Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic.
I started working from home a few months ago. It was great at first, but as the weeks went by, I noticed that I was beginning to get disorganized. I forgot about scheduled conference calls, fell behind on a project because I took too long of a lunch break, and so much more! Three weeks ago, my husband gave me a daily planner. It’s the best gift I’ve ever received! I now organize my time and responsibilities into manageable routines that leave me feeling less disorganized, stressed, anxious, and lost.
Did you ever have a Saturday filled with errands to run? If so, did you organize a list of what you had to do and when you’d do each? For example:
- At 9:00, pick up the dry-cleaning.
- At 9:30, pick up the mail at the post office.
- At 10:00, shop for groceries.
- At noon, take the kids to lunch.
And so on.
At the end of the day, did you feel a sense of accomplishment because you did so much and kept tabs of the times you did them? Imagine having that pride (and so much more) when organizing your everyday life into a routine. It might sound like a chore, but at Rice Psychology Group, our licensed psychologists and therapists in Tampa know that routines are good for the body and mind.
Being All Over the Place
When at home or work, do you often forget or fall behind with your responsibilities or chores? Are those dishes from Sunday night’s dinner still in the sink because you’ve been so preoccupied with other things and have had no time to get to them? How about that weekly lunch meeting on Wednesday that you completely forgot about until the last minute because you didn’t put a reminder in your calendar?
There are days when being disorganized leaves your mind feeling scattered, and before you know it, you have so many things to take care of that you don’t even know where to begin. With a routine, you can set times and days to take care of certain things. At 8 PM each evening, do the dishes. At 11 AM on Wednesdays, start putting together an outline of what your 1 PM lunch meeting will cover.
The great thing about routines is that the more you follow them, the higher the likelihood that following them becomes second-nature. Eventually, you might get used to your routine without having to set reminders and plans for yourself! The stress of trying to make up time or forgetting about a chore will be gone.
The Relationships that Benefit from Routines
According to Mariana Plata, a child and adolescent clinical psychologist, author, and educator from Panama, routines can be incorporated into your daily life on a personal level, relationship level, and/or professional level:
- Personal Level – Are there things you would like to do for yourself but never seem to have the time for? By selecting a few important things and working them into a routine, you may find that you actually have time for them after all. If you have a stack of books by your bed, carve out a routine of reading before sleeping at a specified time each night. If you’ve been meaning to take better care of your skin, perhaps doing a peel or mask every Sunday night can be a step in the right direction. And don’t forget Fido! He’d be grateful for a walk every night around 9PM instead of just being let out to pee in the backyard!
- Relationship Level – Who are the people that really matter to you? Would you like to strengthen your relationships? If so, spend some time creating routines that focus on connecting with others by planning activities or simply finding a way to reach out and let friends and family know that they matter. This can include calling a close friend to chat for a few minutes on Saturday morning or preparing Sunday brunch for your family on Friday evening.
- Professional Level – Take a few minutes to really consider your professional goals. What are a few things you can engage in on a regular basis to reach them? Does it make sense to routinely (weekly or monthly) attend a networking group? How about tackling a business-related book each month and then writing an article about it? I routinely listen to professionally-related audiobooks in the car to stay current with hot topics in psychology without having to “find the time.” You can also carve out an hour or so a day before your weekly meeting to prepare or get in touch with your boss on Fridays or Mondays to plan out your schedule for the week.
Once you establish a routine, you may find that the benefits become more apparent as time passes. Your stress levels may fall, your sleep might improve, and if you include meal-planning in your weekly routine, your diet and overall health can be invigorated.
Schedule Your Appointment with Us Today
As you’ve probably guessed, for some people, it can be tough to start a routine without a little guidance. Fortunately, Rice Psychology Group is here to help you along the way. Whether you’re struggling to organize your time or simply want to discuss what’s on your mind, our licensed Tampa psychologists and therapists are here to help. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.