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The Importance of Routine

Do you ever feel yourself getting caught in the rut of mundanity?

If your answer is yes, you are in good company! Many find themselves caught in the cycle of “same ole, same ole” living.

Merriam Webster's dictionary defines mundane as an adjective describing the “characteristics of the world - the practical, transitory, ordinary and commonplace” things of our day-to-day existence. There are TONS of surveys and articles that break the average lifespan of a person into activity segments, with sleep coming in at the top unanimously! We spend about 1/3 of our lives on the other “normal” activities - work, getting ready, commuting, eating, etc.

It’s easy to get lost in the mundane - the ordinary and necessary tasks of life, as well as the time-wasters.

One way we can recapture control of our time and ensure that we are investing our lives wisely is with routine. From beginning to end, every day's moments can carry lasting value or be chucked. Having a predictable routine for each segment of your day can avoid unnecessary wasted time, and allow for a greater sense of accomplishment overall - staving off those feelings of getting caught up in mundanity and ordinary life.

For starters, how do you typically start your day? Are you rolling out of bed with just enough time to throw on clothes and slide into your desk with minutes to spare?

How does your day progress? Do you feel like you have a defined start and stop point for the various tasks you take on? Do you feel yourself constantly getting pulled into “firefighter” mode rather than completing tasks that are within the parameters of your position?

How do you finish up your day? Are you stumbling home from a brain-numbing day only to collapse on the couch and flip to the latest series of “un-real” reality shows? Do you find yourself in zombie-mode, only to look at the clock and realize you have a less-than- stellar amount of time to sleep for the next day?

If ANY of the above resonates within you - NOW is the time to grab your life by the scruff and say, “No More!”

Today you can begin a journey of capturing your time - realizing that normal, ordinary things must be done and are a constant companion in your day- but you can create an EXTRA-ORDINARY life by making a few simple adjustments!

First, make a plan for your morning. Be intentional to set an alarm and not hit snooze. Make plans to rise at least 30 minutes to an hour before getting ready for your day - allowing yourself time to wake up, exercise, pray, read, listen to a podcast, or generally do something that is going to feed your spirit, soul, and body to motivate you in your day. Be sure to eat a well-balanced meal centered around protein, and DRINK WATER! Dehydration is one of the main brain killers, so be sure to fuel yourself with proper hydration.

Once you are situated in the stream of your day, make sure you eliminate common time wasters. Put away your cell phone. Turn off notifications for emails and other disruptors when you are focusing on a task. Time-block your day into “power hours” - these are periods of time where you intentionally focus on only one task for at least an hour and then take a break. Do not make everyone else’s fire your emergency. Ask yourself, can I genuinely make a difference if I engage, or will I just add to the chaos?

At the close of your day, make an effort to get outside - especially if you work at a desk inside. Get up and move, if you have not already done so, and get some fresh air. Rather than just plopping on the couch for a binge-fest, is there a book you have been wanting to read? An inspiring podcast you have been wanting to catch? How about starting a journal to record your thoughts on this new journey to owning your time?

Bottom line - Be Intentional.

These changes do not occur overnight, and you should not attempt an “all or nothing” or an “all at once” mentality. That is a sure setup for failure. Grab one or two of these suggestions and see how you can begin to consistently implement them into your everyday life until they become a part of your ordinary.

You will be pleasantly surprised to see how just a few tweaks to your typical day can increase your overall satisfaction with life and reduce the mundanity you may feel!

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