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Balancing the routine of life

By Darrion Narine

I remember one Saturday morning sitting in a café, drinking a mochaccino when I overheard someone describing their routine to their friends and then telling them that they should try to follow it. The response from his table was unenthusiastic. They all sat with blank looks on their faces as they humoured him.

His routine was filled with high energy activity and little rest. Maybe it worked for him but what he failed to realise is that establishing a routine is something that must be unique to you. A routine for a bachelor will not be the same as that for a married man with children.

When establishing a routine, you have to assess your current situation. The following factors must be taken into consideration: time, environment, the people around you and mindset. In this post I will focus specifically on time and using your time wisely.

How do you currently use your time? Take out a pen and paper and write down how much time you currently spend doing different things throughout your day. Write down how much time you spend with your family, working, studying, sleeping, watching tv, ‘liming’ or socialising etc… Whatever you do during your day, write it down. Once you have done this, separate your daily activity into positive habits and negative habits. Now, make a list of all the habits that you would like to perform in your daily routine. Make an extensive list and then rank them based on the ones that you would like to start doing from tomorrow.

Take the number one ranked habit on the list and do it for two minutes tomorrow, increasing by one minute every day following. For example, if you would like to start reading for 30 minutes daily, read for two minutes tomorrow and then three minutes the following day until you arrive at your goal of 30 minutes several days later. If you think that when you arrive at 30 minutes it will be too much to maintain and that you won’t have the time, then look at your negative habits and reduce them by five minutes and then by five minutes every day until you do it 30 minutes less.

For example, if you view television for four hours per day, tomorrow reduce that amount by five minutes and then continue reducing by five minutes every day until you look at television 30 minutes less.

The biggest lie we tell ourselves is that we don’t have the time. We do have the time: we just have to learn how to manage that time.

It is not an easy task to establish a routine that is filled with positive habits since many of the obstacles of daily life may get in the way. However, if you start small with just two-five minutes per day and gradually increase over time, eventually you will change your routine. Gradual change lasts longer.

If you are on the ‘New Year, New Me’ trend, take your time in establishing the ‘New You’.