Get up in the morning at 6. Brush teeth. Potty. Grab a cup of coffee. Read Newspaper…Commute to the office. Have tea…Come home. Watch TV. Check FB…Check Whatsapp. Sleep.
The above is an indicative typical daily routine for some.
Sit in front of the mirror. Take Brush. Comb the left side with 20 strokes. Comb the middle with 20 strokes. Comb the right side with 20 strokes.
The above is an indicative typical ritual for combing hair.
A routine is a sequential set of tasks. Ritual is also a sequential set of activities meant to perform a task. Both routine and ritual can be used interchangeably. For our discussion, we are proposing that ritual be used for smaller tasks.
Routines are a great way to streamline our daily lives. Routines bring certainty. We love certainty. We love our tea after a tough commute. If we don’t have our tea after a tough commute, irritation might set in. If we don’t have our protein shake within 30 min of workout, irritation might set in. If we don’t watch a certain soap on TV at 9 PM, irritation might set in.
Rituals are a great way to streamline a task. It also ramps us up for the task ahead. For example, warm-ups before a run or a small prayer before starting your work or.
With routines, we become more efficient in managing our lives. With efficiency, our energy expenditure on daily tasks reduces day by day. Reduced energy spend, will also reduce our growth. Comfort zone will set in.
Let’s say an executive workout in the morning. However, he gets a new role where he has to travel in the morning. This will upset his routine. He may stop working out on days he is traveling. This will negatively impact his health.
Say a woman is used to yoga every day. The yoga teacher takes a leave for a week. With this routine set in, the woman would find it difficult to do yoga on her own.
Identify such routines that hold you prisoners in your own head. Come out of it. If you work out in the morning regularly, workout in the evening for a few days. If you are used to having coffee, after a hard commute, drink water for a few days. If you are comfortable with heavy lifting, go for a long run.
Come out of comfort zone of routines. Challenge yourself.
However, refine your rituals to elevate your tasks.
Let’s take the example of the high-flying executive, who used to train in the mornings, tests doing the workouts in the evening or even in the night. He finds that instead of no workouts, he feels great with 30 min of workout in the evening, in the hotel gym. He then refines the rituals around the workout. Instead of 15 min of regular warmup ritual, he now does a 5 min warmup. That does serve him well. He is now able to maintain his strength and mental agility.
Let’s take another example of a housewife, who is used to yoga in the morning with her teacher. Now she experiments with bodyweight exercises on her own. With this, she is able to do her exercises when the yoga teacher is absent or when she is on vacation or is traveling.
Don’t be tied down by Routines and be its slave.
1. What is your daily routine?
2. Which tasks if not done makes you uncomfortable and creates chaos in your routine?
3. How can you take those tasks and do it some other time?
Pic-Credit: yogadownoad.com, thewritelife.com, shutterstock.com, linkedin