Do you ever notice that it gets harder to make decisions toward the end of the day? You’re too tired to figure out what to have for dinner or what to watch on TV. That’s because we all have a finite amount of decisions that we can make in any given day. Have you heard of “decision fatigue”? It’s a real thing, and can effect us by limiting the amount that we can accomplish in a day. Imagine what would happen if many of your decisions were already made for you? That’s what it means to have a routine!
Why You Need Routines
Knowing that our decision making powers are limited helps us prioritize. We can cut out a lot of decision making by creating habits and routines. That way we save our powers for the important stuff. This also frees brain space for more creative and productive thinking. Routines are a great tool that simplify our lives and cut out a lot of our daily stress.
Chances are you already have a morning routine. You get up, you get your coffee, read the paper or check email and fix some toast before heading into the shower. Let’s expand on that morning routine. What decisions do you need to make after your shower? Do you need to decide what to wear? If you create a “uniform” for yourself, you don’t even have to think about what to wear. You just grab a pair of pants and a shirt, or a skirt, tights and sweater and off you go.
Implement some routines into your workday wherever possible. Meal planning helps you figure out what meals to fix and eat. A cleaning schedule makes sure you stay on track with your household chores without you having to spend any valuable decision making skills in the process.
Wrap your day up with a bedtime routine that not only helps when you’re too tired to make smart choices, it also helps you fall asleep more easily.Think about useful things you can do in the evening, as well as calming ones. Maybe you can start by doing a few chores that make the next morning easier. Making sure the kitchen is clean and the kids’ school things are in order are great examples. Come up with a few calming things that help you slow down and get ready for sleep. Read a book, listen to some music or wind down with a cup of herbal tea.
How to Start Routines
Sit down with a pen and piece of paper (or your bullet journal) and think about what parts of your day and week you can turn into routines. Write them down and create daily to-do lists for yourself until you’ve established these new habits and routines.
Spending a little bit of time creating routines and habits will make your day run a lot smoother. You might just find yourself less stressed and get more done during your productive hours. And that’s a beautiful thing. It allows you to save plenty of decision making power for the fun stuff like figuring out what movie to go see or which food truck to order from.