Routine is really important for children. It helps gives a sense of security, helps them learn, assimilate and grow. It teaches discipline and helps with development. However is routine all that healthy for adults?
To answer this we first need to acknowledge that we are all different. Some people love and thrive on routine, some do not. I highlight the three main categories for routine that I have observed over the last 6 years.
People who love structured routine
These are the people who have their morning routine, in fact their day pretty much mapped out and this is how they love to function in the world.
They get up with either an alarm clock or the sun. And then the day is very structured. From exercise, supplements they take, what they have and when they have breakfast, activities that must be scheduled in eg meditation, reading, journaling, learning etc. You know the people 15 minutes of reading, 30 minutes of learning, 60 minutes of meditation, a smoothie every morning….
Some people need routine. It is their discipline and what they thrive on. It serves them well.
People who don’t have a structured routine (that’s me)
These are the people who if they have a tight structure and they miss one step it can throw their entire day off. So instead of beating yourself up, have a list of ‘would like to do/achieve’ a less finely tuned routine so to speak. And then see what gets done. For me this allows me to not get stressed if I miss something, for example oil pulling, meditation or my morning walk. But I also know that I will do it tomorrow. My discipline is knowing that I will do it tomorrow, that I have not lost sight of the end game just because I missed something on my list for a day.
For me I find the added benefit to having a loose routine is that I am more flexible. I can do things on the spur of the moment; and don’t have to stress that I haven’t done this or that, or that breakfast, lunch or dinner is already planned and prepared. I have been known to drop everything at a moment’s notice and head down the coast for a few days. Fridge at home stocked and no accommodation booked, however I don’t miss out on great opportunities when they come knocking.
Then there are those people who have no routine
There is nothing that they regularly do except get up: eat, go to work, and go to bed and this can all be at different times. I find in the work that I do that these are the people who are generally (I stress generally) more stressed and anxious. They have trouble managing time and never seem to have enough in their day to get things done. They generally put things that are good for them last, which means they rarely get done.
Do you need to shake up your routine?
Some key questions you can ask yourself to determine if you need more structure to your routine, or in fact need to develop one:
- Am I looking after my own health?
- Am I giving myself the time to eat mindfully?
- Is there time for me, to do whatever it is that I love doing?
- Do I feel rushed all the time?
- Am I always running late?
- Do I have too much down time (yes this can happen)?
- Is there balance in my life?
- Do I get stressed and anxious about what does not get done?
- Am I jeopardising my job or business due to poor planning?
- If I am a business owner, do I have time to work on my business rather than in it?
- Am I happy?
- Do I get enough rest?
To wrap up
There really is no wrong or right, we are all different. Some people need and love structure, for some it can throw them off, for some not having anything leaves their life in a bit of limbo. The key here is to identify if you fall into the third category, and if you do, recognise that a little structure, a little routine could be just what you need to get back on track. At the end of the day a happy stress free life is something we all would like to have, and truthfully with a little effort it is easy to achieve.