While wondering what is the best path to maximising how we can use each day better to bring us one step closer to our goals, the one roadblock we often hit is of sticking to a routine. We can draw up elaborate plans, come up with time-bound achievable goals for each day but the fact remains that either unpredictability, or general lethargy, or the age-old “we’ll do it tomorrow” attitude strikes and these factors become disruptive to all the routines and schedules we create and then fail to enforce.
Yet, routines are important! They maximise the utilisation of the day, they create a structure that removes anxiety around planning spontaneously without knowing what’s going to come up next, they allow us to take charge of our time, pre-empt our own needs, and design what our lives can look like without leaving it entirely up to chance. For people who are driven by their goals and really want to achieve them, scheduling and planning ahead help far more than pursuing goals in short spurts of interest. It is consistency and regularity that help build good habits that are necessary for pursuing your goals and being successful at achieving them!
Find it difficult to stick to a routine? Want to learn how to build structure and stay consistent in your everyday? Read on to find out the three ways to get started with creating routines and structures in everyday life:
- Start by waking up at the same time: This may seem like we’re stating the obvious, but studies show that waking up at the same time every day (and that also implies going to sleep at the same time every day) can actually boost concentration and improve productivity. Being well-rested is crucial to being productive during the day. If you are tired or if you have overslept, it may be difficult to retain information, maintain focus, or do tasks meticulously.
- Schedule an activity that you really enjoy doing: Just like all the work-related productivity in your day has its own schedule or its own designated amount of time. Try to set aside a block of time at the same time every day to do something that you like to do, like going for a walk or spending time with your family or even just to rest and reset. Doing your favourite activity once a day at the same time will actually help you stick to the schedule and adapt to the rhythm of your routine. It will also add something to really look forward to in your schedule and make it seem less monotonous and work-oriented only.
- Practise: Often what happens is that when we fail to maintain our routine or if we fall behind on just one task, we tend to feel that the whole venture of having a structure to our day is not going to work. One setback has the potential to make us give up on the structure or reevaluate it. However, continuing to follow your schedule even after a setback or a delay is what is eventually going to build consistency in your life. Furthermore, continuity after a setback will also help you build resilience to unpredictability and come up with creative solutions to disruptions in your routine that are bound to happen every now and then!
With these three suggestions, the thought you are left with is when should you begin? This is perhaps the only thing you shouldn’t schedule for, after all there is no better time than now to start changing your life for the better!