It really important to develop your own internal structure. You can create your own spreadsheet TODAY and start putting it into practice.
So what are some of the benefits of routine?
Routine makes us feel safe
- When we are fully aware of our boundaries, we can better anticipate what’s ahead. Once much of the unknown is removed, we feel safe, confident and calm.
Reduces stress and anxiety
- Routine allows you to take positive action and be proactive, reducing much of the stress and anxiety around feeling helpless or out of control.
Reduces cortisol levels
- The stress hormone cortisol can cause inflammation, visceral fat storage and issues with gut health (80% of your immune system is in your gut). A stress reaction is supposed to be short-lived – to help you to escape immediate danger. If you are living with high levels of stress/cortisol, your body will deposit visceral fat (around your organs) in an attempt to provide you with an immediately accessible energy source to propel you away from danger, however, we’re sitting at our desk instead of sprinting away from a wild animal! As a double-whammy, cortisol then stimulates our appetite to help us to replenish all of that energy we expended during our escape.
- It’s important to add coping mechanisms to your daily schedule, such as exercise, meditation and activities you find enjoyable/relaxing.
- Once you have your schedule in place, you can further break down each task into timelines, allowing you to better predict completion/deadlines and further reducing stress and allowing accurate communication of this to your clients/colleagues
Allows us to be ‘present’
- When you’re following routine, you’re not thinking about how you ‘should’ be doing something else whilst you’re working, taking a break or exercising. With routine, the quality of your time increases and the negative emotions of stress, worry, guilt and/or feeling overwhelmed significantly decrease.
Ensures we achieve balance
- Once you complete your structure, it will be glaringly obvious if you are lacking balance anywhere – i.e.: exercise/down time/time to prep/eat meals, etc.
Improves quality of sleep
- Routine will get you back into sync with your circadian rhythms (24hr body clock). Routine = better sleep, improved mood, tolerance levels, ability to focus and overall mental health.
Reduces procrastination and worry
- Getting your tasks out of your head and in a spreadsheet allows you to gain better perspective of all tasks at hand.
The thought of doing something, or the worry about not doing it, is always far worse than just getting it done!
We’ve all procrastinated to some degree. Some have turned it into an art form! Contrary to what we tell ourselves, “putting it off” doesn’t exist. It simply remains undone. If you’re a person who lives one way, yet proclaims to live another way in the future, I’m afraid you’re simply trying to justify not getting things done.
Accompanying procrastination is the inevitable neurotic behaviour, along with useless, negative emotions such as guilt and anxiety. These emotions often consume more time and energy than just getting things done in the first place. Lying to yourself keeps you from having to admit you’re not a doer. The bottom line is, if it’s important enough to be on your list of activities, roll up your sleeves and get started! If it’s not important – let it go.
Improves overall physical & mental wellbeing
All of the above will contribute significantly to your overall health and wellbeing – both physically and mentally.
These are skills that you can carry through your life during COVID-19 and for the rest of your life.