Routines have fallen out of our lives. They have become a thing of the past. Just as you plan your routine, a lot of things about it become irrelevant. In the last year alone, I have tried seven different kinds of meditation.
You know you have a problem when you are neurotic about how effectively you can sit on a turquoise mat and close your eyes, for 10 mins.
I first attempted this essay last year. In it, rather naively, I made a case against routines and how you must break away from them. And then I did some nomadic travel and went through this mixed feeling where I enjoyed going to new places, and at the same time felt terrible about how foggy my brain felt in the absence of routines.
Life felt better when I got back my routines. As much as breaking away helped, it made the case for routines stronger.
That’s why we all long to go back home after a vacation. It’s not just because it’s a comfortable place. It’s because there’s an elegance, a beauty to a routine day.
Routines are synonymous with rigidity. By far, the strongest case against routines is a routine lover’s unwillingness to change. In psychology paradise, this is called a fixed mindset. Think – a really disciplined fool.
The opposite of a fixed mindset is the growth mindset. Think – the adaptable evolving human. Somewhere along the way, we moved from the growth mindset to the change mindset. We let the new define our lives. And therefore, our routines.
With change comes an increasing inability to deal with the slightest amount of boredom. Without routines, our lives are in a constant state of whiplash. Ironically, now, we are becoming numbed by change and not boredom.
Our routines helped us evolve through deeply uncertain every days. Our ancestors had to cover a few miles every day, gather enough food and not mistake a tiger for a deer.
That was it. That was what the future plan meant. Their routines. Their every day. They couldn’t fathom asking what they would be doing next week, forget three years from now.
The case for routines has never been stronger. What routine you want to build into your day is left to you, but it is the thing which is going to lend the strongest semblance of sanity through your digitized days.
Change may be constant. But routine is consistent. Resisting change is a virtue. We evolved not because we constantly changed. We evolved because we adapted – slowly, deliberately, consistently.