How Routines Can Simplify Your Life

I know, I know! Just hearing the word ‘Routine’ annoys you. It makes you think of the neighbor down the street that does the exact same thing day after day. No creativity, no spontaneity, and no spunk. Ugh – boring! What if you could establish a few routines to simplify your life and still be your carefree self?

I get it, you’re not a routine kind of girl. You live your life with lots of spontaneity and fun. Being routine would squash your creativity and you’ll have none of that.

You like to live in the moment and go with the flow. Flexibility and spontaneity are your happy place.

But seriously, what if establishing a few good routines could simplify your busy life and allow you even more time to be your fun-loving free-spirited self? Do you want to know how?

Woman stretching as par of her morning routine

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Why Are Routines Important?

Routines are important because they can provide structure amidst chaos. A good daily routine has the power to make you more efficient, productive, and successful. What do I mean by that?

Let’s start with the definition. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a routine is a usual or fixed way of doing things. That’s it, nothing too complicated.

What things, you ask? Think of brushing your teeth, taking a shower, getting ready for work, and preparing breakfast. Group these tasks together in an organized manner that works for you, and you have a routine. Easy Peasy!

Establish Routines To Simplify Your Life

Some of the most famous creative people throughout history followed daily routines. Those daily routines helped them accomplish their necessary tasks so they had more time for everything else, so what’s stopping you?

How about I let you in on a little secret? You have a lot of routines already, you just don’t think of them that way. We already talked about getting ready in the morning, but there are more.

Pay attention the next time you’re going to drive somewhere. You grab your keys and purse, unlock the car, get in, buckle your seat belt, check the mirrors, and start the car. Routine. What about daily tasks like cooking a meal? Yep, routines.

Now that we know you already have routines and they haven’t crushed your fun and creativity, why not establish some intentional ones?

Create a Routine

Establishing a set routine is not as difficult as you might think. It just takes a little planning and intention.

  • Identify the goal or purpose of your routine like having a stress-free morning
  • List the tasks that might relate to this routine
  • Select the tasks that make sense when grouped together
  • Write down the steps of your routine
  • Select the interval for your routine
  • Perform the routine while checking each step off as you go

After a month or so of performing a newly established routine, you’ll notice that you’re no longer concentrating on the routine itself. You’ve shifted into autopilot and your brain is busy with something else, probably something a lot more fun.

Alarm clock set to get up early to start morning routine for a simpler life

Types of Routines

Here are some types of routines you might establish to simplify life.

Daily Routines

Not all routines are daily, but those are the ones you should start with.

I’ll give you an example of what a routine might consist of but keep in mind it needs to work for you. Use the example as a starting point to set up your routines to fit your daily life.

Morning Routine

Mornings seem to set the tone for the entire day, don’t they? You get up late and spend the rest of the day feeling like you’re one step behind just trying to catch up.

Having a preset way to achieve your morning tasks will help eliminate stress and give you the best possible start to that day. So check this one out and adjust it to fit your life.

  • Drink a glass of lemon water to rehydrate
  • Stretch or do a little yoga to loosen up and get the blood flowing
  • Shower, brush your teeth and do your hair & makeup
  • Get dressed and ready for the day
  • Make the bed so the room looks tidy
  • Start some coffee and breakfast
  • Pack your lunch
  • Tidy up the kitchen
  • Review your calendar or planner to see what you have scheduled for that day
  • Head to work

If you find you’re still struggling, try to move some of these tasks to your afternoon or evening routine. Getting them done the day before will make your morning less complicated.

Afternoon Routine

Afternoon (return from work) is time to get everybody fed and start preparations for the next day. The preparation you do today will help set the tone for tomorrow.

  • Do your daily chores, cleaning, laundry, etc
  • Place your work items, keys, and purse in a designated drop zone so you can find them in the morning
  • Prepare & eat dinner
  • Tidy up from dinner
  • Review your calendar or planner so you know what you have scheduled for the next day
  • Set out stuff for the next day

If you don’t have time in your afternoon to do the preparation for the next day, try breaking it into two separate routines. One for late afternoon, and one for early evening.

Just get the preparation part in there somewhere because it really will simplify your morning.

Preparation has a compounding effect. The more prepared you are, the more quickly and successfully you complete the routine. Which then leaves more time for something else.

Evening Routine

Your evening routine should be a time for wrapping up the day and winding down. You don’t want to be super active and overworking your brain at the end of the night.

Use this time primarily for some self-care and family relaxation.

  • Step away from the electronics an hour before you plan to go to bed
  • Clean off your makeup
  • Brush your hair and teeth
  • Relax
  • Read

Try to keep this routine as simple as possible so you can prepare your body and mind for sleep. Easier said than done, right? I know but try.

If your brain is in overdrive or something is nagging at you, get up and take care of it or make a note, but get right back to relaxing.

These are just a few examples of different daily routines you might establish. The only real requirement is that the routine fits your life.

Woman standing at bedroom window stretching during her morning routine.

Weekly Routines

Weekly routines might consist of grocery shopping, cleaning or menu planning. You might do different things on different days, or you might set aside one day to get them all done.

The benefit of having weekly routines is that everything gets done on a regularly scheduled basis.  A planner or a printable calendar is a great way to keep track of which of these routines and tasks are to be completed on which days.

Cleaning

Some people like to set aside one day for all cleaning tasks, and others prefer to do a different room every day. Whatever your preference is, organize your cleaning routine in a way that works best for you.

Here’s an example cleaning routine to get you started.

  • Monday
    • Kitchen
  • Tuesday
    • Dining Room
  • Wednesday
    • Bathrooms
  • Thursday
    • Bedrooms
  • Friday
    • Laundry
  • Saturday
    • Garage and/or yard
  • Sunday
    • Relax

I created several cleaning routines based on the frequency things need to be cleaned. My cleaning routines include daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly/deep cleaning routines.

Just remember, these are your routines, so structure them in a way that works best for you.

Other Routines

Routines can be performed at whatever intervals fit your lifestyle best. Having set routines help you ensure things get done on a regular basis. Some additional routines you might want to establish include meal planning, grocery shopping, yard work, and home maintenance.

Routines to Simplify Life

Routines help you stop procrastinating and finally get things done. They enable you to check more things off of your to-do list and reduce stress which can help you sleep better.

Now that I’ve given you the foundation for routines, what’s stopping you? Get busy establishing some routines to simplify your life and let me know how it’s going.