Why are routines important? I used to balk against my mother’s routines as a child. I thought they were boring and useless. As an adult I understand now that the routines we have are so we can deal with the things that aren’t routine easily. Think about it. If you have a morning routine and your alarm clock doesn’t go off in the morning you don’t have to look for everything you need to get ready for school or work. Routines make it so you don’t have to think. Or they make it so you can think about other things while you do your routine.
So how do you get into a routine? My evening routine for getting ready for work the next day is pretty easy. I don’t need a list to remember everything. I do the same thing 5 evenings a week. Other of my routines are a bit harder to remember as they only happen once a week or once a month. For these I have lists.
An example of needing a list is my Budget and Bill paying routine. I have a spreadsheet for my Budget. At the beginning of the month I update my budget. Most of it stays the same but things like birthday presents, car registrations, new shoes are added as needed. At the beginning of the month I pay all the bills that are not on auto pay. Some are on-line and some are checks in the mail. I would have no clue what I paid, how much I paid, what I have to pay, or how I pay it, if I didn’t have a budget sheet and a routine. I write a check for the amount owed that month or go on line and pay through the website. I put paid next to everything I pay. Every week I look at the bank account for the auto payments. I mark these as paid. I have not missed a payment in years. I have not been overdrawn at the bank in years.
Another list for me is self-care. I am notorious for not taking care of myself and making time for my basic daily needs like putting lotion on, doing yoga, updating my fitness pal, shaving my legs, etc. I made myself a list/calendar of the things I forget. I printed it out and taped it to the mirror in my bathroom. This serves two purposes. One, I see it daily and it reminds me. Two, My husband sees it and if it isn’t full of pretty pink check marks he starts reminding me.
Many parts of your life can be run with routines. Start with one routine at time. Your routines will to free you up your mind to think about other things. You will have more time to do other things. You will have less stress and more peace.