Routine: My Thoughts
Do you have a set schedule of things you do every morning? Perhaps you meditate 10 minutes every morning, followed by a cup of tea, or coffee before preparing for your day. Perhaps you scroll threw news sites on a laptop or your iPhone, or perhaps you sit and watch the sunrise on your porch.
Routines are very commonplace in American society. With our busy, work-oriented lives, it's important to keep things organized and planned. However, is it healthy to have every aspect of your life planned ahead? Should you incorporate more spontaneity?
There's a debate in our society about whether a routine is healthy for you, or not. I've seen both sides of the routine argument in social media, on the news, in my own circle of friends. As with most arguments, both sides of this coin are interesting to examine.
In this post, I'm going to discuss what I've learned about both sides and explain why I choose the side that I do (or don't).
So, without further adieu...
"The only routine with me is no routine at all." - Jackie Kennedy
The groups that comprise the anti-routine argument are mostly non-conformists, from what I can tell. The folks that believe society is a sinking ship meant to be abandoned so that we may live a life with freedom of spirit as opposed to freedom of finances, or stability. These folks adhere greatly to the idea that what happens in life is pre-destined, and there's really nothing we can do to change it. They believe we should go with the flow, relax, and enjoy the ride that we call life.
Anti-routiners, as I'll call them, are into the idea of letting life just happen. Rather than setting an alarm clock and being up at the same time every morning, they'll let their bodies wake them up when needed, and they'll go from there. Anti-routiners are demographically diverse and act in their own fashion, which is part of the reason I sympathize with them. They do their own thing day-to-day, and pay little to no attention to what anyone says about them. It's all good vibes and happiness.
"Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition." - W. H. Auden
Entrepreneurs, CEOs, executives, the President, your manager, DJs, athletes, musicians, etc., etc., etc. For the most part, if you meet anyone who falls into those groups of people (with the exception of musicians from time to time), they are pro routine. Sometimes, it isn't really a choice so much as a way of keeping your sanity. Entrepreneurs, those who boldly race into opening their own business on the off-chance that they'll become successful, need routines. They need organization, to know what's next, or it might all fall apart. Startups are a tricky, tricky game of Jenga, and if you don't move the pieces correctly, kiss it goodbye.
The rest of the groups (except for DJs, athletes, and musicians) are put into those positions and are trained to do a certain job. Routines are also necessary in their careers because their careers may inevitably demand that they have one. Pro-routiners enjoy their routines. It keeps them focused, and determined to move forward. If you accomplish one thing, you feel more confident and prepared to move to the next.
Neither side is wrong, or right. Having a routine is just like having a religion, or being physically fit and active, or playing a sport you love. It's really your preference. I don't believe there's a right or wrong when it comes to routines. A nice mix is what I like.
I guess if I had to put it into words, it would go something like this. I like to have an idea of what will be happening in the day, but I also like to leave some of the day open, and see what happens without any prior knowledge. I have a set morning routine. Unless it's a work day, everything after that is free game.
So no, I don't think that living strictly on a routine is healthy. I think sometimes you should let life surprise you because you've only got one life, and living it knowing what's going to happen every second of every day doesn't seem like a very fun life to me. People own different clothes, different shoes, different hats, different accessories, and many other things, and the reason for that is to shake things up every now and again and make things interesting. We, as humans, sometimes need a reset, something fresh, kind of like a slap in the face when you're falling asleep. That is what makes life worth living.