Personal Productivity

The Benefits of Establishing Routines

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
tags Habits Creativity Decision Making Remote Working Mental Health
"Maximum productivity is achieved when things are done with as little effort as possible" ~ David Allen.

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The Benefits of Establishing Routines

Setting routines is sometimes a controversial topic. There are people who love to have a solid structure to move through their day-to-day lives, and there are people – especially artists and people with very creative jobs – who don’t like to have any kind of strict schedule that might constrain their creativity.

From a psychological point of view, establishing routines is always a good idea, as they provide a supportive structure that produces a greater sense of control. This structure can also help improve your concentration, organization and productivity.

There are situations in which establishing routines can be of great help, such as in times of uncertainty and stress, or when you want to establish new healthy habits.

If you work from home, the need to have a work routine is even greater. Studies indicate that when people do not have a structure to follow in their day-to-day work, stress and anxiety can increase considerably, leading to a general lack of concentration.

If you still think routines are not for you, let me tell you some interesting benefits of establishing the right routines in your life:

  1. They simplify your life. They create a structure that allows you to tackle complex situations in a simpler way.
  2. They are nearly effortless. When developed sufficiently, they become habits that you do almost unconsciously.
  3. They improve your mental health. As I mentioned, routines allow you to keep your stress levels at bay.
  4. They increase your security and confidence, since you always know, or at least sense, the scope of your actions.
  5. They allow you to live with greater peace of mind. You don’t have to make as many decisions; routines make most of the unnecessary decisions for you. This will allow you to make better decisions when you really need to.
  6. There are multiple benefits to the sense of control they generate. These include an increased ability to concentrate and an increase in productivity.
  7. Practice and repetition of tasks help you hone certain skills. Routines help you learn and improve.
  8. They aren’t incompatible with creativity. On the contrary, when someone achieves a balanced, relaxed life, they have more access to their intuition and creativity.

In short, routines provide you with a solid structure in which to move with minimal effort. And they are not at odds with creativity. Far from stifling your creativity, it is precisely this saving of effort that allows you to exploit it to the maximum. Stephen King has a series of daily routines that have allowed him to write a multitude of successful books worldwide.

Remember that creating routines and habits takes time and practice. You won’t see the benefits unless you put in some effort at first and have some patience.

Francisco Sáez

Francisco is the founder and CEO of FacileThings. He is also a Software Engineer who is passionate about personal productivity and the GTD philosophy as a means to a better life.

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