I’m not one who had a routine, my life can be quite irregular; one day I’ll be on the road, meeting clients, running errands or shooting models, video, etc. i.e. out a lot, next I’m stuck hours behind the computer, other times with friends, you get the idea. So this advice comes with some experience and thought about it. I now have a somewhat routine, although not perfect, and this is what I observed about my life since.
It must be noted, a routine life should not be mistaken for a monotonous life. Which I think leads to depression and mental isolation, but we’ll get to that in another time. Rather a life where dynamic things still happen, however majority is spent in consistency.
Accomplishing mini-goals and dreams are what keeps me positive. The more I accomplish the better I feel. Life becomes fulfilled with purpose and tasks become less daunting the more you work at it, even if it’s a little a day. Slow and steady wins the race I always say.
Since adopting a routine life, I’ve notice my productivity went up three-fold! Goals I intended to accomplish over a year or more, I did in months! Goals intended to accomplish in months, I did in weeks and so forth. It still amazes me with a little routine I managed to stay focus more than ever and I’ve been known to have great focus even when my life was irregular.
A routine lifestyle puts things in place, it organizes your time, it reveals how much time is wasted or used properly. You become the master of your time and life rather than life or time sort of “controlling” you.
Having irregular days not only makes you feel overwhelmed but deter you from focusing. Not all of us can control how our day goes and especially in the workplace where many things happen on any given day. That’s just how life is. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to find consistency in our hectic days.
Think of food in our daily life. If we eat irregularly, we tend to have stomach problems, like I do. Our body needs food on a regular basis and on time to avoid discomfort, etc. Why not treat our lifestyle and tasks in a similar manner. Projects are like our stomachs and food our mini-goals. If we routinely feed our projects(stomach) with mini-goals(food), we tend to avoid our projects having problems. Miss our goals and our projects suffer.
It’s not about an 8-4 lifestyle either, which many consider a constrained, unhappy life. During the 8-4 period, much irregular and inconsistent things can happen. However if we set certain tasks to do at certain times and try our best to stick to a schedule we notice we can do more, since we’ve mentally prepared ourselves beforehand, merely by having a routine.
When things goes Wrong
Another upside to having a routine life is being on top of things. Life is unpredictable, not everything always goes to plan. When something goes wrong, and usually does, we should have our bases covered, thus minimizing the effects which tend to spill over in other aspects of our lives, when we’re not consistent.
Think of the scenario of a fire in a room. A room with an automated fan and vent to suck out the air, minimizes the potential spread of the fire to other rooms. The fan and vent in this scenario is a routine life, it minimizes the spread to other parts of your life, automatically. Another room without a vent and fan is an irregular lifestyle. The fire spreads over into other rooms, i.e. other parts of your life.
You know the common quote for when things goes bad, “when it rains it pours”. I believe that quote usually applies to those who have irregular lifestyles. I know this all too well because I’ve lived an irregular life for quite some time.
Being in Control
Ultimately, a routine life gives you the power to control what happens. None of us really want to NOT be in control of our lives and not many of us actually reach a point where we are able to control it. A lot of us just hand it over to God and tell him to “take the wheel”. I think that mindset only does more harm than good to our lives.
A routine life can give us a semblance of having some sort of control, at least to some extent. And when things go wrong, we know we have it under control, thanks to our routine.
It’s okay to have irregular days and change things up a bit. I’m not suggesting tie yourself down to a point where it makes you a slave to time and goals or what I like to call “deadlines”. If having a routine leads to an unhappy or monotonous life, you’re probably doing it wrong. Try to figure out a balance of routine life and a dynamic life, but ensure you do have a routine of some sort.
Make the changes as soon as, because it takes time to find your routine. It may sound simple, but sticking to it is the hardest part. There are mental health benefits to this. When you start to feel lighter and less overwhelmed on a regular basis you can thank the routine lifestyle. You’ll soon be on to greater things you thought were further down the line.