Routine is a 4 letter word?
Routine is not a four-letter word, but COVID-19 is, sort of.
Quarantining means most work and school schedules are on hold, which equates to a whole new way of living in our homes for most of us.
One way of staving off anxiety, boredom, and becoming a full-time couch cushion is to develop new routines.
Ironically, this applies to retirees as well. This rapidly growing population frequently attends my time management classes, much to the amazement of younger guests who are coping with too much to do. People with few demands on their time must rely on self-motivation to avoid depression and cluttering their living spaces. Routines make it easier. Who is not for taking the easy path?
If you’re working from home and have children at home, you’re already figuring out a routine between their online schoolwork and your responsibilities. The routine is defined for you by outside influences, just like when we’re not quarantined.
Some people recoil at the mention of the value of routines, feeling like they represent the monotonous lifestyle of the obsessive and super regimented.
“We creative people can’t follow an uptight artificial routine!” exclaim folks that call me for organizational coaching and training on how to manage their time, space, information, credibility, finances, and all those other things we all need to deal with—even those who are more artistic and creative.
Who am I to say if a routine is OK for you or not? I’m not, but at least hear me out.
The neat thing about routines is that they can make you more creative and even happier. (The authority resistant roll their eyes here).
Plus, you already have routines: you brush your teeth and get dressed. These may be simple, but they have a positive effect on your life, even if you don’t notice it.
Simple routines are useful because they:
Give you the momentum to keep going. “An object in motion tends to stay in motion.”
Create muscle memory, making it easier and easier to repeat without much thought.
Allow slight mental tension, which ramps up your attention, motivation, and creativity.
Help you stop procrastinating because you do them without thinking; it becomes habitual.
Inspire you with a sense of accomplishment. They are needed for self-care and the care of your home, job, relationships, and possessions. In other words, routines are a form of respect for yourself and those around you.
Can be occasionally skipped, and things won’t fall apart.
Below are sample (simple) routines and a link to more free resources on my webpage.
Load the dishwasher each time. No dishes in the sink!
Jot reminders on the calendar and look at the calendar daily.
Hang up your clothes and take out the trash.
Put the TV remote in the same place each time you are finished with it.
Hug the dog or your partner. Just give lots of hugs (post-coronavirus).
If you or your house have ADD in the daily mix, check out ADDitude magazine's excellent articles that help make life better, one creative day at a time.
Remember: “When you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.” -Rumi