Routines: Define your own rhythm of life

By Francisco Sáez • May 14, 2012

“Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.” ~ Gustave Flaubert

Routines are sets of actions we perform frequently, almost automatically, without much effort. They are mechanisms we devise to make our life easier. By turning many of the things we have to do into routines, we establish habits that allow us to free our brain, since they are tasks of which we do not have to think too much to carry them out.

The problem of routines is that there comes a time when they are so entrenched in our lives that we barely think about them. We simply do them… because we have always done. We make a weekly meeting with the staff of our department, we lunch every working day at the same restaurant, we read daily the same paper at the same time and each year, we do almost the same things on our vacations.

Everyone has their own routines, and that is good because they help us define our rhythm of life. In addition, they all had a lot of sense when we started doing them. In a way, they facilitated our work so we used to do them even with enthusiasm.

But now, some of them have become boring and you do not feel like doing them. You know which they are, because you always put them off and this generates guilt and stress that affects the performance of other tasks.

If you continue to deal with them in the same way you have always done before, you are undermining your productivity. If your system is not working, restart.

Sometimes it is difficult for us to recognize that reality is in constant motion. Do yourself a favor: Add to your personal management system—whatever it is—a task or reminder every three months (for example) that makes you rethink the need, the frequency and the manner you handle all your routines. In other words, create a routine to occasionally rethink the validity of your routines. It is great to create behaviors and habits that benefit us, but do not let them stagnate. Define your own rhythm of life.

How long you have not left your comfort zone?

About the author

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Francisco Sáez (@franciscojsaez) is the founder and CEO of FacileThings. He is also a web developer specializing in Ruby on Rails who is passionate about personal productivity and GTD as a means to a better life.

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