Honestly, I need to say I hated routines. I just didn’t want to do the same thing over and over again. Like a rat running in a hamster wheel. Where was that going to lead me? What for?
But hear me out here, please. Routines are that much important than doing something new. The key point is that without a routine you can’t go anywhere deep enough to produce meaningful results. I am talking about work and self-build habits here. Those can be implemented anywhere anytime. And the most shocking truth is that we have routines doesn’t matter, if we like them or not. We are just blind to those we do already. Hating routines is unproductive. It’s like an action paralysis.
I will explain. I know it is absolutely boring to do some routines and I am not advocating to stop being creative. But rather being all over the place, making a set of routines is essential to results. It is slow repetitive action, grind. And, if you are having a tough time getting on board with loving your routines are creating new. Well, that is easy to overcome. It is a matter of grit. You may think that you don’t have the energy or it will be boring, you don’t have motivation yada, yada. In other words just simple mental blocks. We ain’t been born like a robot all programmed to be excellent, So we need to learn from the best practices. And the first step to optimizing your life is by setting routines. That will make you much more productive, organized and it will actually save your nerves and time.
Why do we make routines?
Most of the time we do so even unconsciously. It is our human nature. It is drilled in our nervous system and muscles. Let us take a look at what snowboarders and elite athletes are doing. They train day and night, for days. Doing that specific movement over and over again, perhaps looking like idiots while training doing the same thing. However, it is a much deeper process and they know it. Repetition affects your performance later on.
Saves you time.
It will be smoother.
Turns off your judgmental mind.
Where athletes don’t call them “routines“, the word itself it is actually affected with a bad reputation already. Simply “drills”. Drilling is rapid and effective. Doing them over and over makes you reduce the unpredictable factors outside of your control. It is a focused process of action that allows you to stay confident. That happens when you have built those neural pathways and the movement is drilled down in your muscle memory.
When I was training Taekwon-do I have done tons of drills. Every training session is entailed them. The same is now, practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and snowboarding. It is inevitable to gain that calm state of confidence. Based on past experience. That’s how you gain expertise.
From where to start?
There are a lot of business books on how habits and routines work. And which are “the best” practices. A few recommendations are “5-sec rule” Mel Robbins, “The power of habit” Charles Duhigg, the classic “7 Habits of highly effective people” Steven Covey. And much more. I might share my book list in the near future. Goodreads is a wonderful platform. I try to systemize them there.
However, just reading those books won’t be a change itself. If you read many books, the only thing you will improve is your reading skill. And that is fine unless you want something deeper than that. We speak here about behavior change, most likely entailing identity change. That is just a word, but I will discuss it in another post. Shortly it is sometimes the case to drop an old habit to replace it with a new one.
And to sum up, I would like to leave you with a simple practice exercise. Try to write your routines at home. Just those when you spend your time there. Make a long list of those things you spend time doing the most. And see what is your browsing routine. This one is huge. Block the websites you are wasting much time in.
By making this simple analysis you will be able to see that you actually have routines, everybody does. So why not upgrade those which don’t excel you?