Routines May Sound Boring But They Just Work

There’s a part of me that longs to live a life of spontaneity and freedom, deciding on a whim moment by moment where to go and what to do.

But even if I put aside minor issues like finances and family responsibilities, I know I wouldn’t actually enjoy this approach anyway.

For me, boring as it may sound, routines and habits are the absolute pillars of my life, helping me stay relatively healthy and stable, and getting anything meaningful done.

So after a period of trying to just write when I felt like it – then realising I never found myself twiddling my thumbs with a free chunk of time to do that, so nothing got written at all – I’m returning to a more regular routine of writing for 35hunter.

The trick for me has always been to find an existing routine and latch something else on to it. So you’re not creating a whole new habit from scratch, just expanding one that’s already there and working.

Everyone has these habit anchors, even if you need to go back to absolute fundamentals we all share, like the times we sleep and eat.

My oldest son has been trampolining for some years, and the gym is far enough away to make it more sensible to wait for him than go to and fro twice.

Plus of course it’s more economical, and the majority of our car fuel expenditure is for this purpose.

So I have two and half hours, twice a week, to use as I see fit while waiting for his class to finish.

Part of this I use to watch films or episodes – something I hardly do the rest of the week.

I start work fairly early, and in the evening, by the time the kids are in bed, I have just about time to relax a little with my wife, complete my daily yoga, and read a few pages of a book. (Routines again, you see!)

But I’ve also committed a significant part of this gym class waiting time to blogging again.

I’ve been blogging on at least one blog or another since 2004, so I’ve plenty of experience in what works.

And in terms of writing, regular sessions each week are what keeps me going and gets the words out there.

So why try to change what isn’t broken?

How about you? How much does routine play a part in your life – with photography, writing, and everything else?

As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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8 thoughts on “Routines May Sound Boring But They Just Work”

  1. My life falls apart, and my stress levels shoot through the roof, when I don’t have and follow routines. The pandemic and staying home upended all of my routines and I was a walking mess for a month until I built new ones!

    1. Ah Jim, I knew you’d relate to this one. That is the beauty with the concept of routine, we can build new ones whenever we want, and by adding them on to the fundamental rhythms we all have in our lives, it makes them easier to embrace and became second nature.

  2. Like Jim, disruptions in my routine bring anxiety. I had many pre-pandemic routines disrupted. I created new ones, but now, post pandemic, I’m anxious again. Going back to the old ways and old places triggers anxiety. I have started on new ones and new locations.

    1. I think it’s like that saying “and book” Khurt, “You Can’t Go Home Again”. Once you’ve moved on, if you go back it won’t ever be the same, but that’s not to say you can’t build new, equally important and powerful routines as and when you need them. I think we have to keep evolving – the rest of the world does!

  3. Dan, I am thrilled you intend blogging more here. I so enjoy you as part of my routine in responding to your posts. Every day for me is different due to my ever changing health problems. I use the Reminders app on my iPhone where I list the main personal care, appointments, home and garden maintenance and care and my hobbies and exercise and other things on a daily basis, weekly, monthly etc along with other information to help me navigate my day. I can see at any given moment what essentials need doing and what can be shifted to another day if I am unwell. It is a game changer for a list maker like me. I am prone to losing track of time so I also put in alarms during the day that are labelled and tell me what is needed…a phone call, meeting, medication, eat!!! I live alone so this helps me a lot.

    1. I think the times when I have had a whole “free” day, I’ve ended up wasting it as I haven’t just picked something and done it. Having a simple series of hooks throughout the day where things happen (even things like regular mealtimes for example) makes the blocks of time in between smaller and more manageable, and easier to fill.

  4. Hi Dan, I think in all fairness since C19 came along… many people have had a Control Alt Delete moment with regards to life in general…and are now putting more effort into what is viewed as “free time” which makes me smile as whoever came up with the title of freetime had to be a capitalist…. as its not free its time that should be used to relax.. and recharge the batteries… How or when anyone does this is purely down to “whatever floats their boat”…. Personally, I have also tried to go down the impromptu route… and some of it has worked ..some of it has shown that a strict routine is the only way… either way one thing I have learnt is that its good to do a Control Alt Delete every now and then…I have now decided to put it in the diary for the 1st week of January each year…. Kind regards Lynd.

    1. Lynd, good to hear from you! Yes I think even if we don’t reboot everything, it’s good to reset certain parts of our life now and again. With my daily practice, it’s been going nearly 12 years, but the exercises and components continue to evolve with time to keep it interesting and rewarding.

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