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How To Build Routines That Save Time & Energy | Day 17

So far, this summer has been great. Let me paint a picture for you. Everyday looks like this:

6:00am-6:30am: I wake up naturally. Yeah, like something out of a music video

~6:45am: Jill and I consume like 8 french presses, and watch Pip run around in circles.

7:30am: I write my post for the Blog Blitz. Still drinking coffee.. Wondering if I’m going to ruin my teeth and adrenal glands before my 30th birthday..  

9:00am: I publish my post, and move onto my work for Metabolic Effect

11:30am: I head over to the Jade Teta Rooftop Gym for the 12 o’clock workout

This is some bullshit…

1:06pm: Workout is finally over. Jade hooks up a batch of ME’s Craving Shake, we relax, talk business, life, and other inspiring stuff.

2:30pm: I hit the showers, and then knock out a little more work for Metabolic Effect

3:30pm: Vodka sodas get made (it’s 5 o’clock somewhere..), good books get read.

5:00pm: Balcony vibes with Jill & Pip. We talk business, mindset, and life.

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6:00pm: I watch Lebron drop 41.. again.

9:00pm: I text Kels I’m going to bed. She sends me the old man emoji 👴🏼, but says she loves me anyways. I call it a night.

Benefits of Rituals & Routines

I’ve always thrived off of rituals and routines. In high school, I’d wake up at 6:04am every day. I’d walk down to the kitchen, grab the milk, bowl, and spoon (in that order), and then grab the Fruity Pebbles from the pantry.

I’d sit in the same seat, already equipped with the most current issue of Sports Illustrated, and eat my cereal in peace. At 6:42am, I’d go up stairs, hit the showers, get ready for school, and leave by 7:03am. Yes, exactly 7:03am. 

Everyday. 

Although my Fruity Pebble days (and the acne that came with it) are long gone, I still thrive off routines. Actually, we can all thrive off of self-created routines.

Routines save us time and energy by putting things on autopilot. When routines are stored in our brain, it frees up the brains mental resources to think about other, more important things. We save time by not letting 264 small decisions marinate in our minds.

With routines, theres no conscious decisions to be made. You can eat your Fruit Pebbles and focus fully on the dense content of a Sports Illustrated magazine all at the same time. Your brain is off the hook from making decisions or having considerations.

The more behaviors we put on autopilot, the more they occur without conscious effort, and therefore the less energy we spend on them, and the more energy we have for vodka sodas and line dancing. Or whatever it is you do. 

How To Build Routines & Rituals

When it comes to building these routines, it will take some people longer than others. Some form new habits in a matter of weeks, for others it can take almost a year of practice. Suckers. On average, it takes 66 days for new habits and routines to stick, freeing up your brain . 

The most important things to remember are timing and specificity. Practice doing the same things, at the same time, everyday.

  • Where will you be?
  • What time will you start?
  • How long will it take you?

Our brains will cement our new routines faster with more repetition and what Texas Professor Art Markman calls “consistent mapping.” When our brains can associate a behavior with a certain location or set of circumstances (the map), the habit is more likely to stick. 

Here are a few other tips to build rituals of your own; whether they include fruity pebbles, vodka sodas, or Sports Illustrated is your call.

  • Focus on something to do, rather than focusing on something to stop doing. Start going to the gym, don’t stop watching TV. 
  • Expect resistance: Answer these questions before hand — what obstacles will I face? How will I handle them?
  • Shape your social circle. Social support is huge when developing routines. 
  • Shape your environment to make routines easier. Have the Sports Illustrated already opened to the right page, keep the bowls, spoons, and Fruit Pebbles in the same place. Have your alarm clock already set to 6:04am
  • Set goals for the long run – set process goals, not outcome goals (i.e. lose 30 pounds is an outcome goal – what happens after you lose 30 pounds? Go to the gym 3x/week is a process goal – if you hit your process goals over and over, they can last forever, and the 30 pounds will come off as a result.)

 

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