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I used to see having a daily routine as plain boring, rigid and stifling, and I know many people who share this view.
As a child, we had a pretty structured schedule. We were told to
- go to bed at a certain time,
- wake up at a certain time,
- do our homework after school,
- eat dinner at a regular hour,
- even play with our friends at a specific time.
But as adults?
Before now, I didn’t have a set daily routine and I’ll have to decide every morning what I was going to do that day or I’ll just ‘wing’ my day.
As a result, I used to feel like I was being stressed, anxious, overwhelmed and falling behind my goals.
Over time, I have learned that creating and adhering to a daily routine has been really helpful.
A Ted Talk (I watch lots of Ted Talks) given by Colin Powell stresses on the importance of instilling structure in children. It is the same for adults.
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So, do you have daily routines? Or are you still skeptical about creating one?
In this post, I share a few points why all of us would be better off with a set of daily routines.
7 Important Reasons You Need A Daily Routine
1. Reduces Decision Fatigue:
In the same way that our muscles fatigue and get tired when we use them repeatedly, so does our brains.
The more decision we make, the more tired our brain gets and the harder it is to make a good decision until we give our brain a chance to rest (i.e. go to sleep).
Basically, this just means if you’re making lots of inconsequential or unnecessary decisions throughout the day, it will get harder to make good decisions as the day goes on (this is why most people find it easier to workout in the morning – it’s way more challenging to get yourself to the gym at the end of the day due to decision fatigue).
It’s best to do the same activities in the same order each day to reduce decision fatigue.
Having a daily routine eliminates the need to plan our day every morning.
You wake up, already knowing what you are doing each and every day. Once you are finished with a task, you already know what is next on your schedule. This takes away the guesswork and enables to wake up and “do” rather than wake up and “plan”
2.Eliminates the need for Willpower and Constant Motivation:
Having a daily routine eliminates the act of having to will or motivate ourselves to do something.
Willpower is finite and motivation is fleeting.
That is why relying on a daily routine to accomplish tasks is a lot easier and better than relying on willpower and motivation.
Yes, when creating and a routine, you will have to will and motivate yourself to stick to the routine. But once the routine is set, it is on autopilot and the need for constant willpower and motivation is no longer necessary.
3. You Become Good At Things Faster:
Creating and sticking to a daily routine will help you become faster and more adept at what you do each and every day.
So if you are constantly writing, designing, practising your craft at a certain time each and every day, you will become better at it. If you are constantly programming, you will become a better programmer. If you are constantly reading a particular subject or learning a particular skill every day, you become very good at it.
4. It Provides Structure:
Daily routines provide a sense of structure and familiarity.
The structure is a way of organizing your life so that it makes sense to you. You wake up with a sense of ownership, order, and organization of your life.
This eliminates the need to regularly plan your days. This structure provides direction in your life, enabling you to act instead of standing still because of a lack of direction or decision paralysis (not doing anything because you don’t know what to do).
5. Increases Productivity and Efficiency
A daily routine is something that you do over and over again until it becomes a habit. Once it is a habit, you do not need to think about it to act.
The act of automation increases your productivity and efficiency in your life, by enabling you to do things without consciously thinking about it. You will automatically get things done, without having to remind yourself to get things done. In this manner, you do not let anything slip and you save time by not having to decide what to do with your day.
6. Builds Momentum Towards Your Goals:
Routinely doing something every day, even if it is just a little bit, builds big momentum in the long run which helps you achieve your goals faster.
There is a quote that goes “little by little, a little becomes a lot.” And I find that to be true for almost everything in life.
Although the benefits of doing something every day are small, the payoff is huge after a while.
Saving N 1000 (One Thousand Naira) or $10 (it’s not actually the same thing) every day for one year means you save an extra N365,000 $3,650 at the end of the year.
Running a mile (that is 1.6K) a day means you will have run 365 miles in a year, the distance of almost 14 marathons.
Reading 10 pages a day means you will have read 3,650 pages in a year, close to 15 books.
The little things we do daily as part of our routines builds up into something big. This, as a rule, is described more in the book “The Compound Effect” By Darren Hardy
7. Build Good Habits:
Actively and consciously building a daily routine for yourself instills plenty of good habits.
When we consciously decide what we want to do with every day of our lives, we generally want to do what makes us happy or what gives us the most utility. As such, we build good habits along the way by actively participating in our daily lives. This way, we slowly yet consistently replace our bad habits with the good ones.
So friends, with this few points of mine, I hope I’ve been able to convince you to create a daily routine for yourself!
Daily routines are important. The most successful people and leaders in the world have a set of routines they follow daily.
I hope you find enough reasons to create one today.
Over to You: I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment
Do you have daily (or morning) routines?
How has it helped you so far?
Tools/Resources I Recommend:
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