So last week I shared 3 common mistakes with goal-setting and this week I’m sharing 3 mistakes when it comes to routine building – yes, there’s a bit of a pattern emerging here!
So, how beneficial really is having a routine? The answer, in short, is very.
“But Camilla” I hear you cry, “Routines are boring, life is for living, I don’t want to bog myself down with a mundane routine and miss out on all the spontaneity!”
And my response to you is, life is indeed for living BUT routines don’t have to be boring, quite the contrary in fact! What having a good routine actually does for you is, it creates more time and energy for the fun stuff.
I can tell you’re not convinced, so please allow me to explain.
We are all creatures of habit. We crave certainty in our life – I should think more than ever right now seeing as there has been a distinct lack of it in all areas of our lives the last 9 months!
Certainty makes us feel safe and secure, and this in turn reduces our fear and anxiety.
And what happens when you feel less anxious?
You get your best thinking done and you enhance your life by finding creative ways to bring more satisfaction and fulfillment into it.
And so in a world where there is very little certainty outside of ourselves – because let’s face it, people are unpredictable, as is the economy, as is the weather! – we have to create certainty within ourselves. And yes, you guessed it, having a routine is the easiest way for us to do that!
But there is a right way and a wrong way to craft your daily and weekly routine, and having created a routine the wrong way many times over I’m going to share my past mistakes with you so you don’t make them too.
Because if you are rebelling against your own routine regularly; you are undermining yourself each time which doesn’t make for a confident living, not to mention constantly ‘stopping and starting’ a routine is quite the drain of energy.
The first problem was that I hadn’t set my goals correctly, and the second problem was that I chained myself to other people’s routines which did not suit or fit me.
There was also a 3rd problem.
The elements of my routine weren’t clearly defined, and so work crossed into my personal life and vice versa. I thought I had this work-life balance thing sorted by combining the two, but it just made a mess and brought dissatisfaction in all areas. My personal happiness was linked to my productivity with work, and my progress with work was linked to everything I did – I couldn’t relax for a moment!
So without further ado…
Mistake #1 – Having INCORRECT GOALS which you base your routine around
I didn’t have clearly defined goals because I didn’t take the time to work out what I was truly passionate about and so I ended up building a routine around getting me somewhere I didn’t want to go. It’s no wonder I lost interest and felt lost as it’s like wanting to go to the seaside but setting off with a map that takes you into the mountains!
It doesn’t feel right, and the journey feels uneasy as you sense you are getting further away from where you actually want to be going.
I won’t hash over that story again but head over to my previous post on the 3 common mistakes with goal-setting if you haven’t seen it yet to see where I, and so many others, go wrong. Once you’ve grasped that, head back to this post for the next 2 mistakes.
Mistake #2 – ADOPTED routine instead of SELF-CREATED routine
I knew I needed structure in my life, particularly with starting up my own businesses, because there was no one there to plan my workload or tell me what to do. But while so hell-bent on building a successful business I failed to acknowledge one rather important thing. Myself.
Instead of asking myself what I need and recognising how I work, I instead looked to the successful people to see what they did. But I could never maintain it because their routine was based around who they were and how they work and I was different (as we all are from one another) and I work a different way.
If you boil a potato or a piece of broccoli it becomes soft, but if you boil an egg then it becomes hard. Meaning the same method that produces a specific outcome could produce a totally different outcome on something or someone else. And so once again it comes back to focusing on the person or situation and not the method. A key idea that you’ll see crop up time and time again in my coaching and teaching – One size never fits all!
Mistake #3 – Lack of INTENTION and BOUNDARIES
Life is busy, the lines often get blurred between our activities and our relationships as we try to multi-task and get the most out of everything that we do.
But the problem with this is that your brain doesn’t have a chance to switch off. If you don’t separate work activities from self-care and pure relaxation, then you’re basically switched on all the time which is your yearly pass for multiple trips to the barren land of burnout.
Trying to package up nights out with networking activities, or competitor research as light, recreational reading in your downtime leaves your brain switched on. If you leave it switched on long enough then just like a lightbulb left on constantly it will eventually burn out. And if we stick with the lightbulb analogy a little longer – what happens to a lightbulb when it’s left on for a considerable amount of time? It gets SUPER hot! Think of that as your brain, frying as you try to multitask your way to success and fulfillment! It just doesn’t work. You need to have intentional downtime in your schedule.
If you don’t tell your brain when it is supposed to switch off then it doesn’t, similarly, if you don’t tell it to switch on then it doesn’t either. And THIS is why routine is so important to ensure that you are getting a balance of rest and productivity.
If you don’t get adequate rest and relaxation then you burn out and if you get too much rest and relaxation then you become stagnant.
Yes, it’s a bit of a balancing act, and this is why it’s important to balance your acts first before doing them.
So plan your routine out in advance and check for balance. There needs to be sufficient time for your brain and body to rest, and sufficient time for both to grow and develop.
If you enjoyed this then you might enjoy my previous post ‘Is Your Lifestyle Working With You?‘
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