A really common question we get here at LearnDoBecome is, “What do I do if my life isn’t set up for consistent routines?”
There are tons of scenarios where this might be the case. Maybe you work an erratic shift in your profession, maybe you are caring for another person, or maybe you have health issues that make your days unpredictable.
We had a fantastic conversation about this in our STEP Mastery group, specifically regarding one of our members with some health issues. The principles apply to every situation, so here are some of the responses I thought would be helpful to share on the podcast today!
You can only do your best. We are all human beings. And that’s the best we will ever be! Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Just look at your progress. And celebrate! – Brenda
You’re not alone! April has shared that routines are kind of like the luggage return at the airport. If we don’t catch it the first time around, we’ll have another opportunity next time. Routines don’t have do be rigid. In fact, they’re better if you think of them as supporting you rather than you having to take care of all of them. – Taryn
I love the idea of the perfect Multiple- Choice Day. My intention is to me mindful each day. I have variable energy and some physical issues. But, as I slow down and do things mindfully, it can be a perfect day. – Catherine
Personally, I would consider a really reduced routines list—just the essentials and then maybe have tiers with things you could add in if you are feeling good that day. Perhaps that would take some of the pressure off. We have to adapt things to fit our lives and circumstances. – Rachel
A schedule is when there’s a time frame attached. A routine is just the order in which you prefer to do any specific task or string of tasks. You can have multiple variations depending on how you’re feeling. – Gwen
Then Lynn, the person who asked the question, responded with, “As I read your comment I realize I DO have a routine!! I don’t do it at the same time or in the same depth every day, but I do have a list. Thank you so much!!”
Then Gwen responded with. ‘Sometimes putting a name to what we are already doing gives us a fresh way of seeing and interacting with it. Without a name, it can be there but it’s invisible.”
What helps me is to have divided my home into what FlyLady calls zones. My routine is to have a focus on one zone a day. Monday is bedroom day and I do what I can in it. Change and wash sheets etc. I have a plan for what a “perfect “ cleaning of the bedroom is but I just do what I can. Tuesday the bathroom is my zone and I usually manage the basics, sometimes my “perfect” cleaning plan and the rest of my house is the same. That is what my household routine basics are. I’m ok now with just doing what I can. Monday comes along every week, so do all the other days so there is always the opportunity to do more next time. – Sharon
I feel like most of what I do is routines… I often can’t get out from under all my routines to get projects moved along . Today’s routines (I have how frequently I do it after each one D for daily, W for weekly, Q for quarterly) were clearing out the fridge & wiping it down W, deadheading plants W, getting tire pressure checked Q, walking D, taking supplements D, folding laundry W, sink of hand wash dishes/empty dishwasher D, wiping out the microwave W, review calendar / email / task manager D. My list is in Asana and it is huge with annual and as needed routines too. Hope this helps you! – Jenny
I then added, “Love this discussion so much! Another element to consider is “emotion work.” Sometimes you might be physically healthy, but you are thinking through a lot or emotionally supporting a variety of people. Today, for example, I needed to emotionally and physically rest, so I did just a couple of my regular morning routine items. But really, the world didn’t come to a halt, and I didn’t magically become a failure. I think most routines are REALLY flexible. The trick is teaching our minds that the flexibility and grace does not equal ‘laziness.'”
Elastic habits using levels of a goals might help. Do a task 5 minutes at least all days, 10 min on most days, and an extra good job of 15 sometimes. – Kaye
I do most of the same things each day, not necessarily in the same order…. I also am very “delight” driven – so I will scan my list of daily routine tasks and get sparked by what is feasible or motivating right then. – Kendra
However YOU decide to look at your routines, I encourage you to create something that fuels and serves YOU. You were not made to serve your routines. 🙂
So grateful to have you with us, and we’d love for you to add to the conversation below!
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