As parents or adults, we are aware that routines help kids acquire and learn skills, attitudes, and discipline. Remember when you were a kid being told and reminded over and over to sleep and wake up at a certain time? Even the mealtimes and playtimes? Thanks to that we have learned to establish a structure that led us to understand more complicated life stuff.
But what about adults? Have we really become exempt from the drill? Many of us, grownups, have despised setting a daily routine and chose to ‘wing’ the day as part of claiming independence, self-determination, and freedom.
Big words, huh? But who said routines take away these things from you?
In fact, research shows that many people feel more stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed without established routines and schedules. As a result, people begin falling short of their goals and true potential. And thus, compromising their ability to live with full independence and freedom.
Many people who don’t have any type of routine suffer from:
- Stress. Overwhelmed by the number of tasks here and there that seem to come all at the same time.
- Poor sleep. When there are stress and anxiety, your brain cannot rest and give you a good sleep.
- Poor eating. Without norms or schedules for, say, grocery shopping and meal prep, the busy adult and city life, will just push and bump you from all sides to just grab an unhealthy and quick fix from the fast food resto.
- Poor physical condition. Regular exercise is just about routine and schedule. And endless has been said about the health benefits of regular exercise!
Hence, research suggests that, even for adults, designing a routine that works best for each of us is key to being productive, in control, and being the best person we can possibly be.
And here’s the top 8 reasons why routines are very important ingredients to a happy, fulfilled, and maximized living:
1. It creates structures.
Routines and schedules draw out the framework within which conduct our daily activities and live our lives. As you create a structure, you create a system, a flow that makes accomplishing tasks a breeze.
2. We save resources—time and money!
These two are such precious resources, especially these days. But by following a routine, we free up time that would otherwise be spent on planning, decision-making, and repeated preparation. We also save up money by spending it on priorities and planned manner (READ: non-impulsive shopping). Very practical stuff like bulk buying, batch cooking, etc. And by doing so, we create space for things that would further enhance our health and overall wellbeing.
3. We become more efficient.
Routines and schedules make up a good plan. And as you implement this plan, the set schedules enable us to know exactly what tasks we need to do each day or the next without having to contemplate, decide or think too much. TTDs (things-to-do) are fleshed out at once and so our day is just about actually ticking those boxes.
Remember we said kids need routines to train their systems? So, by following some ourselves, and actually building the household around established routines and schedules, we imbibe discipline and become good examples to our young ones.
5. Priorities first.
Routines force us to decide and prioritize doing what is important to us. Instead of navigating the decision-making process on a daily basis, routines and schedules give outline everything that we need to do and in what order according to how we have planned it.
6. Builds our self-confidence.
As we become familiar with our tasks ahead, we get more comfortable doing them and become masters of the game. And as we tick the boxes—accomplish milestones—we become more confident about achieving our set goals.
7. Better health.
Manageable tasks and responsibilities ahead mean less stress, less anxiety. Which translates to better sleep and a better outlook. Ang of course, as we place the right amount of time, effort, and material resources for a healthier diet, physical activity, and all other self-care practices, we build a much healthier body, mind, and spirit.
8. Keeps track of our goals and success.
Carved out from our plan, routines and schedules are markers for our milestones. Of course, good planning allows for adjustments according to our situation. But it also keeps our guard and conscious about slacking and letting the day take over us. At the very least, schedules remind us how far we’ve gone from the track and pulls us back to the right one.
But always remember, the point here is actually about being mindful of our choices. Routines and schedules should never bring us in auto-pilot mode. But rather build in us the habit of making conscious choices to live a maximized life.