Build routines, get structure.
Get structure, get more time, more brain space, a more streamlined day.
Use routines to make sure that what matters to you is happening in your daily life.
Use routines to make sure that you streamline those things that would otherwise consume your days. (My examples are laundry, household chores – just in case you were wondering – they’re not on my routine list because they’re high priorities for me, but because they have to be done. If I make them routines, then I control how much time they consume. Otherwise, they will expand to fill all the time I have.)
Get structure in place for the things that matter to you.
If you want it to happen, you need to make it happen. Or… sit around and hope for things to just fall into place. I know a lot of people who are pursuing that life strategy.
I’ll let you in on a secret: it’s not working out too well for them.
The thing about routines is that they’re usually not easy at first.
In fact, the opposite. Try teaching your kids a new routine, like, say, “Morning Chore Routine.” They’re not just going to fall in line and march through the steps you’ve carefully planned. And they’re not going to remember the routine tomorrow, unless you walk them through it again. And again the next day. And again the next day.
Nobody will automatically take up a routine. Routines require training. Training requires focus and discipline; you have to push yourself through it, make yourself do it, in order for it to become a routine.
Then you reap the rewards.
Once you’ve trained yourself (or your kids or your spouse or your coworkers or whatever) then you’ve created the routine. And once the routine is in place, with some regular upkeep, it stays in place. It becomes the default.
Planning and implementing and training routines – though that part requires a lot of diligence and work – pays off with a life that includes what matters to you. The routines are the structure, and within that structure is what you put there: what matters. If you don’t build the structure yourself, you’ll get a haphazard job full of what matters to other people.
Take control. Build your own structure by designing and following your own routines.
What routines do you need to add to your life?
*Stack of stones image by Ove Topfer, shared at Stock.xchng.