Routine. The word alone makes some people yawn with boredom. The idea of being locked in to the same ole thing time after time. But, I would like to introduce you to the idea of the freedom that comes with routine.
Throughout the day, we use our energy in many different ways for many different things. We have competing demands to be met on the physical, mental and emotional levels and all of these demands use up energy. We know that physical demands are a drain on our energy reserves, but what about highly emotional experiences and problems we are working on solving? One of the most common energy-sucking culprits we wade through every day is decision making. The number of decisions we make on a daily basis is overwhelming and by the end of the day, we are suffering from decision fatigue.
So, what does this have to do with routine? If we can arrange our daily schedule so that some of our tasks are automated, meaning that they become habits we don’t even have to think about, then we can free up energy to be used in other ways.
It really is true. The ancient science of Ayurveda teaches dinacharya- daily rhythms- as a form of energy efficiency. This is the practice of healthy daily routines to correct imbalances on the physical, mental, and emotional levels. One of the focuses of dinacharya is creating a regimen that will allow us to take a break from making so many decisions every day.
Decision fatigue is a real thing and people in sales and marketing benefit from it greatly. Why do you think the check out counter is littered with impulse buys like candy bars, magazines, bracelets, sodas, etc.? At the point of checking out, you have already made so many other decisions throughout the store that you just want a little something to make you feel better. After hours of taking care of yourself and maybe kids too, working in or outside of the home, and a day full of decisions including choosing NOT to do or eat or drink something all day (we call this willpower), we can easily fall into the trap of buying things online we don’t really need, eating junk food because it is quick and accessible, or staying up too late watching TV. All because our brains simply cannot drum up the energy to make another decision.
Have no fear, energy saving routines are here! Changing things throughout our day and our environment can set us up to alleviate some decision making. A few things to think about are:
- Going to bed and waking up at the same time every single day.
- Spending a few minutes in silence checking in every morning upon waking.
- Planning out meals for the week and batch prepping for a few days at time.
- Eating the same thing several times during the week (ex. eating the same lunch every day or eating the same meal for dinner one day and lunch the next.)
- Set a specific time or interittent times throughout the day to move your body every day.
Of course, creating a routine will take practice and effort at first. But, once these habits become automated, a great deal of energy is freed up to be used for clearer and more creative thinking, better coping, and more overall enjoyment of the day. It can also be helpful to find a partner or tribe working toward the same goals for accountability.
This week, check out your daily schedule and see where you can create some routine in order to find more freedom. As always, I will be practicing right along with you.
Chat again soon,