A recent article on the Harvard Business Review inspired me to write this article about the importance of a daily routine to success. In fact, research has shown that, throughout history, the most successful people in their fields, what some might call the geniuses of that field, almost all had daily routines. And interestingly, a number of similarities between these routines show up.
I, myself tend to stick to a routine when it comes to my work and I can proudly say that it has increased my efficiency quite a bit over the last few years. Now it has become my habit to plan the next day every night before I go to bed, to invest time on my personal projects everyday even if it is just for an hour, to think about my future goals and measure my weekly progress at the end of each week. Working 45-50hrs every week seem to be less painful when things are automated in my mind and I do not have to waste any time thinking about what I have to do next. It has started to come naturally.
Routine provides a sense of structure and familiarity. Structure is a way of organizing your life so that it makes sense to you. You wake up with a sense of ownership, order, and organization of your life. One of the more convenient reasons why structure is important is because it negates the need to regularly schedule your days ahead of time. You already know what you are doing each and every day. Once you are finished with a task, you already know what is next on your schedule. This structure provides direction in your life, enabling you to act instead of standing still because of a lack of direction or decision paralysis (not doing anything because you don’t know what to do).
Builds good habits:
We are creatures of habits. And Benjamin once said that “your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” Actively and consciously building a daily routine for yourself instills plenty of good habits. When we consciously decide what we want to do with every day of our lives, we generally want to do what makes us happy or what gives us the most utility. As such, we build tons of good habits along the way by actively participating in our daily lives. Read my another article on how to build good habits here.
A routine is something that you do over and over again, eventually making it a habit. Once it is a habit, you do not need to think about it to act. The act of automation increases efficiency in your life, by enabling you to do things without consciously thinking about it. You will automatically get things done, without having to remind yourself to get things done. In this manner, you do not let anything slip and you save time by not having to decide what to do with your day.
Negates the need for willpower and motivation:
A routine negates the act of having to will or motivate yourself to do something. Willpower is finite and motivation is not constant. That is why relying on routine to accomplish tasks is a lot easier than relying on willpower and motivation. Yes, when establishing a routine, you do have to will and motivate yourself to get stick the the routine. But once the routine is set, it is on autopilot and the need for constant willpower and motivation is no longer necessary.
Routinely doing something every day, even if it is just a little bit, builds big momentum in the long run. There is a quote that goes “little by little, a little becomes a lot.” And I find that to be true for almost everything in life.
It helps you become good at things:
Developing a routine will help you become faster and more adept at what you do each and every day. If you are constantly writing each and every day, you will become a better writer. If you are constantly programming, you will become a better programmer. If you are constantly practicing martial arts, you will become a better martial artist.
Saves work on the back end:
Routinely doing something will help save tons of hassles and work later on when it piles up. For instance, if you spend 10 minutes per day cleaning your house, you will save the headache of spending a whole day a couple of months down the line just dedicated to cleaning.
Having a supportive partner is less a routine and more an important lifestyle choice. This partner can be a romantic partner or simply a very close friend. But a good and supportive partner can lessen the load on you, help remove stress. They can be an invaluable support, both emotionally and practically. Conversely, a non-supportive partner can hinder your every move, whether by hampering your ability to focus on the important work or accentuating the importance of your busywork, causing you to question your priorities. So, be careful in your partners.
Routines are invaluable in your daily life, as they provide structure and focus to your activities. Always remember, though, that routines should serve you, you shouldn’t be a slave to them. Their purpose is to allow you to accomplish your goals and live a happy, healthy life. Accordingly, learning how to build positive routines in your life today is important for your future life as well.
Thanks for reading. 🙂