Do you remember consciously having to decide to brush your teeth this morning? I’m going to venture a no, because you already have the daily morning routine of brushing your teeth in place.
We save valuable time, energy and brainpower when we are able to coast on our habits and routines. Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama repeat outfits (true story) to reduce the number of choices they are faced with on a daily basis. Considering all the important decisions they have to make, one would understand why they would wish to devote their attention to more pressing issues.
Consider the complexity of the tasks that we perform on a regular basis. Driving, for instance. Cooking is another. If you go the gym on a regular basis, I am willing to bet you have some kind of routine such that you do not have to ponder long and hard about exactly which exercises you plan to execute with exactly how many reps and how many sets.
How are we able to do this? Routines.
How will routines lead to success, you say?
The more we are able to rely on routines, the more mind space, time and energy we are free to dedicate to the pursuit of our goals. I highly recommend further developing and fine tuning your own daily routines.
- Having just a few wholesome go-to breakfast choices means time saved in the morning, but it also means that I’m much less susceptible to unhealthy temptations. (Yay! Another opportunity to save valuable willpower) I don’t need to look for other options, because I already know what I’m eating. Similarly, save time and energy by pre-cooking food for the week, so all you have to do for a meal is heat up your yummy leftovers!
- Go to the same few grocery stores and familiarize yourself with them so that you can get in and get out quickly.
- Have a pre-made grocery checklist that you can re-use every time you go shopping so you don’t have remember all the things that you often buy or add to the list every time you run out of something
- Research and develop a few go-to workout routines
For additional reading on this topic, I encourage you to read The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (review here). Duhigg delves deep into the easily overlooked importance of habits in our everyday lives. It sounds like it could be a boring read, but it is anything but. In fact, it might just change your life!
What are your favorite routines?