This morning I was out running along the sea front at 6am, this is something I have begun doing again on Tuesday, Thursdays and Sundays as part of my ongoing fitness plan. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I lift weights. With both I follow a very specific training schedule and know what to do when I am in the gym or out on a run. The main thing that ensures I do this week in, week out, is having a routine. I have established habits and know how to establish new effective habits when a change is required.
Many of you are likely to have switched off at the very notion of me mentioning ‘routine’ because it is not necessarily the sexiest or most inspiring topics. When I suggest to my clients or students that they establish a daily routine, or even a number of daily routines for different aspects of their day, they often start to think of a strict day with no room for fun, down time, playfulness or spontaneity. I could not live without those things in my life. You see, as I get older, I recognise more than ever that there are so many benefits of having a solid daily routine, and that is what I am writing about here on the blog today.
Some people tend to revolt in the face of too much organisation and revel in chaos, and there are times when chaos will pay dividends, but ultimately it usually ends up with very little getting done and potentially result in confusion, lack of direction and upset.
It sounds romantic to live without structure, I am aware of that and have wanted it for myself in many chapters of my life – in particular during my backpacking travelling years. Yet for most, it can end up being a stressful mess. Today, I have morning routines, incredibly well-organised work day routines, evening routines, and you know what? I have more peace of mind, more time with my loved ones and more free-time, and creative time than ever before.
This article is going to embellish this and explain the main reasons I believe you need to embrace the power of routines and get them into your life.
1. Routines Create Momentum:
One of the wealthiest men in history, Warren Buffett nurtured one important habit that he cites often. Buffett’s daily routine includes a lot of reading and he states in some interviews and books that spends about 80% of some of his days reading!
Importantly, he reads a lot, every day.
When asked how to get smarter in a CNBC interview, Buffet held up a stack of papers, company prospectuses and annual reports and said. “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest.”
That is momentum.
Routinely engaging in something each and every day, builds big momentum in the long run. There is that old adage “little by little, a little becomes a lot.” And this is so true here. Although the benefits of doing something small every day may be small, the payoff is massive after a while.
I received a testimonial this week from a graduate of my college, it goes like this:
“Having finished and qualified Adams 10 month hypnotherapy diploma course I just want to give him a big ten stars thumbs up. I have qualified from other hypnotherapy schools, but nothing I have encountered so far does match this quality. Adams depth of knowledge in hypnotherapy and evidence based approaches is superior. You just have to sit back and suck it up like a sponge. it’s pure gold. This course is definitely not the easy, I just want to get some more hours, kind of training. Don’t do this course if you don’t like to work for it and only like the practical stuff.
After the course I felt like I had been chewed on and put back together. I knew I had to come up with a new way of thinking and a new way of dealing with clients and looking at the approaches I had previously been using. It took some time assembling myself but it was all for the better. Now I feel like I’m back in better shape than ever.
This course has giving me a huge amount of knowledge and approaches. A big theoretical underpinning. The ability think critically. It has given me an ability to kind of meta looking on other approaches and assess why they work or don’t work.
Adam is now one of the references I use the most. When in doubt, ask Adam.”
Thank you Michael Beligiannis.
If you visit the testimonials page of my college website, I have many such references whereby people refer to the knowledge I have of my professional field. That comes from my daily routine. Reading 20 pages of peer reviewed journals a day, for example, means I will have read 7,300 pages in a year, which helps support my claims of being a complete hypnosis geek! When running, driving to the gym and working out, I listen to audiobooks, those minutes add up and I typically get through at least two, big audiobooks a month. Not just for studying and learning though, when it comes to exercising; running just three 3 mile runs a week means you will have run a total of 468 miles in a year, the distance of 18 marathons. Walking your dog one single mile a day is 365 miles a year. Eating habits, productivity habits, writing habits, and all sorts of other things benefit massively from relentless forward progress inherent in a quality routine.
Routines build momentum, which naturally leads to…..
2. You Get More Done:
When you have an established routine, you get to wave goodbye to those days whereby you feel like nothing will get accomplished. Or those days where you feel so overwhelmed by goals and desired outcomes y ou have that it seems like nothing will get done.
Your daily routine is likely to result in your ticking off many more things on your to-do list because you’ll be scheduling effectively, getting tasks completed and making progress towards your bigger goals. A routine will often result in you setting specific times for tasks and important objectives in your day and once you have developed that routine into a habit, you are far less likely to put things off.
Of course there will be occasional distractions or matters that require you to go and attend to which means you run out of time in your day, but a quality routine enhances productivity for sure and makes it much more likely you’ll be more productive.
Speaking of which, here are some articles that will really help you be more productive within your routines:
Not only do you get more done, but you are likely to become more efficient with what you are doing. When you routinely engage in something repeatedly and systematically, it becomes habit and thus you are less likely to need to think about it in order to act. This form of habitual automation increases efficiency, it decreases decision fatigue and you’ll not have to think too much about what you need to be doing and whether or not to do it.
As you continue to develop effective habits and systems and processes throughout your life, it means that you’ll be far less likely of having to deal with mountains of work or issues by letting something problematically build up – like people not organising their bookkeeping and end up having to do it all the week before it is due and write-off most of that week catching up.
3. Routines Enhance Mental Health:
During mayhem-filled, disorganised days, anxiety and stress levels tend to rise. I know some people will state that this kind of chaos can be creative and yes, that may be so on occasion. However, a daily routine removes this type of stress and frustration and eliminates so much guess work and lack of coherence from even the busiest of days.
Additionally, a solid daily routine is so good for mental health that it has been employed to help people with bipolar disorder. According to Salynn Boyles on WebMD.com, “Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine report that bipolar patients fared better when their treatment stressed the importance of establishing daily routines for things like sleeping and eating. Social rhythm therapy, as it has been dubbed by the researchers, is based on the idea that irregular sleeping habits and those associated with other daily activities can trigger manic episodes by disturbing the body’s sleep-wake (circadian system) clock.”
Even among people with other types of issues, in my therapy rooms I certainly find great benefit for my clients by establishing healthy, constructive and effective routines for enhancing their capacity to make changes in their lives.
4. You Actually Get More Time For You:
On the contrary to what many people might initially think, your routine is likely to give you more time for healthy relaxation. As well as getting more done, as discussed in my previous points, it also means that you get to make more free-time or ‘me time’ a priority.
That is, schedule time for doing things that are going to enrich you on a number of levels, revitalise you, stimulate you, make you happier, fulfil you, and then plan all the other stuff around it. You’ll be rewarded on so many levels for doing this.
5. You’ll Forge Better Habits:
“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” – Benjamin Franklin.
We want more good habits in our lives. When you actively and consciously develop a solid, effective daily routine for yourself, it tends to inherently instill plenty of good habits. When we pro-actively make the decision to choose what we are going to do with each aspect of our lives, we tend to want to do the things that make us happier or make us more effective in an area of our lives. The simple act of routinely pro-actively participating in our own daily lives, we forge better habits for ourselves.
Likewise though, a daily routine also has the ability to help free us of our bad habits.It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you are establishing lots of good habits, then it leaves less room for your old, bad habits and the new vein of positivity and good habits will help dismantle much of the outdated, bad habits.
This may a tad too idealistic, but I assure you persist with the new chosen routines and unwanted old ways will become a thing of the past. You might even identify the bad habits you wish to bring an end to, then specifically make it your aim to create a routine and forge the good habits that eradicate unwanted ones.
6. You Get Life Autonomy:
A routine provides structure. You get to choose and plan that structure.
Colin Powell once gave a powerful TED Talk about the importance of instilling structure in the lives of children. The same can be said about us adults. An established routine provides structure and also offers up a sense of familiarity and ownership of one’s own life. This does not mean that we never venture out of our comfort zone, not at all, it simply means organising your life so that it makes sense to you. You wake each day with a deep sense of ownership, order, and organisation of your life and you get a sense of knowing the direction you are steering your life.
With routine, you get to choose how your days go. Without any sort of routine, you run the risk of becoming a passive recipient of life and life just sort of happens to you. Having your routine and accompanying schedule means you have autonomy, you have control over your day. You get to choose to do exactly what you want, focusing on accomplishing your goals. I love that notion and it is incredibly rewarding and satisfying to live that way.
7. You Overcome Procrastination:
Procrastination thrives when you do not know what the heck is happening and have little clear direction.
I work with so many people whose lives just seem to fly by with little meaning or fulfilment because they write off periods of time due to not knowing what direction to go in. Working through your schedule and adhering to your established routines means you get things done, you know what is expected of you and you have direction and a sense of purpose fuelling it all.
Typically, having more days like that leads to…..
8. Routines Help You Sleep Better:
One major thing to be found in so much research upon sleeping better – is having a routine. In the same way that your working life gets smoother with an effective routine, so your nighttimes will too. Your body will respond wonderfully to an established rhythm that promotes better sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, having a routine whereby you go to bed at the same (or very similar) time every night, and rising from bed at the same time each day helps regulate the body’s internal clock.
9. You No Longer Need Willpower:
When you are riding the wave of momentum, and have life autonomy and a degree of effective automatic productivity in so many areas of your life, you start to negate the need for willpower. Once a routine and subsequent habit is formed, you no longer need to battle with yourself to eat healthily, follow the exercise plan, study, write, read and all the other things that you wish to do with your life. They start to happen by themselves.
Willpower and motivation levels can go up and down, so relying on your routine to accomplish goals and tasks is more effective. Get your routines established and set to autopilot, and you thus make willpower and motivation redundant and unnecessary.
When you examine the routines of some of the greatest and most influential people to have walked the planet, you tend to notice some common themes within their routines and daily habits.
1. They stay focused on their life goals and sense of purpose. They master being able to eliminate distraction that could take them away from that main focus.
2. They all tend to be early risers who really made the most of the first few hours of the morning.
3. Almost all of them incorporate some form of exercise into their daily routine.
Here are a handful of articles to help you with these areas in particular by the way:
These are simple and easy ways of following in the footsteps of some of life’s great achievers. If you wish to make a more profound impact upon the world, or just upon your own world, or if you wish to lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life, then establishing a set of routines and including some of the elements mentioned here is going to help you do that.
I’ve always wanted to devote much of my life to a few meaningful pursuits that hopefully will leave the world in better shape than I found it. Routines make that more realistic and possible. Consistent action, relentless forward progress, eliminating distractions, focus upon the main objectives; these are the grand themes of having solid routines and even though there’ll be challenges, being able to step back into the routine will reward us greatly after such challenges.
If you want a more satisfying experience of life, if you are keen to be productive and if you wish to make an impression upon the world, then a structured daily routine is where it’s at. Set your days in such a way that you go where you need and then enjoy the glory of becoming incredibly accomplished.
1. Has poor productivity held you back and is it still doing so now? Do you need to learn how to develop better routines?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
2. Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others become more productive and establish better habits?
Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist for whom poor productivity is negatively effecting the success of your business? Do you need to be more productive to fulfil your career ambitions?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar.