I know that sometimes daily routine can be boring. But, if you stop and think about it for a minute, a daily routine is really a good thing.
From 1967 to 1969 I was in military school. Talk about routine! We ran the same schedule every day of the week. The only day that was different was Sunday. Other than that, it was pretty much the same. There was a routine for everything – how we folded our clothes (including our underwear), how we stood in line, how we ate our meals, when we got up, when we had lunch, when we had dinner, what time we studied, what time we took a shower, when we went to bed. Day in and day out it was the same thing. I thought I would go crazy! I like change and variety. But, pretty soon I began to realize the value of routine. You see, when you have routine in your life, you don’t have to stop and re-invent the wheel every time you do something. Let me further explain.
I know this may sound silly, but the more routine or “systems” you have in your life, the easier life becomes. I don’t have to stop and think about where to park my car at night. I don’t park it in the kitchen or living room. I park my car in the garage. That is routine. That is a system. It makes life easier when you don’t have to stop and think about every little decision you have to make everyday.
I can hear some of you right now saying, “Yes, but I like variety. I like things to be different.” Please hear me well; no one likes variety more than I do! I think that life should be full of variety. My father used to say, “Variety is the spice of life!” However, I do not think that variety is an enemy to routine. I think of it more as the icing on the cake. When we follow a routine, a pattern, or a system day in and day out, we get more done, we feel more secure and we help create a better environment for ourselves and others. Life seems to go a lot better with routine.
Many of us have children or grandchildren who have recently started back to school after the holidays. Think about how different life was over the holiday season. Most of our routines were broken for a couple of weeks which made life a little more unstable. And that is okay for a time. But to live in instability and uncertainty all of the time is not a good thing. All of us do better when we follow a pattern or a routine each day of getting up and taking care of our daily responsibilities.
Life really is a balancing act. Even though I love variety, I also enjoy getting into a routine because I get so much more accomplished and feel so much better about myself. There have been times in my life when I have been just a “wandering generality” and those times never build self-worth or help me to be a very productive person.
I would strongly encourage all of us to look at the two issues of variety and routine and realize that although they are very different, they are not enemies of each other. This new year, as we start back to school after the holidays or begin a new routine, let’s see how this shift in thinking actually makes us feel better about our own life and our productivity level.
I know there are some things in my own life on which I need to become more focused and more disciplined. For instance, one of the things I am doing is making a commitment to develop a routine of exercise. I tend to do it when I “have the time” but I never seem to “have the time.” Know what I mean?! So, this Tip is not just for you; it’s for me, too. If I really do believe that routine is a good thing, I will include exercise in the daily system of my personal life. I think you get the idea of what I am trying to say.
Now, as my high school coach would say, “You got the talking part done – now all you need is the doing part!”
Have a great year and follow your routines!
Tip: Routine is a good thing!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm