Wake up, rush around to get ready for work, kiss your loved one goodbye, and sprint out the door. Same routine, different day. By Friday, your mind is on the beach, in your backyard, at your computer screen envisioning the “other things” you will be doing over the 2-day hiatus from your “day job”.
This is the same old song and dance for the majority of citizens in the United States. We create structure. Routines and protocols are a way of living and working. We won’t step outside the dotted line like our lives depend on it. But what if we changed this model?
I believe there are important reasons routines must change. Rather than get sucked in to the circle of an ‘average life’, why not step out of that spinning wheel and do something different? This is my personal philosophy on how to make more out of your daily life and habits. Please share your thoughts on this topic as well!
Modify or die.
In the 21st century, we have experienced the most amount of change than ANY OTHER generation. Technology, food, transportation, policies, environment and everything in between are evolving. We have evolved as a society and as humans. But, have we truly?
I wake up around the same time each day during the work week. My 4:30 a.m. alarm comes early. I shower, stretch, meditate and say my daily mantras before scooting out the door with my meals packed in my 6 Pack Bag and working a 7-hour shift, then going on to my other income sources of meal prep and freelance writing, and making time to train, run errands, come home and somehow get to sleep at a decent hour.
If I stick to this cycle for too long, you know what happens? I become a zombie. I lose myself in my work and the day to day whirlwinds. I neglect the people I care most for. And do not make time for fun, hobbies or developing “me” as a young adult ready to change the world.
How awful and boring is that? Can you relate?
It’s a shame it takes so long for us to analyze the real situation and what we are doing to our loved ones and ourselves. But, if we do catch ourselves or have someone point it out to us, we have a choice. Modify or die.
Why the phrase, “modify or die”? Because I feel parts of myself dying. Friendships, pieces of my personality, and worse, my actual health begins to suffer when I am not balancing my life with the pieces that make me, me.
I’m not saying go out and stop doing everything you are doing. Do not quit all your habits and ways you work. You can and I recommend you should maintain some “structure” in your life. That does not mean your routine cannot change. Sometimes, it is actually refreshing and challenging in a good way. What do I mean by that?
Well, for me, I used to meal prep all of my personal meals on the weekend. With my meal prep company taking a lot of time on the weekends, I have shifted my personal meal prep to evenings before bed. It has almost become a therapeutic wind-down routine. But with more on my plate as a freelance writer and biz owner, I’m consolidating my personal meal prep from every evening to only three nights per week and do more mini bulk meal prepping. This gives me more time to read, write and talk to friends and my boyfriend on the phone in the evenings. Then, on the weekends, I can also make time for more spontaneity.
Yes, I will still be training, eating well, doing yoga, meditating and reading. Will I do them in the exact order every single day? Nope. I’m changing my routines. But, I will prioritize them and schedule them into my day. It might just get moved around a bit.
This goes against wisdom I’ve heard from many business leaders. However, I’ve also observed a general similarity among them: their lives are focused on comfort and weekends. If we are living our lives the best we can, we can create comfort, joy, excitement, love and happiness every single day!
In the end, isn’t that all that really matters?
The best way I have found to modify is to recognize my peak productivity hours. Those are the times of day I am the MOST productive and attentive to my work. For most people, he or she might have a few different windows of time he or she is most attentive. I am best between 8am-10:30am, 2pm-4pm and 8pm-10pm. Therefore, I control my schedule to fit in my MOST IMPORTANT tasks during those times. Perhaps one day, I know I cannot rearrange a doctor’s appointment at 9am. Therefore, I can shift around another priority like stretching and meditation to 2pm and not get flustered I cannot do it from my usual 8:30am-9:00am.
I’m accomplishing my big wins. And adding more flexibility to my life and schedule. This is why I believe routines can and should change.
What are your peak productivity hours? Can you modify your habits and routines to fit those instead of trying to fit a daily “mold”? Let me know how it goes and what you will continue to do to make of each day.