So often the idea of routine seems boring. Brought up with the idea that ‘variety is the spice of life’, we assume that the opposite of variety must be dull. But is that really true?
Just for a moment, notice the mental images you make when you think of the idea of routine. Are you picturing doing the same things at the same time in the same way over and over again? Monday evening dance class, Wednesday morning put the bins out, Friday night grocery shopping, Sunday morning yoga, that kind of thing?
We all have some things in life that happen at a regular time. But notice that there are also big gaps between those regular events when anything could happen!
You see, ‘routine’ doesn’t have to mean that everything is done at the same time in the same way. It’s a question of knowing how much routine is right for you.
Personally, I hate the idea of living the same week of life over and over again, but I know people who enjoy the predictability, the rhythm of repetition and routine and wouldn’t have it any other way.
And even though I’m not a big fan of lots of routine I have to say that I recognise it can be the most efficient way to get through a lot of regular work. So for example, I have meetings with people in my team at the same time each week – unless one of us has a reason to rearrange to different time slot.
By having a fixed time to do something I want to do regularly, I avoid wasting time scheduling it or wondering how to fit it in every week. This applies to lots of tasks that recur over and over again, so I have a ‘routine’ that gets those tasks done – if I’m in the office.
If I’m not here on a day when some of those routine tasks are scheduled, I simply re-schedule for another day or I delegate.
One of the major benefits of having a schedule of routine tasks is I know how long they take, I know what else I can get done in a day and I know the ‘boring’ stuff gets done without me having to think too much about it.
And who wants to spend loads of time thinking about boring jobs that have to be done over and over again?
Could your life stand a little more routine?