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The Power of Having a Routine

by | Sep 3, 2023

Do you feel like you are constantly stressed out and not accomplishing your goals?

Establishing a routine could be just what you need. Establishing an effective routine can help reduce stress, improve your sleep, increase your productivity, and  improve your overall health and wellness.

Establishing a routine can reduce stress by creating predictable situations through habits that allow the mind to adjust and expect what will happen next. These habits will alleviate the stress and anxiety over the unknown and worry of uncompleted tasks. If you have a set plan, then you will feel like you have more control. Additionally, you’ll have already made decisions about your day in advance. This will allow you to focus on making good decisions on the ones that are left to be made.

Not having a routine can leave you feeling the weight of task paralysis and then you’ll run out of time to accomplish the things you set out to do. Instead, let’s increase your productivity by eliminating the back and forth struggle taking place in your mind about what you are going to do, where you’re going to start, and how long you will spend on a given task. 

Establishing a bedtime routine and sleep schedule can reduce your stress and improve your overall health. The amount and quality of sleep that you are able to get each night has an impact on your mental sharpness, energy level, performance, and emotional wellbeing. You may want to set a bedtime and then put electronic devices down an hour before your set time to allow your brain to prepare for a good night’s rest. 

Okay, okay. I am ready to establish a routine. How do I establish an effective routine? 

If you already have a daily routine, then we are able to just make a few changes. The reason we want to just select a couple of changes to make so that we don’t get overwhelmed with too many changes at once. The idea is to make an effective routine and stick to it. 

Let’s start by writing down your current routine. This can be in the form of a schedule with times or just a checklist of things that you do each day. Then choose two or three things that you would like to replace with another task or activity. For example, in the

morning instead of scrolling through Instagram or TikTok, you may want to make time to write in your journal.

Choose a time of day that you would like to complete each task or activity that you listed. Your chances of success in completing these tasks or activities increase when they are completed at the same time each day. Write the new routine down somewhere you can see it and track your progress. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it can be as simple as putting it in the notes app on your phone.

Reward yourself for sticking to your new routine. Important note: Make sure that the reward supports your goals. 

For example, if one of your goals is to exercise more, reward yourself with a new pair of sneakers or a new article of exercise clothes. 

Contributed by Tara Hamilton 

Resources: 

Reisenwitz, Cathy (2022, November 26). 7 benefits of following daily routines: Clockwise. Clockwise. https://www.getclockwise.com/blog/benefits-daily-routines 

WebMD. (2021). Why routines and schedules may be good for your mental health. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/psychological-benefits-of-routine 

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