Some of us are avid believers in routine, while others try to avoid it like the excitement killer they believe it to be. Whatever your relationship is with routine, either negative or positive it’s worth taking a moment to think about how often you consciously make an effort to apply it to your life.
Now, just so we are all on the same page, this is not to be confused with a habit. Habits are actions we repeatedly perform with little or almost no conscious thought. A routine on the other hand, requires our conscious effort and intent.
If you are struggling to think of some areas in life where you consciously apply a routine, then definitely make sure you keep on reading.
From Routine to Habit
Habits are an integral part of who we are but they are subconsciously performed actions. We do not really stop to think about them anymore. They have become so entwined with our lives that, in the long term, we can even call it part of who we are. To a certain extent we are who we are and there is not much to change about that. However, we can take control of our routines. We can ultimately shape the part of ourselves that is defined by our habits.
Is it not refreshing to know that we are in control of such a key part of our lives?
Consciously Shaping your Life
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.— Will Durant
It is not for nothing that we are often told that we are creatures of habit; our actions define us. You can say all you want about who you are but our true character lies in our deeds. It starts with the little things we do everyday. That’s why they say ‘actions speak louder than words’. If that’s the case, are we minding our actions to shape ourselves or do we instead take a more ‘let’s see where the wind blows attitude’? But why leave something so critical up to chance?
We say that time is our most valuable asset but soon after we’ve uttered those words, it stops there for most people. We do not do anything about it and on the off chance that we do, most often it is not on a consistent basis. Simply put, most of us do not have consistency (routines) that we incorporate in our lives to optimize the use of our time.
Also, how many of the routines that you have in place were created out of necessity rather than sheer will?
Taking Control of Your Routines
Let’s change all of that. Let’s take back control, and our time! What we are really touching upon is time optimization. Next time you do a habitual task, think about THE WAY you do it.
- What is my desired outcome?
- Is this the most effective way?
- What am I doing, right now, to achieve this?
Remember that our actions are manifestations of our thoughts. When these same actions are periodically and consciously performed, we can call it a routine. Through repetition we perfect our routines. At some point, our routines become second nature and they turn into habits.
Routine is not a prison but the way to freedom from time.— May Sarton
Whether you hate them or you love them, routines are an essential part of our lives. Learn to accept them. Find a way to incorporate them (if you haven’t already). For, contrary to popular belief, routines do not inhibit our lives. The more effort we put into consciously establishing routines in our lives, the more time we can free up down the line to enjoy the finer things in life.
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”
— Mike Murdock