Google Productivity Pad: When you lose the routine

Thursday, May 22, 2014

When you lose the routine

You may have noticed that I have not published anything in over 2 weeks, even though I was publishing pretty frequently before that. Well, what happened was my routine got thrown off, and I am a creature of habit. I rely on the habits I have ingrained into my life to make me productive.

This is particularly true in the morning and at night. I have highly structured process for the first 3 hours and the last hour of each day. These automatic routines allow me to accomplish a certain set of tasks everyday, but when they get thrown of by something I become a much less productive individual.

What happened to me was I got sick, the day I last published a post I was fine in the morning but by the time  I got home from my day job I was feeling awful. The trouble with being sick is that you need to get lots of rest, at least I do. Consequently I end up going to bed later and sleeping in longer, which cuts off two of my most important routines.

Now it is important to take care of yourself, the real problem arrises out of the fact that good habits are so easy to break. Once you have a habit in maintenance mode you don't want to get out of it. But sometimes our legs get taken out from under us and then what do we do?

For me it depends largely on triggers. What triggers the habit to occur? See the difference for me, in terms of habits, with a vacation and being sick is that when I am sick I still have all my habit triggers around me. Whereas when I am on vacation I leave them behind and go into a different environment. So when I return from vacation my habits are still triggered correctly. When I get done being sick though, my body has trained itself to ignore the triggers.

At this point it takes work to get back into the habit. It is not going to be as hard as establishing the habit the first time, because the patterns have already been made in your brain, but it will be difficult. So what I am doing is slowly adding one thing back into my morning routine each day. Today it is blogging, so you got this post.

I hope you find these thoughts helpful, and that they help you to remember to live better.

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