Have you ever stopped and thought about your daily routines? I recently did and realized I was in a monotonous, robotic-like stint of routines that weren’t all serving me in positive ways. Instead of helping me get the best out of my life, I was repeatedly doing the same thing day in and day out. I had to evaluate the individual habits within my routines, a correlation that I had never put together until recently.
Our routines are nothing more than a series of habits that reinforce each other. Some of these habits are good, while others hinder our productivity and stifle our creativity. The idea behind routines is simply to provide structure, increase personal efficiency and help you be in control of your day. However, if you aren’t constantly evaluating and adjusting your habits to fit with the changes in life, you could be doing yourself a disservice.
There are many benefits to having routines, but as mentioned, distinguishing if yours are benefiting you is key. Seeing how your habits are working together for your end goal, whatever that may be for you, will be crucial in your success or failure.
A few things you can consider when evaluating your habits are:
- Does it increase your efficiency?
Our days can sometimes feel like we have more items to check off than time to check them off. When you have a solid schedule in place, the likelihood of pushing these items off for later is really low. With that structure built into your day, you can also prioritize items as they come in. There’s an additional benefit of doing something over and over; you are making a habit of it. This predetermined schedule helps eliminate the need for daily planning and prepping. (Example: I check email every day at 8:00 am, so I don’t have to try and figure out where to fit that in each day.)
- Does it preserve your valuable time?
Like many, I put a high value on my personal time. I want to truly relax in my free time instead of worrying about what I didn’t get done at work. If you’ve structured your day in a way that is conducive to productivity, then your routine is serving its purpose. Your efficiency has freed up time and allowed you to create the necessary space to make the things important to you, outside of work, a priority.
- Is it helping you achieve your goals?
Many of us spend a lifetime creating goals and working to accomplish them. These goals are never achieved all at once, but instead over time. Completing one is rarely ever on accident. There will always be a series of events leading up to it. If you have bad habits set up or a shaky routine, the path you take will likely be rocky and could eventually lead to a dead end completely.
I know there is this negative stigma behind someone who lives by routines. I’ve personally struggled with the thoughts that somehow routines are less freeing, restrictive and make me a boring person. I’ve heard the same insights from other individuals as well, but there are extremes on both ends. You can be the whimsical individual who lives and flies by the seat of their pants or you can be the individual who is so rigid in their routines they don’t have an ounce of spontaneity or creativity. There are also infinite possibilities for people to fall in between these extremes.
Having a routine gives you the opportunity to refine your day-to-day, while allowing you the structure you need to accomplish the things you have defined for yourself. Don’t forget to take time to evaluate and re-adjust these habits when needed to ensure you’re fulfilling your personal goals in intentional ways.
Member Services Coordinator
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128
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