Like a heartbeat, they help the nutrients flow through your life to keep you healthy.
I like my routines. They set a tempo and maintain a powerful rhythm – like the bass line through a music composition. It is not surprising that music and dance help to keep rhythm. It might be the reason why they have had such a huge importance across civilizations. It’s perhaps also the reason why the diversity of music and dance are banned from some extreme ideologies.
The good thing about routines is that you never have to think about what to do next. Setting rituals frees your mind to focus on everything else and be productive in all the other areas. Following these habitual processes allows you to manage your life more effectively.
There’s a reason why routines have a huge impact in our professional lives. Board meetings, team meetings, strategic meetings, are all present in a well-driven business. They are the milestones that can facilitate decisions and start the next actions. The problem with many meetings is not necessarily one of form, but rather of content – but that’s an issue related to communication.
Lesreunionitesdérivent non pas d’un problème de forme mais bel et bien un problème de fond.
The routines in my life in many ways make me feel free, and they have at times even saved my life. Or at least have given me more time…
I am a former smoker; quite heavy at some points. I quit smoking almost a decade ago. I tried many ways to stop. In the end the only way for me to quit was to set new routines. Okay, I know the smoking example is kind of cheesy but setting new habits probably saved my life on many other occasions as well.
To highlight this point, they might have also saved me in my professional life.
Intensive and regular training is important in the military, likewise in extreme sports and for professional performers. Drilling means practicing the same exercise over and over again, the same procedure, the same process…
Routines will save you when you’re not able to keep your thoughts clear anymore. That is why the practice of drilling on safety procedure is so important, and the reason so many safety professions like firefighting and ER work are based on such trainings. When things get tough, the clockwork of routines will help you pass through the difficulties and stay focused.
Quand tout part en couille, reviens aux fondamentaux.
I said earlier that routines can free your mind, you can benefit from this clarity to implement new ideas in a positive way.
As powerful as routines are, they can also lead to collateral effects. They allow us to forge ahead, but also can be destructive – like when we discovered the power of dynamite…
This may happen when you have heavy personal concern or stress. In such times your daily routines might not totally free your mind. Worse, you can feel bored of them and start to think too much of the purposes of your life. When your daily habits are impacted to the point where your rituals of personal care suffer (such as showering, grooming, taking care of yourself), it is routines in particular that can help you to stay focused and prevent you from going farther down. You have too much time to think… Set some new routines at this point. They will help you to migrate smoothly from one cycle to the other.
Beware of addiction, this is one most negative potential effects. If routines can circulate the nutrients that keep you healthy, they can also help the flow of toxins. Do you have any habits related to cigarettes, wine, games, social-media, drugs…? I do or like I said earlier, I did for at least some of them.
Bad habits can easily turn into worse addictions. And when I say worse, I mean really bad…
Now to diverge slightly from the progression of my thoughts. Routines can affect both positive and negative economic outcomes. Institutional routines are hard to change. In France we have the habit that most businesses are closed on Monday. That’s a really surprising practice for people who are visiting our country. I’m not arguing here against any social rights, I just understand that it can feel weird knowing the global economic situation of France.
Unfortunately, the power of ritual can be easily misused. Let’s go back to my earlier caution about really bad habits.
Do not misread me, I’m respectful of the importance of diversity of beliefs and liberty to practice religion. We all can feel how powerful religions are. Religious practices are based on rituals throughout the ages and these rituals are the foundations on which churches or communities are built. The proselytes of extreme ideologies unfortunately know this very well, and can misuse the power of such practices to indoctrinate or control people in drastic ways.
The power of routine means that we have to make sure that we are using it in a wise way.
You should not be the slave of your habits or you might miss a lot of opportunities.
I like the idea that when the time finally comes to rest, you should be happy to have your laundry done, your dishes washed and your apartment free of garbage every single day.
As a conclusion I’ll give you two small pieces of advice since I believe that communication is a vital nutrient that we need to keep flowing through our lives: Call your mom every single day and your lonely grand-aunt at least once a month.
Thanks for reading, and cheers to new beginnings,
As a gift I’ll share with you one of my treasured routines in TriBeCa – I’ll probably talk more about it later.