted as her guiding light. Gradually, she found herself closer to her dream of becoming a writer.
So, remember, your routine isn't a taskmaster. It's a compass guiding you towards what's crucial, even on the days you'd rather not.
Won't Routines Make Life Boring?
Routines aren't a prescription for a repetitive, monotonous life. On the contrary, they provide a structure within which you can freely experiment and keep things exciting.
Consider David. He loves music and has made it a part of his daily routine. To keep it exciting, he experiments with different genres every week. His routine supports him while ensuring he never falls into monotony.
Hence, a routine doesn't limit your freedom. It just provides a framework for your creativity and explorations.
Can I Fit 'Chill Time' into My Routine?
A routine isn't a draconian law. It should be tailored to you, incorporating your needs, and leaving you feeling refreshed, not depleted.
Meet Susan. She's a business owner and a go-getter, but she found a way to fit relaxation into her routine. She dedicated 15 minutes each day to unwinding, and it made a world of difference to her stress levels and focus.
So, carve out time for rest in your routine. It's not indulgence; it's necessary for sustained productivity. Sometimes you just need to rest. So, you can put rest into my routine on a regular basis.
What if I Can't Stick to My Routine?
Routines should be tools for betterment, not sources of anxiety. If you skip a day or two or find that something's not working, it's okay. You can adjust and continue.
Tom serves as a good example. He wanted to read before bed but kept dozing off. Instead of abandoning the routine, he shifted his reading time to the mornings. He didn't fail; he just fine-tuned his routine.
Therefore, a stumble isn't a fall. It's an opportunity to reassess and recalibrate your routine.
What if Something Unexpected Messes up My Routine?
Sometimes, life throws a curveball our way - sickness, vacation, or unexpected events. When this happens, it doesn't mean your routine has to fall apart. You can have a Plan B.
Take the case of Sam. He was a passionate runner, but a flu left him bedridden for a week. Did he abandon his routine? No, he switched to light stretching and yoga until he recovered. He kept the essence of his routine intact - staying active - just in a different form.
And what about when something exciting comes up? Let's say, an impromptu trip or a surprise visit from an old friend. Well, you get to decide. Is this new activity more enriching for you now than sticking to your routine? If yes, go for it!
So, your routine is not a prison. It's a flexible tool. It can adapt, and more importantly, it gives you the freedom to choose. Life is about making decisions, and your routine should empower you to make those, not restrict you.
What If I Can't Do It? Should I Even Try?
Absolutely, yes! Let's think about Sam, a university student who dreams of running a marathon but can't run for more than a mile right now. He might feel disheartened, but here's what he learned: every journey starts with a single step.
Sam began running a little bit each day. Some days, he could only manage half a mile. On others, he ran a full mile or more. He knew he wasn't going to run a marathon overnight, but he was moving forward. Over time, Sam saw progress. He was running longer distances without feeling as tired.
Routines aren't about being perfect; they're about taking small steps towards your goals. You don't have to do it all at once. Keep making progress, and you'll get there.
What If People Mess with My Routines?
You're in control, not them. Picture this: Olivia is a writer who loves the peace of early mornings for her writing. But she shares her home with others who are night owls. They disrupt her peaceful mornings with their late-night activities. So, what can she do?
Olivia decided to adjust her routine. Instead of writing at dawn, she chose an afternoon slot when everyone was out. It wasn't her first choice, but it worked. She also had a talk with her housemates, setting boundaries and explaining why her writing time was important.
Routines can adapt to life's changes. Even if they aren't perfect, some routine is better than no routine. And don't be afraid to communicate your needs to others.
Should I Sleep Less to Fit More In?
No, that's a big no-no. Think of Tony, a young entrepreneur, burning the midnight oil, thinking that sleep is a luxury he can't afford. But all it led to was decreased productivity, more stress, and subpar work.
Tony realized the harm he was doing to his health and productivity. He decided to prioritize sleep in his routine. And the result? He was more focused, less stressed, and his work quality improved.
Never compromise on sleep to fit more into your routine. A well-rested mind is key to a successful routine and a healthier, more productive life.
As we walk you through these ten commonly misunderstood aspects of routines, remember that they're not shackles, but wings. They're not about losing freedom, but about understanding your priorities and having the power to shape your life around them. &Better's philosophy aligns with the principle of embracing routines as enablers, not limiters, allowing you to feel better, look better, and do better.
Remember, your routine is not a dictator but a personal assistant - flexible, adaptable, and centered around you. With &Better, you can craft routines that empower you to take control of your life, conquer shifting priorities, and emerge victorious, one day at a time.
Now, it's your turn. Are you ready to embrace the transformative power of routines? Let's start the journey with &Better, because together, we can do better.