A routine is a series of things you do at a regular time. A habit. The order in which you do things. A routine can also be a series of instructions in a computer program.

Once you start a routine, it usually proceeds in an unthinking way until the routine is completed. Have you ever started to drive somewhere, got lost in a train of thought, and ended up somewhere you didn’t consciously intend to go? You probably unintentionally slipped into a routine.

Routines are the rhythms of daily life: they give your life and work structure, regularity, and predictability. They give you a sense of control, and reduce stress and anxiety. A recurring task takes up less cognitive energy. Once you have established a habit, you can do it automatically, freeing your mind up to think about other things.

Healthy and productive routines not only make life feel more regular and consistent, but also create a virtuous cycle of improvement. A small change or adjustment to a daily routine, like a daily walk or run, can have a great positive impact over the long term.

A routine can help you get in the groove, but spend too much time in a groove and it becomes a rut. If you are too inflexible about your routines, they can become a prison, making it difficult to make spontaneous plans, socialize with others, and have a good time.

What kind of life do you want? What kind of workplace do you want? Can you establish consistent routines that will make you happy, healthy, and productive?

See also: Path, Flywheel, Virtuous cycle, Journey, Recipe, Flowchart.


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