Do Your Routines Burden or Empower You?


Most of the time when you run into people and ask how they’re doing, they answer in one of two ways: fine, how are you? or I’m swamped; I have so much to do!


Today we are going to talk about the “I’m perpetually busy” response and what it really means.


Look, we all get busy. I get it. Life flows as it does and constant preparing to control every aspect of it is not living, its existing. So, how do you manage the life in front of you before you become entangled in a game of constant catch-up? Breathe. Sit down. Release your mobile device or brownie. Then review your routines. Honestly.

Must-Have Basics and Outdated Routines


Basic tasks such as brushing your teeth, showering, eating, managing work and home, spending time with loved ones and fitting in exercise can get overwhelming at times. But, what are your routines around these things? Are you dragging yourself through every last one? Are you feeling energized? Do you always feel you’re running out of time? (Please keep in mind that I say this as a procrastinator at heart.)


What you may not notice readily, is that your lack of ability to commit to the routines you create is the same as not knowing yourself well enough to create the kind of supportive lifestyle you need.

Plug and Play vs. Customize


A lot of people want a formula to plug and play. That approach can work with doing laundry, paying bills and other no-thought tasks, but how you choose to put together your routine is what will make or break your enjoyment of life. Its the real difference between surviving and thriving.


For example, I’m not a morning person. Never have been. When I get out of bed earlier than 7, 7:30 I am cranky the rest of the day. This includes waking up on my own or if the alarm blasts my butt into reality. So, instead of forcing myself and my heavy limbs to early morning meetings or to hack out morning pages ala The Artist’s Way, I just don’t do it at that time of the day.

Know Thyself; Create a Natural Routine that Works


Knowing your body’s natural rhythms and how to mesh that with all you need to do can be a challenge, but its doable. And before you tell me its not easy to do with kids, I totally get it. My sister tells me that all the time. Its also glaringly obvious that she doesn’t take simple steps to make things easier for herself, either. They are your children, so set the example for them to follow. Be flexible with how things flow, but educate your children by demonstrating how to enforce boundaries on your time. It’s a great lesson for them and practice for you.


We all get trapped in routines — doing, thinking and connecting in a similar way all the time. Soon we realize we don’t feel as fulfilled as we once were, or would like to be. Well, nothing changes if you continue to set yourself up for failure. Reevaluate and switch up routines to create a more user-friendly lifestyle that supports how your life is NOW. Then watch the grace of life show up to support you.


I also implore you to drop the attachment to the “busy = important” story. You don’t have to prove anything, but it IS important to know what works for you today and your evolved life. Even if you don’t think you show up that way, its still worth a review.


Getting a handle on creating a life that supports you in busy and slow times is an art form in and of itself, but I know you can do it. Just start somewhere!


Photo credit: Lucy_Hill on Flickr