Routines Can be Good or Bad

Having a routine can be a good thing or a bad thing.  For some, structure is key because it can keep you on track, help you stay focused on what tasks need to get done and make you feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.  It can also be restrictive.  For those that don’t have a routine, they may feel more free and relaxed.  There are no plans to stick to, nothing to worry about and they live a more of a care-free lifestyle. 

Which is right for you?

I’ll share my experience with both sides of the coin to help you decide for yourself. First let’s start with my life in the past.  I used to have a very restrictive lifestyle.  I would be away from home a minimum of 12 hours a day and have to plan for everything.  I’d leave the house very early in the morning, be gone all day, not come home until early evening.  That meant I had to prepare my days the night before.  I would pack a lunch, set out my clothes, make sure my bag for my commute had everything I needed and write out the list of tasks I wanted to accomplish the next day.  It was challenging, but it worked.  The only problem was that I had only about 4 hours to myself every day.  Somehow I was still able to get a lot of things done.  Other things suffered, though.  Things like my relationship with my husband, I couldn’t go to family gatherings and time with friends only happened on the weekends.  Having that routine was stressful.  Eventually, I got tired of it and wanted to get rid of this routine because what I wanted a life change.

I decided to change things to allow me to have a different routine.  I changed my job from full to part time and found an employer closer to my home.  I started to say no to going out more and became a home body.  I found my tribe of friends that wanted similar things and knew spending time with them would add value to my life.  When I made these changes, naturally my routine changed.  My routine even became almost non-existent.  I actually let go so much that I would even say I lost my mojo.  Instead of having a routine, my days were spent doing what I want to do without having a structured system.  I still have my task list but instead of having 7-10 items I had closer to 1-3. I lived much more free and felt like I was working less.  I got to have time with my family and friends, I got to walk my dog and I got to feel less pressure to get things done.  At the same time, I also felt more pressure (from myself) because I wasn’t getting some of those things done.  Part of me almost wishes I had that old lifestyle back but at the same time, I wouldn’t feel the way I do now.

What’s right?

I’m not really sure.  I like the freedom that I have and the fact that I can do things that I want, when I want.  But I also feel I need to challenge myself.  I need to find a routine that works to help me get things done, keeps me on track and allows me to still live a full, free life. 

And the key here is that this is a work in progress.  It will be some time before I find a routine that sticks.  It might be that way for you.  Don’t get discouraged, just keep trying to find YOUR routine and make it work for YOU!

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