Oliver the Engineer…Routines

Do you do the same thing everyday?  Do you do that thing to the point that it is automatic and you just don’t think about it anymore?  I do.  It’s what you call a routine.

To me a routine is a just a part of life.  As an engineer, it is what I basically do for the most part on the a daily basis.  Yes, it varies from time to time, day to day, however when you look at it as a whole, it is basically the same.  It’s just covered differently.  But I have found that routines, help me keep the stress down.  Everything, well almost everything is pretty much planned and known so there is no surprises.  You might find this boring, and yes it can be, but also might find this effective and smart.  It totally depends on how you see the situation.

Routines, are good for the most part.  However there are times that routines shouldn’t be followed.  For example, when on vacation, throw out all the routines.  Give yourself this time to be spontaneous and free flowing.  Like everything else in this world, too much of a good thing is bad.  So break from it from time to time.  Routines are good for the daily sometimes mundane activities such as work.  If you know me and are reading this, you know that I love my job as an engineer, and what I just said doesn’t sound or make it out that I “love” my job but basically sounds like I’m bored.  And truth be told, 90% of the time I do “LOVE” my job, but there is that 10% where it just drags and the love is gone.  You can call it a burn out of sorts.  And this usually happens at least once a year.

It occurs when mainly when you do the same task over and over and over again.  The task that has been doing this to me has been this powerpoint presentation that I have been working on for the last 4 weeks.  I’m basically at the point where you are standing at the finish line and all you have to do is cross it to finish.  Well I haven’t finished it, I’m still standing there, and to top it off, all 4 weeks worth of work might go to the way side this coming week as I have found out.  Yes, I’m saying that I wasted 4 weeks of my career.  Sorry to you tax payers.  And finding this out has left me bored, disconnected, and non-motivated.  But I hope to change that soon and be on the up cycle.  I plan to do that with going back to a routine.

This is where routines are good.  To me routines can help break bad habits and polish them to shine clearly again into good habits.  So lately I have slowly started doing my routines to help get me back on track.  Here’s an example of what a routine day is like for me:

  1. Wake up at 5am.
  2. Use the bathroom.
  3. Brush my teeth.
  4. Shower
  5. Dress
  6. Kiss my mom and let her know that I’m heading off to work.
  7. Head out
  8. Stop at Jumba Juice or Starbucks.
  9. Drive…
  10. Arrive at work.
  11. Check work e-mail.
  12. Check twitter…think of Good Morning World message of the day.
  13. Check news headlines.
  14. Write out task list for the day.
  15. Begin work.
  16. Lunch.
  17. Back to Work.
  18. Coffee.
  19. Groceries for Dinner.
  20. Cook Dinner.
  21. Wash Dishes.
  22. Read up on Tweets and Blogs.
  23. Work on Photography.
  24. Break
  25. Write / Read / Blog
  26. Sleep

That’s my routine for the most part.  But as you can see I do that pretty much everyday; Monday through Friday.  It may seem tedious and it does get like that every once in awhile.  However over the years I have found the routine of life does allow me to plan ahead and help me meet my hopes, goals, and dreams.  It helps keep me on track and helps me slowly but surely make the “things” happen.  Here’s some thoughts on good tips for routine:

  • Things are not routine until it is done consistently for at least 10 days.
  • Routines become habits after 21 consecutive days.
  • Routines can help you plan for the long term.
  • Routines after 40 days become automatic.
  • Routines can be broken here and there, especially on vacation time.  It’s okay.
  • Good and bad can come from routines.  Note to yourself what activities you do that are helping and not helping.  Watching that show on net flicks everyday instead of working on your business isn’t helping you reach your goals.

So I want to know, what’s your routine like?  Do you have a routine?  Why or why not?  Could you write out your whole routine if someone ask you?  And what have been your experiences with routine; good and bad?  Let me know if you like by leaving a comment below.

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