I have been working remotely for about three weeks now, just before California mandated “shelter in place” orders. I started a bit earlier than most because of my business. In that time, I’ve learned a few lessons about routines: they help me keep my sanity and some semblance of normalcy during these challenging times.
My daily routines (along with everyone reading this article) have changed drastically almost overnight. We no longer have the workweek that separates the weekend. We don’t have the nights to go out to dinner with our family, time at the gym, time with friends, weekend getaways that gave our lives diversity.
What we have now is seemingly long days that stretch one into the other like a living version of the movie Groundhog Day. The only difference is we can make changes today that will make tomorrow just a bit better.
On the days I haven’t followed my regular routine, I often climb back into an unmade bed at the end of the day, having consumed more food than is good for me, watched more news than was necessary, and I didn’t reach out to see if I could share the burden with a friend. I had a day that was dampened by a fog in which I was adrift.
I have found that by sticking to my morning routine, I stand a much better chance of having a day that matters: A day that creates a pattern of success.
On the days I start with making my bed and doing my Miracle Morning routine, I tend to follow my other patterns that are good for my body and soul: exercise, eating well and spending less time watching the news.
I wish I could say I’ve had a lot more days of routine than not: I haven’t. So far, I would say I’m about 60/40 on the side of sticking to my routine. That’s also about the same success rate I’ve had with meeting my goals for the week.
Am I beating myself up about these numbers? No. Like one of my daily affirmations I read during my regular morning routine, I’m allowing myself grace in trying times.
That means I won’t be perfect every day. I’ll win some and I’ll lose some. But I know I have a much better chance of success on the days I start with my regular routines.
Take a second to look at what routines you may be missing since being stuck at home. How can you create the space to get some of them back? You may need to be creative but by getting back into the routines that served you, you’ll stand a better chance of keeping your sanity.