The Importance of Routine
I’ve always been in love with planning. I think the obsession began when my middle school gave us all student planners so that we could organize our weekly commitments and make sure we stayed on top of our assignments. Since then, I’ve looked forward to buying a new planner every January and filling the pages with to-do lists and reminders. However, now that I’m in college, one of the biggest challenges I face involves sticking to my plans.
With so many different activities going on each week, it’s hard to determine how to spend my time. Do I attend a guest lecture on Tuesday night or do I stay in and finish working on internship applications? It feels like my plans change before I even have the chance to jot them down. And as someone who’s addicted to planning, this can be a bit of a nightmare.
This semester, I decided to try and establish some element of routine and consistency in my life. So far, it’s really helped keep me grounded. Numerous studies have found a correlation between routine and success—this Harvard Business Review article talks about the importance of routine to geniuses. (I don’t claim to be a genius, but I do feel a lot less scatter-brained now that I’ve committed myself to certain things.)
For example, many successful people included daily walks in their routines. I now go to group fitness classes at the ARC every Tuesday and Thursday evening.
The article also talks supportive partners—I thought this was interesting, because I never really considered the people I spent time with to be part of my “daily routine,” but I suppose it makes sense. I’m happy to say that I surround myself with friends who keep me motivated and offer encouragement when I’m feeling down. An important part of my daily routine involves calling my parents or friends back home—it always makes me feel better, and it allows me to get outside of my own head for a while and ask them about their lives.
So even though I’m excited about so many things happening on campus each week, I’m glad that I have some constants in my schedule, too. It’s nice to write down “6:45 p.m. BodyFlow class” or “Call home” in my planner and actually mean it.