Routines provide both structure and organization. What this boils down to is pattern recognition. Humans are creatures of habit, and routines provide predictability and stability that helps us to stay calm, better manage stress, and have an improved sense of well-being.
When we don’t follow a routine we are often left feeling a little bit scattered and more on edge. We may worry more about getting things done in a timely manner, might feel like we are more behind with regard to task completion, and often rely on impulse as opposed to foresight which can have negative consequences on our health long term.
For example, if you are in the habit of meal prepping for lunch daily, you’re likely to make healthier choices when it comes to food. As opposed to not planning ahead, and eating whatever might be closest to you at the time hunger strikes ie. the office donuts, whatever is available in the vending machine, or whatever might be at the closest fast food joint.
Routines help us create consistency and predictability. When we create a reliable routine for ourselves, we don’t have to guess or worry about whether the important things on our list got done. We already know they did. This often means that we can sleep easier knowing there isn’t something important we completely forgot about, and can wake up knowing what we need to do which allows us to be more efficient and less stressed.
When it comes to creating a routine, start small. Getting into the habit of maintaining a routine takes practice and won’t manifest overnight. Small changes done consistently over time pay off in dividends.
For example, if you’re constantly looking for your keys in the morning and are almost late to work because of it. Try a key bowl. Whenever you get home, drop your keys in the bowl so there’s no guessing where they will be when you’re ready to leave the house the next day.
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