March 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
Routines can be a useful productivity tool. Setting up routines can help contribute toward the development of successful habits and can help you accomplish the minutiae of daily home and work life. It also makes us feel we have some control over our lives. When your routines are disrupted the result can be stressful. How can you beat this?
Plan For It– In some cases disruptions to your regular routines can be anticipated. A vacation, school breaks with the kids home, or a visits from out of town family are all examples of events that can throw your routines out the window. Knowing this is on the horizon gives you time to plan for it and adjust your expectations for the time frame. Even if you can’t anticipate what changes are going to come around, just knowing there’s a disruption coming allows you to prepare.
Attitude – Your attitude toward the disruption makes a big difference on how successfully you can navigate the disruption. Is this an inconvenience? Yes, but can you flip it and turn it into an opportunity to flex some new muscles or experience an adventure? If it’s an anticipated disruption, mental preparation can help you approach the situation with a positive frame of mind.
Is this a permanent disruption? – once you realize that your routine is out of whack, take a step back and consider what is causing the disruption. Is this a temporary situation or do routines need to be tweaked or restructured? For temporary situations, you can remind yourself, “in a couple of weeks things will be back to normal”. If the disruption is going to be permanent, look at your disrupted routines and see if you can tweak it or build a new one to accomplish my objectives. Remind yourself that you are not locked into this chaos forever. Time or your own power will change the situation.
What is important to you? – the purpose of building routines is to ensure there’s time for the stuff that is really important or accomplish necessary tasks that keep things humming along. Take a few minutes to figure out what is important in the situation. Don’t let the routine become the goal!
Let others help – women in particular suffer from some sort of Superwoman dementia and we’re reluctant to let others help us during times of stress and disruption. Adjust your expectations and accept the help as a gift of love from those around you.
Our brains, like any muscle have a tendency to stiff without regular use. The danger in routines is becoming so wrapped up in the routine itself that you forget the end goal. Take the opportunity of a disruption to your life to think in terms of stretching your brain. As you work around a disruption, realize that you’re finding opportunities for your brain to flex itself but also developing crucial coping skills that will hold you in good stead for minor and major life changes!
For more time management tips, check out “Using Your Time Effectively” on March 22nd at the Empowerment Center. Details on our Girls’ Night Out series can be found here.
Posted by: Heather Comstock