I have been a great fan of “routine” since high school.
While riding the school bus, I would carry this small diary with me and write down things to do, things I want to work on, etc, in it.
I believe routine is another reason I miss school and university so strongly even after six years – the structure these institutions created allowed us the right amount of freedom – which offered growth (sometimes growth in a minimal sense, too, if you were too rigid about following these structures).
When I say structure, I mean the routine they offered – you’d start your day early, and space was created for each activity they thought you loved.
And once you are out of these institutions, these routines slowly disappear, and the lack of a healthy routine is often the cause behind poor lifestyles, which in turn is becoming a cause for health concerns like PCOD, Obesity, Diabetes and even Mental Health Issues.
Perhaps, this is also why you’d at times find yourself reading these tips about how to go about your day, diet etc., regularly, and amongst the many tips – the critical part is routine.
It takes work to build a routine for writing regularly, going to the gym regularly, or any healthy activity you try to incorporate into your life. Most of us struggle to develop that consistency and perseverance muscle because we are often outcome-driven. Even when it comes to outcomes, we are led by expectations filled with fantasies of instant gratification.
We are not just living in times where scarcity (despite abundance) and instant pleasure as features drive us. I am not sure if all of it started with the invention of instant noodles, but today, everything we are looking at is trying to simplify our lives by making things quick and easy (instant pleasure):
1. You want food. It will be there in a few minutes.
2. You want to buy clothes, browse, add-to-cart, complete purchase and bazinga; your order will be there within days.
3. Want to get a haircut? Worry not; you can schedule a home-based appointment now
4. Don’t want to type things, don’t worry – Alexa (or another AI) will do it for you
Don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-technology or the internet! I grew up on the internet; the challenge we face as Millenials and, perhaps, Gen-Z must be meeting with a stronger push is our reliance on these.
No invention is an evil invention. We cannot blame the scientist or the design – it’s about our consumption patterns and how much autonomy we are taking our days to change these patterns.
Do you know there is an inbuilt feature on all smartphones using which you can customize notifications for all the apps you have installed – trust me, switch them off for a few days. You’d automatically start feeling calmer and more peaceful.
I get it – technology is aiding global connection – the question we need to ask ourselves is – do we need to be connected each second? Or can we consciously choose when we would like to communicate with the world?