Routine versus Rut

And when you need to snap out of it.

When I was a teenager, I used to be very repelled by the word routine. I associated routine with being stuck in a rut. It took me sometime to understand that rut and routine are different, it is not necessary to be in a rut just because you are following a routine.

It is important to follow a semblance of a routine so that one is able to do what they have set out to do in terms of goals and the unending to-do lists that we keep making. It brings some self discipline into the picture.

Rut is an unhappy place to be in- a standard process which is not adding in any way to your personality or life.

It is important to understand that a rut keeps you occupied but a good routine will free up your time and would enable to live a life that is not mere potential.

Organising time should not shackle you, it ought to be an exercise in liberation from demanding schedules.

Another quirky bit in this quagmire is the fact that not schedule is for everybody. It is subjective — but the underlying need for betterment should be essential to every schedule ir routine.

How do you know if you are stuck in a rut or if it is a simple routine keeping you sane.

Here is a short check list. Simply answer these with a yes or a no.

  1. Does your daily routine feel a little like you are an auto-pilot?
  2. Do you still derive joy in the daily tasks in your life?
  3. Do you feel happy or smiling for no reason during the course of the day?
  4. Are you taking out time to consciously add to your skills on a daily basis?
  5. Do you feel grounded?
  6. Do you feel connected to your inner power or if you are spiritually inclined — do you have a sense of peace of mind when it comes to your belief system?
  7. Are you just following the sleep-eat-work on your job-mindless tasks and tv process before hitting repeat?
  8. Do you take out the time to socialise, speak and or meet your friend or friends weekly?
  9. Do you indulge in any physical activity during the course of the week that brings you joy?
  10. Do you get out in the sun at least once a week? This does not include your daily dash to work or cigarette breaks.
  11. Do you eat mindfully on some instances or all are your meals partaken in front of netflix?
  12. Are you irritable mostly all the time or do you feel an innate sense of peace at least once a day?
  13. Do you get up feeling refreshed?
  14. Are you in touch with at least 1–2 friends who are not related to your work?
  15. Do you have a hobby or two?
  16. Do you have a secondary skill that can be monetised in case the main vocation goes bust?
  17. In the last one year — have you added to your skill set or taken a course?
  18. Do you take trips or travel?
  19. Do you read or consume content that will add to your knowledge base at least 3 times a week?
  20. Are you excited about your annual or monthly goals?
  21. Do you monitor your screen time?

If you have answered in a negative to more than 5 questions then, it is time to rethink your priorities and your daily routine. A routine should add to your life, because this, this very moment, today is your life going past you. There would be no perfect moment in the future sometime when you would have the time to do all that you have to do, it has to be a gradual, persistence, small bouts of efforts that will enable you to really live and thrive and not just survive.

Reclaim your life.


(This post was originally published on Medium, Nov 18, 2018)

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