Process, Structure & Routine

I distinctly remember yelling “I HATE ROUTINES” at my father when I was a teenager. I was determined to be creative, free-spirited, and independent from rules and structures.
Yet, as a child of two highly organized, productive and confident Type-A parents, I ran into:

  • routines
  • structure
  • order
  • process

I was 8 when I was first introduced to the concept of reactive vs proactive. I was encouraged to read Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and introduced to the concept of the 4 quadrants.

But I lived in a world of Anne of Green Gables, The Narnia Chronicles, Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie.

Perhaps this is why my teenage defiance was about messy rooms, library late-fines and horrid grades if was related to studying or long-term projects – my writing and verbal acuity meant I didn’t fail.

I went away to University determined to succeed without any of those things my parents were determined to weave into my DNA.

It didn’t go to well.

But I am of a more stubborn cloth than that! I didn’t leave my university years with a degree, but I did leave married and with a young child. I also took along my attitude. I knew of my own strengths and talents and I didn’t need a degree to succeed.

And I actually did pretty good – but that was after things got messier.

Slowly the evidence built up to convince me that I needed to give routines a chance. I learned something significant:

Routines are beautiful – when you create them for yourself. Routines can give you freedom to create, breathe, and relax.

I’m in a transition period right now. This means I get to re-examine my routines and make decisions about the new routines, structure and order that I’m going use moving forward. Naturally, a certain amount of the routine will contain pieces where others are depending on me, but I can determine where those pieces will fall.

And because I’m in a big transition, namely that of job-searching, I have the option of looking for work that will fit into the new structure that I intend on building moving forward. To me, that’s oPportunity – with a capital P!

How about you? Are you using routines to serve you and your goals? Are you giving over control to someone else by not choosing to set your own routines? It didn’t go well for me when my well-meaning parents tried to build the routines for me, but when I took ownership and slowly built them up myself it was amazing. In Psalm 118:24 it says, “This is the day that the Lord has made, We will rejoice and be glad in it!” (NLT). For me, routines go really allow me to celebrate the potential of each day and avoid the feeling that I’ve missed something important or am just not doing what I want because I don’t have time.

How can you harness the power of routines?


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