The Benefits Of Routine

I’ve probably said this before, but there really are a lot of benefits to routine. I’m always reminded of this when my routine is broken for one reason or another.

I’ve found that in my life I need a routine. I need structure. Without it, I find one thing bleeding into the next until the whole day has passed with precious little to show for it. But if I have a plan, I can get things accomplished.

I also find a routine to be comforting. It’s a way of controlling an uncontrollable world, and gives me a way of having power in my own life. I might not be able to control the stock market, or world governments, or even my Internet connection, but I can control my routine, at least to a certain extent. The order of a daily structure helps me anchor my life and opens a window of space and time and opportunity for the Muse to show up for a lengthy conversation.

You might think that having a daily structure would stifle creativity, but it really doesn’t. Rather, the framework gives me a chance to be who I am. As with a sonnet or a haiku, there is a set structure, but the exploration of possibilities within that structure is endless.

But life being what it is, you can’t always follow your routine. People and circumstances push into your personal space, push past the boundaries you’ve established, push aside your routine and insist on their own demands. I find those times to be especially challenging. I become disoriented and much less productive. I also find myself becoming extremely anxious and looking around for ways to anchor myself. Some of the ways I choose are not good alternatives. So I cherish and try to preserve my routine, and I try to build enough flexibility into it that I can bend without breaking.

I hope this doesn’t make me anal, but I guess it probably does. And I’m okay with that. Because there are a lot of benefits to a good routine.


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