Monday, February 29, 2016

Why my Routines Rule.

I get a lot done in a day.  I like getting a lot done in a day.  Sometimes people ask me how I do so much.

The answer?  I cheat.

Seriously, I do.  My routines are how I cheat.  I automate as much of the mundane activity in my life as I can and by doing so I free up a ton of mental and emotional energy.  I automate things using my routines and my lists.  

Think of every task you need to get done to get ready in the morning.  
  • Open eyes
  • Turn off alarm clock
  • step out of bed.
  • Shower
  • brush teeth
  • comb hair
  • get dressed
  • etc etc etc
If we had to think of every one of those tasks we would go absolutely crazy.  But we don't have to.  Our brain takes care of it for us.  I realized I should do that with more stuff. (It wasn't just my idea, Gretchen Rubin, helped)

I don't want to rely on my subconscious to remember everything, so I make lists.  For pretty much everything.

The most prominent, and the most life changing, has been my nighttime routine.  I keep a list taped to the inside of my pantry that has all of the things I need to do each night for a successful day the next day.  Things like making sure I have all of the ingredients for dinner, packing my lunch, feeding the pets, and cleaning the kitchen.  I'm sure these tasks are going on in almost every one's house, the only difference is I don't have to think about it.  And that's awesome.

Because despite what people occasionally suggest, my routines don't take away spontaneity, they provide space for it.  With my mind free from remembering to switch the laundry, I can plan that awesome murder mystery dinner party I want to host instead.    And instead of "getting ready for the next day" being a mystery phrase that my husband hears me utter, it's a quantifiable thing that he can see and even do for me on occasion! ;)

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