You might be one of those people who goes with the flow and allows life to surprise you. Well, keep reading! For a very long time I was like that and I know exactly how it feels.
You feel spontaneous, you feel open to everything, not rigidly putting everything in time slots. But I tell how else you are feeling, because I’ve been there too. You feel your schedule is hectic and you feel like you don’t manage to finish anything you put your mind to, because everything is flowing too easily.
I believe there is a time for everything and it is healthy to have some sort of a balance. It’s better to have both: scheduled activities and “surprise me” time or lazy time – in whatever proportion works for you! And I am going to tell you why.
I didn’t manage to organize my schedule overnight. I went through a lot of trial and error, I experienced significant changes in my life (personal and professional) that threw me off course. Like I literally had to change a few countries, islands and towns. But every time I managed to get back on track. At the end of the day we’re all humans, we should be allowed to get off course every once in a while, to enjoy a little bit of a time off and then start over.
In today’s article I’m going to share 4 benefits of having a fixed routine. These proved to be true for me before the quarantine, they are still holding true right now and for sure they will continue to be there after the quarantine is over.
1. Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Because it increases predictability, a fixed routine reduces stress and anxiety.Think about it. If every Sunday you plan in advance the main tasks for the week, how good would you feel? You don’t need to remember anything, it’s all there on your agenda. And then each evening, just plan ahead the next day (it only takes 5 minutes).
I, honestly, feel calmer ever since I started to schedule everything, because I don’t have a constant fear, lingering in the back of my mind that I am going to forget something (to do something, to call someone, you know how it is). And I feel more focused on the tasks I chose to do.
2. Increasing Productivity
Regarding the point we just discussed earlier, you will also have a better look on the things you accomplish. You have a clearer view on the tasks and things you complete. So you feel good about yourself when, at the end of the day or at the end of the week, you take a look back and you see you’ve done a big part of what you put on that agenda.
Before I was doing this, months were passing by and I felt like I was never accomplishing anything, or worse, that I didn’t do anything good – or I am not good enough to even finish something I started. So…. Pat yourself on the back for any tiny thing you manage to cross off your list.
3. Healthier Lifestyle And Better Sleep
Try and implement fixed hours for both going to sleep and waking up every day. YES! Even on weekends! Speaking of the exact number of sleep hours, I’m going to tell you a secret: it’s not the same number for everyone! Studies suggest that you need around 7-9 hours of sleep, but it depends on age, gender or activity level. Before the quarantine I had a fixed schedule, but the magic happened during the quarantine. When I found out I’m going to be “trapped” in the house for who knows how many weeks, I immediately made a schedule so I don’t go crazy in the house.
I wake up every day at 8 and try to be in bed by 23. I have a live fitness class at 9 and dancing at 18:30!
4. Increasing Joy
Remember that schedule we were talking about? Write down any activity that makes you happy. Every day do something for yourself. Remember you should be your best friend, otherwise when you’re alone you’re in bad company (like Sadhguru says). Life is not only about work, life is also about enjoying, so you get the “fuel” to continue working the next day. Otherwise you rush straight into burnout, hitting that lowest low from where it’s getting harder and harder to get back up. The lower you go, the longer the process of getting back on track it becomes. It would be so much easier if you would take tiny breaks and enjoy yourself every once in a while.
I hope you are going to enjoy at least one of these benefits by starting to plan ahead your days (and weeks).
Remember to implement the changes slowly, to take everything step by step. No need to overwhelm yourself with 5 new things at once. Try one and build from there.
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