We are creatures of habit for a good reason. Habits and routines make us much more effective. The actions we do become automatic, and we spend less time deciding whether we want to do them. These routines, however, can become constraining, and sometimes the time comes to change them or allow for more flexibility.
What to do? From my experience, it’s not always easy, but it can be done. I am currently going through a change of routine, and I am experimenting with making more room.
I’m having trouble letting go of the routines I have created over the years. Although they have worked well for me in the past, they’re now more constraining than before, and I need room to be more spontaneous and to have time to strategize and think. Being super organized helped me in the past, but I have changed over time, and I want my routines to grow with me.
How I am experimenting
Try to Put in What I Want
I have been asking myself what my priority is, and the answer has always been my family. Therefore, I am trying to live by that idea. It is not always easy because the external world continuously demands my attention. Our lives have a reality to them – we, of course, need to work and take care of our responsibilities. On the other hand, as a mom, I know that I will regret it deeply if I cannot give my kids the type of quality time that I want to give them.
My life has always centered around my family and work, and because of the pandemic, our family dynamics deepened. I did not want to lose that once our schedules became more normal, and now that my routine is more of what it had been in the past, I have a hard time keeping the focus on my family. My strategy: I’m reserving the time I need in my schedule. It’s hectic, but it’s in there.
As it has been my experience in the past, I trust that designated family time will find its place, and everything else will find its place around that.
It takes time. Changing a routine is not easy, as not only must you change your habits, but others who are affected by the changes need to be aware of them. It may feel like you are making absolutely no progress for a very long time, but you will get there with enough persistence. Later, your new routine will seem so easy that you will forget how long it took you to get there.
After integrating the elements to your schedule, you might feel a little discomfort as you make changes. From that messiness, however, you may get important information. As I have been trying to rearrange my schedule, I have noticed how much of my time certain company departments were taking up in my schedule. I quickly realized that this time requirement was due to a lack of organization, which led me to make some changes and rearrange our structure.
In the midst of trying to tend to everything else, I became overwhelmed with all the changes. It was not easy. On many days, some items did not get checked off my list. I don’t feel well when that happens, but I am trying to go with the flow.
It May Not be Working for a Reason
After trying and trying, your new routine may not be working for a reason. Perhaps you’re unable to make headway no matter what you try. Try to understand what is standing in your way and invest time to make alterations. Even if you cannot set your routine as quickly as you would like, you’ll have learned more about the context that surrounds you.
I am grateful that I learned more about our teams and their current status while modifying my routine. I would have had to make these changes anyway, so I’m hoping that they’ll also lead me to the ideal schedule I’m striving to establish.