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January 25, 2013

How to use disturbances to improve your routines

how to create a routine

After I discovered the power of productivity, and because I was a complete failure before I figured out I needed to stop procrastinating and create new habits that could bring my life back on track. So, I set out some routines. I created a schedule, learned a few good ways to stay on track from friends, and set out to improve my productivity.

But things never go straight. Everyday or other, I would find myself skipping the routine activities because of everyday disturbances. I couldn’t focus and once the time passed, I would procrastinate. Hack, I was failing at my productivity endeavours.

And this remained my story for some time. I would create routines, disturbances would come in, I would skip a few, and sometimes skip them for days.

So, the first thing I figured out what that I wasn’t keeping with the flow. If I had a disturbance in my routine in the morning I shouldn’t keep feeling guilty whole day long and skip every other activity I assigned myself for the rest of the day.

So, to me, and if you’re like me, the ideas was, one hour wasted means a day wasted, which is completely unadvisable thought to think.

Takeaway – I stopped this. If my routine was disturbed for an hour in the morning, I would spend about half an hour getting my mind on the routine again and get with the planned activities for the rest of the day.

But, this isn’t enough. I needed to align myself with disturbances. There was the completely ugly, guilty feeling whenever I couldn’t follow the activities I planned, no matter what the reason. Even 5-10 minutes gap would frustrate me. I was trying to be a perfectionist in following my routines, which made me procrastinate even further.

And my thought process would be something like “ok, now I’ll try tomorrow.”

I found that every disturbance was actually a chance to improve my routine. So, I kept adding ideas of improvement and started putting them into practice. So, while I used to be drowsy during my study sessions, a 30 minute “once disturbing” coffee break turned into a revelation! I was more attentive and alert the rest of the time.

So, I made it a part of my studies. I used that disturbance to figure out how I could use that time break to improve my productivity levels.

Takeaway - Think about this for a while, no matter how hard you try to follow routines, there’re always going to be disturbances, from family, friends, situations, weathers or even mood-swings.

How about you can learn to mindfully attribute the need and positive possibilities of those disturbing breaks? Instead, give yourself a quick short break, close your eyes, mindfully meditate upon the importance of following your routine and then, start again. Photo by Tom Magliery via Flickr