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Going on Autopilot

Sometimes, the world can be a little too much. Sometimes, you can feel overwhelmed. But sometimes, you still have to get on with your day.

When you have so much to do and very little mental space for it, what do you do?

That’s where having a routine comes in clutch.

The Importance of Routine:

For the overwhelmed worker, routine is crucial. If you have an ingrained routine for your day, even when you’re overwhelmed, you can get through it with a semblance of order. It’s all about muscle memory.

And you may find that if you have a good routine when you're having a day where you can barely muster up the energy to get out of bed, doing the steps of your routine might even make you feel better and more energized.

Let’s get into some of the most popular routine steps to see if any of them appeal to you.

Morning Meditation:

This is a common first step of the day — if you read any celebrity’s daily routine, you’ll probably see this there. But meditation isn’t just for the rich and famous!

The benefits of even a short meditation to start your day have been well documented — even just five minutes can decrease stress and anxiety throughout the day. It can be difficult to get into at first, but finding a quiet place to sit and empty your mind for just a few minutes can be all it takes to begin your practice. And studies show that those who meditate in the morning are more likely to stick to it!

It’s perfect for a morning routine because it doesn’t require a ton of energy or commitment. Not only will it make you feel better throughout the day (which comes in clutch on days where you don’t really want to get on with it), but you may find yourself looking forward to those few minutes of peace in the morning. That can help motivate you to get out of bed in the morning when you’d really rather hit snooze.

Rote Creativity:

There’s a reason why those bullet journals got so popular a few years ago, and it’s not just because they’re cute (although that helps). It’s because they are an easy, accessible way to log your thoughts and get your creativity out without needing to fill out an entire blank journal or paint the next Mona Lisa. AKA… It’s less pressure, and it’s more fun!

A bullet journal gives you a little space each day to log your To-Do List, your events for the day, the contents of your dreams, your goals for the day, a little doodle, or basically anything else you want.

It can be as basic or as intricate as you want, and you can change your mind day-to-day. But by committing to do something each day, you get in the habit of organizing your thoughts and creating space to be creative.

You can do something other than a bullet journal as well — give yourself a prompt and write for five minutes, doodle on a napkin while you drink your coffee, do whatever! But for those looking to start, a bullet journal is a great place to begin. And by getting the juices flowing early in the day, you may find yourself feeling more creative later in the day as well.

Get Moving:

Everyone says it’s important to be active and work out each day, but that’s not necessarily motivating on a good day, let alone on a day when you don’t know left from right.

The good news is that even just walking for thirty minutes a day is great for your health; you’re welcome to go hard at the gym, but a stroll around the block is enough to get your blood pumping.

To get started with your routine, you can even bribe yourself by committing to only watching a certain show when you’re at the gym or starting a new podcast and only listening when you’re on a walk. By doing this, you can reward yourself for getting out there, and it will motivate you to get started.

After a while, though, you’ll probably find yourself excited to get moving on its own merit. Working out does release endorphins, the feel-good hormone, meaning you’ll probably feel really good after a workout. And when you’re having a hard day, sticking to your routine may result in you feeling more refreshed and at ease after a workout or a walk.

Working Made Rewarding:

A day of hard work, of course, is its own reward. But it can be a lot of mental energy to keep up with your work on a day that is already feeling a little hectic.

That’s why it’s important to have your own workspace, whether that’s in an office or a dedicated desk at home. A dedicated workspace allows you to really get in the zone without distractions (on the best of days). This triggers something in your brain telling you that when you’re here, it’s time to focus.


Having a good balance of work and breaks is also a great way to incorporate routine into your workday, even when your work is a little bit different each day. For example, making yourself a latte (or picking one up from the local coffee shop if you can afford to!) around mid-morning is a good way to use your routine to add excitement and enjoyment into your day, while also giving your brain a break from work, which in turn can make you more productive when you get back to it.

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Written by Jordan McAndrew

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