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Decrease Stress and Make Your Daily Transitions More Routine

Updated on October 28, 2019
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Cygnet Brown is a high school and middle school substitute teacher. She is the author of fourteen books and a long-time gardener.


Relationship Between Transitions and Routine

Routines make us more efficient. They make it so we don’t have to plan every detail, and creates structure in our lives thereby saving time, our most valuable resource. Routines are composed of good habits that help us replace bad ones. With practice, routines help you become better at what you do, and helps you prioritize and complete what’s most important. Because routines are a series of habits, they decrease the need for will and determination as well as reduce procrastination and increase momentum. They reduce stress and facilitate relaxation, saves money and builds confidence. Creating routines throughout your day can free up time to do other things that are not so routine thereby helping us achieve our goals and keep track of our success.

Transitions during the day can either be time-wasting or time-enhancing. By creating routines, we can make better use of those transitions. To make the most of our daily routines, we should focus on making the transitions we go through every day more routine.

I find that the best daily routine to start evaluating and perfecting isn’t the first transition of the day, but the last one of the day.

End Your Day with the Beginning in Mind

Begin your daily routines with your evening routine rather than your morning routine. Figure out what you can do in the evening that will free up your morning routine. Make your morning coffee now. Lay out clothes for the morning. Move your alarm clock to the other side of the room and get to sleep at a reasonable hour. Each evening assess how well you did during a specific daily routine.

Morning Routine

Now that you’ve cleared out your morning routine, figure out what you want to do with the time that you’ve cleared out. If you want, use it to ease into your day, rather than having to jump into it running. Use your freed morning time to get a jumpstart on a project that you have been meaning to do.

Once you have this well-established, start looking at your other daily routines and see how you can better streamline them. Look over how you handled that morning’s routine. Is there any way that you can be more efficient in that routine? Is morning the best time for you to exercise or would you feel better if you exercised at the end of your 9-5 workday? Figure out what works best for you and then do it!

On the Way to Work

Instead of listening to music or the news, listen to a motivational podcast on your phone or if you’re taking your children to school or daycare, create conversation with them that will draw you closer together rather than apart.

Drop the dog off at the groomers or vet.

Writing a book? Consider speaking your book into a recorder during your commute.

Your Lunchtime Transition

I hope you brought your lunch to work with you. By bringing your lunch, you can better control what you put into your body and have better control of your food budget. This is probably a good time to catch up on social media and even emails. Better to use your working hours on work projects.

While You're Sitting in a Waiting Room

If you have a doctor’s appointment, don’t waste that time! Complete a few small tasks that you might not get done otherwise. Do things like determining your to-do list for next week or planning your meals for next week or writing out your shopping list. If nothing else, bring along your Kindle and read something inspirational rather than wasting your time flipping through their magazines or mindlessly scanning social media.

The Homeward Commute

Clear out your weekend by running errands after work rather than saving it all for Saturday. One or two errands an evening will not only save time but can also save you money on wear and tear on your car and gasoline.

Order your groceries on your phone and pick them up before picking up the kids from school or daycare.

Drop off or pick up dry cleaning.

Pick up the dog from the groomers or vet.

When You Walk in the Door

When you get home, have a specific order that you do things in order to unwind after a long day at work. Get the mail and immediately sort out the junk mail into the trash. Unload backpacks and sign permission slips now and get them out of the way. Make any necessary phone calls. Feed the cat. Throw in a load of laundry. Now, put your feet up for a few minutes and take a few minutes to unwind.

Now is a good time to reboot your energy with exercise. Get your blood pumping again so that you can finish off the evening strong.

Dinner Prep, Serving, and Cleanup

Do batch meal prepping if possible. Cut up onions, peppers, and other vegetables for tomorrow today. Make a second dish of whatever it is that you are making for dinner tonight. Fix your crockpot meal for tomorrow while preparing tonight’s meal. Prepare tomorrow’s salad tonight and store in the refrigerator. Add to the grocery list anything that’s running out.

Before sitting down to dinner, throw laundry that was put in washer earlier into the dryer.

Sit down when you serve dinner if possible. Enjoy conversation with your family. Make it a rule that no phones are at the table during meals.

Do kitchen cleanup immediately after dinner and prepare lunches for tomorrow.

After dinner, spend a few minutes doing some weekly housework like cleaning out the refrigerator, dusting, or vacuuming.

Getting Ready for Bed

Again, while you’re getting ready for bed, be sure to prepare for tomorrow’s day. The process gets easier as time goes on. just keep improving your routines and you’ll accomplish more each day than you ever thought possible.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cygnet Brown


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