It’s funny how powerful routine is.

Take exercise, for example. If I try to find time for exercise, I’ll do it sporadically. If I make it part of the way I get to work, and I think of it as a cheaper, healthier alternative to taking the subway, then I exercise without needing to make time for it. (Someday, I’ll build in weights, flexibility, and cardio too.)

Or vegetables and fruits: after we switched to making our lunches a week in advance, we found ourselves forgetting to go into the fridge and eat fresh fruits and vegetables, so they spoiled. Now, if I’m hungry when I get home, I make a beeline for the broccoli, and I make that part of our meals. (Which doesn’t preclude, say, raiding the pantry for instant noodles… Mmm…)

I find it helpful to outline my routines for mornings, evenings, and weekends. I leave enough room to be flexible, of course. =) And it’s relaxing to mentally run through my routines for the next day.

Things I need to work back into my routines: writing, sketching, library runs (tend to be weekends), reading…

Maybe this is part of growing up: gradually smoothening the roads you travel, while not getting stuck in ruts.

What are your favourite routines and rituals?

  • I always told myself that I wasn’t a man of routine, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that I strive on it; even the order in which I open my browser tabs in the morning follows a routine — I’m bound to forget to check something if I don’t go in that same order.

    The one routine that I find absolutely necessary is my bedtime routine: brushing my teeth while I put on my knee brace at the same time, pulling up the covers, reading for ten minutes before I take off my glasses, putting my glasses in the same place, turning off the light only after I’ve taken off my glasses and turned down the covers, all the little things. When I don’t follow my routine, I’m bound to have a fitful rest. (And be unable to find my glasses in the morning!)

  • Rick Innis

    Gustave Flaubert wrote “Be steady and well-ordered in your life so that you can be fierce and original in your work.” I’m working on finding that fine balance between a groove and a rut.

  • That’s an excellent way to think about it. =) Thanks for sharing that quote, Rick! It’s true – the calmer and more routine the rest of my life is, the easier it is to free myself to dream. When I can’t find my keys, it’s hard to do good work. =)

  • Gundeep Kaur

    Hi…..I appreciate your efforts and work been done…It is highly encouraging to know that you are doing so many things at the early years of your age..

    Keep it up!!!!!

    Besties !!

  • I started thinking about my routines and I figured out that I am not good at setting them. I keep changing a lot. Most of the things I try, I skip after a while.
    However I do have some process that may be named “routines”:

    – email/blog reading
    – wake up early on sundays/saturdays :(