02 Sep Reduce Stress With Routine
With the summer coming to a close it’s good to remember that vacations are exciting – but getting back to routine reduces stress. Part of being organized and productive is having routines. They enable us to enjoy the doing more – to be more creative and effective – with less effort. When routines becomes “routine” life is just easier.
Are there things you do regularly in life that would be easier if you made them part of your routine? I know there are in my life. When I have a routine I don’t spend time worrying when I’m going to do something, or if I’ve missed opportunities or deadlines. The task is on autopilot. It takes care of itself until it’s time to do it again.
What can you autopilot? Here are some ideas:
- Bill Paying – set up a system to check bills on a regular basis. Even if you do most of your bill paying on line, it still takes a degree of supervision. I pay my bills on the 10th and 25th of each month. I don’t worry about it in between. Other people like to pick one day of the week (each Sunday night or Monday morning), or do it three times a month – the 1st, 10th and 20th. What works for you? Put it on your calendar with follow up reminders until it becomes routine.
- Blogging – My blog posts are written on Tuesday morning between 7:30 and 9:30 am. If I have a meeting or client or am out of town, I move it to Wednesday morning. I know I won’t do it Monday night – so I build in a more realistic option.
- Processing Email – I check each morning for anything that is urgent and address it. I handle those and leave the rest for non-prime time. I build time into my schedule to review and process the remainder.
- Processing Regular Mail – Each day I look at my mail. If someone sends something I didn’t ask for or need and takes my time and space to review I recycle right off the bat. I put my bills where they belong, I put my coupons where they belong, and I put other things that need action where they belong. It is in the system and then I don’t have stacks of unaddressed things that become overwhelming.
What do you do regularly that would benefit from routine? Contacting clients, grocery shopping, making phone calls, doing laundry?
Now here is a secret! A routine is nothing more than a system or a process. Creating a system for doing what you do all the time is the secret to having less stress in your life. Put the things you have control over on autopilot and free up your better self for the more challenging important things.