As the new year gets underway, it’s a great opportunity to set up new routines and habits to get the most out of our time. Productivity coach Karen Eyre White (Go Do) tells us about the power of routine and how you can set yourself up for success in 2020.
Our lives are dominated by routines. Doing the weekly shop, having a shower each morning, getting the kids to school. When something needs to be done regularly, getting into a routine of doing it in a certain way or at a certain time often makes life run more smoothly.
Relieving the Mental Load
Routines and habits ease the mental load of all our commitments: our brains can go in to auto-pilot and we don’t need to think as much about each and every decision. If every day we had to make fresh decisions about which route to take to school, or what time to have dinner, everything would feel a lot more difficult. Routines help and support us to get everything done.
A Change is as Good as a Rest
However, routines can also sometimes get boring and monotonous. Which is why it’s so refreshing to step out of them on occasion. For many of us, the last few weeks have probably been a bit different from the norm. Maybe you’ve been away to visit relatives, or had guests to stay. The kids haven’t been at school. You may have been working less – and running after those kids a lot more!
So here we find ourselves, the first week back to normal life. Getting back in to our routines and daily habits after a break can be difficult. We’ve got out of the practice of it, so it feels a bit like trying to remember your GCSE French. This can be frustrating, but it’s also a great opportunity to look afresh at whether your routines are still working for you.
Step 1 – Identify what you want to do differently
Is there a different way of handling your mornings to get everyone where they need to be on time? Do you want to get in to new bedtime habits to help you sleep more soundly? This is the time to do it. There’s nothing like a fresh start to give you the clean slate you need to make a change.
Step 2 – Get the kids involved
If you have a family, get the kids involved. They’ll have opinions about what should happen when and involving them now will save trouble down the line and make things run more smoothly. If some of their suggestions are impractical, help them to think through a different way that could work.
Step 3 – Bring new routines in
Finally, consider whether there are things in your life which would benefit from being done in a more routine way. Maybe you’re trying to do your household chores in any spare moment and feeling stressed that you never have time for them. Getting a specific slot in the diary each week will help you feel more in control and help you to relax the rest of the time.
Step 4 – Be patient
As you establish your new routines and habits, be patient and kind to yourself and your family. Just like learning to ride a bike, there will be bumps along the way. But if you take the time now to start the right routines and habits, you’ll be flying in no time.
If you feel like you may need some support setting up your organised routine for 2020, have a chat with your local organisers who you can find on our find an organiser page.