Routines are boring, right?
Monotonous, restrictive, inflexible, creatively stifling. I’ve heard all these words from routine-averse folk. They assure me they love the freedom of taking each day as it comes.
And you know what, if it’s working out for them, then all great. More power to them.
But, for the most part, what I see in these people is frustration. They’re not achieving their business goals and they can’t quite figure out why.
I know why.
A lack of routine makes us reactive. It puts us on edge; in constant fight or flight mode. It adds to our decision-making load and tires us out mentally. Which leads to us making poor decisions at the back end of each day. Most of all, a lack of routine means we are not as productive as we can be.
Routines, used wisely, are actually valuable servants as opposed to tyrannical masters.
- They reduce cognitive load (the amount we have to think).
- They reduce reactivity and stress.
- Instead of starting each day with a blank slate, which can be overwhelming, routines provide a useful starting point around which to build our days.
- They increase our productivity and this productivity can be used to create space in the day where we can be deliberately unproductive; to create periods of time where we are free to dream and just ‘be’ without that nagging sense of ‘I should be doing something more useful here’.
That last one? That to me is the true power of routine.