I used to be a person who hated routine. I would resist getting stuck in a routine wherever possible.
Some people like (and need) consistency. They like to know they will be going to the gym on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and having brunch in the same coffee shop every second Sunday.
On some level, we all have a certain amount of routine and repetition in our lives. Without it, our lives would become chaotic.
My relationship with routine has definitely changed. Consistency is a requirement in both blogging and writing.
The truth is routine can help with your productivity and time management.
Routine can also have you carrying out a task without giving it too much thought (one example would be checking your emails first thing in the morning).
The question is – Are your routines helping you or hindering you?
Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine if your routines are holding you back.
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Are your routines affecting your productivity?
Let’s go back to the example of checking your email every morning. Does that really help you in being productive?
You go into the office knowing you have a task that needs your immediate attention and suddenly you are hit by a wall of emails and most likely problems or demands.
Your main priority is suddenly pushed to the back burner.
Take a look at some of your routines and see if they are hindering your performance. Even something as seemingly harmless as your trip to the kitchen to grab a coffee in the morning could be affecting your work. I’m not saying you shouldn’t grab that coffee but maybe you should consider the timing.
Small changes could bring positive results.
Related post – How to Have More Self-Discipline
Are your routines not allowing you to be flexible?
I have been a bit guilty of this one myself lately. I’ve finally gotten into a routine for how my work day should look and feel, so much so that a small variation throws me out of whack.
Take today for example. I was invited to lunch to discuss a Hen’s party coming up. The first thought I had was I can’t possibly make lunch on a Friday. I realized I was struggling with the idea because it would break up my Friday routine.
I was being totally inflexible. After all, it’s just a quick lunch, not a trip out of the country.
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Are your routines stopping you from meeting new people?
You might have your favorite restaurant, your preferred cafe, your regular bar that you frequent. You might even go there with the same people over and over again.
Let’s face it; this pattern doesn’t exactly give you the opportunity to meet new people.
The same can be said if you constantly spend time with the same people at work.
You need to break your pattern and start trying some new venues. Try a new place each time you go out. Check out a completely different and unfamiliar suburb. Catch up with some old friends you haven’t seen in a while, instead of the ones you see all of the time.
Give your social routine a shake-up.
Related post – Do You Need to Reconnect with Old Friends?
Are your routines boring you senseless?
This is why I rebelled against routine for so long – I found it a bit boring.
Sometimes we perform a routine simply because….well it’s a routine. It has become an ingrained habit.
But is it something we really want or need to be doing? Something we enjoy or just a task we have gotten sucked into doing on a regular basis?
Think about some of your routines. Could they be replaced with more interesting, fun or inspiring activities?
Related post – How to Overcome Boredom
Are your routines about relaxation?
All too often our routines are about doing stuff and getting things done.
Do you have a routine for relaxation and taking time out?
If you don’t, now is the perfect time to figure out how to factor some relaxation into your week.
Take a moment to examine if any of your routines are holding you back. Decide which routines and habits are working for you and which ones need an overhaul.
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