The Importance of Routine


When I held a group recently, one of the women mentioned she needed to develop a routine in he life since she was no longer working in the outside workforce. She had enough going on, but felt her life lacked structure. 

Routines can give us a sense of rhythm that helps us feel productive. I work from home as a writer right now. But working in a home office is very distracting. I miss the days of leaving home and going to another setting where my mind is off my pets, housework, errands, and family concerns. Working from home is both a blessing and a curse. To be productive, I do well with some structure too. 

A Walking Date 

It seems every year I've changed my routine. When my dog was younger, getting her out for a trail walk was important. When my son was in high school, retrieving him was on my schedule. 

At one time, I structured my day by slotting in when I would write for pay, when I would do housework, and when I would exercise. 

Almost a year ago I started a routine of walking for 10 to 20 minutes around my outdoor pool deck immediately after rising out of bed. The pool deck is flat, convenient, and I can walk it in my bathrobe. I am supposed to wait to eat after taking a thyroid pill so this is a good way to fill the gap. This little bit of walking miraculously shakes loose tight muscles and the fresh air and sunshine clear my sinuses. It's been a very healthy addition to my morning. I will also usually pray while walking, asking God to take authority over the rest of my day. 

Pet Routine 

I'm usually accompanied by my cat and dog on this little walk. Once I return to the kitchen, they are ready to be fed. I often resent having to feed them when all I want is my morning coffee, but I realize even feeding them adds structure to my day. 

Gym Routine 

Recently, I joined a fitness gym that holds workouts called functional fitness geared for those over age 55. The only time slot is 10 am--five days a week. I can go as often as I'd like. This too has added structure. It's been great to meet other women my age and to be greeted regularly by them.

Family Obligations 

My son is commuting to university this fall and living back at home, so I'm now also driving him to the bus depot daily at 1 pm. Another routine addition. 

Add in there taking my vitamins and minerals, checking my email and Facebook account, making meals, and the day fills up quickly. It's up to me to fill the gaps as I choose adding in paid writing work, housework, errands, appointments, or outings with friends. 

If you are feeling a little loosey goosey about your time and wishing your day had a little more structure, perhaps my suggestions will help you. 

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