Breaking Expectations: Routines

I’ve realized that I HAVE to have a routine. I cannot be left with free time or the possibility to back out of something. It’s almost like I need to force my OCD to kick into gear when it comes to routines.

90% of the time, if I don’t have a set schedule, I will either do absolutely nothing, or do the minimal amount to keep me going (like eating, brushing my teeth, etc.).

Long breaks from school, days off from work, even weekends tend to throw me for a loop. I will literally stay in bed all day, watching “Say Yes to the Dress” reruns (seriously, who spends $10,000+ on ONE dress?), ignoring my homework, convincing myself I have plenty of time to get it done. And we all know that Sunday afternoon comes too soon, and forcing myself to get started on the pile is like trying to get through traffic on Eagle road during rush hour without flipping the bird to the driver who cut you off, not likely.

The hardest part is knowing I have a million things on my to-do list at one time, yet sometimes I cannot motivate myself to cross off anything on that list. I have to have some sort of push to start the process.

Maybe it’s laziness, or maybe it’s convincing myself that I’ve earned some time to relax and enjoy my time off. Either way, my growing to-do list isn’t getting done. And my social life is essentially non-existent, mostly because of my own doing.

Having a routine like work and school has proven to be a successful method in making sure I stay motivated and actually accomplish my goals.

It’s weird to say, but I have more energy to get things done after an 8-hour shift or a full day of classes. I know that those are prime times for me to work on homework, knock out four loads of laundry, grocery shop, etc.

Become aware of your habits and use them to your advantage. If you’re a morning person, get your list done in the morning. But if you’re a night owl like me, try and schedule your daily routines later in the day so you can work on your goals at night, and still get eight hours of sleep.

If something throws your routine off, like a canceled class, don’t fret. Fill up that time with something else, like running errands or grabbing dinner with a friend. Don’t use that time to sit idly and do nothing.

Now, do I always follow my own rules? Oh no. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t watch three seasons of SYTTD on Netflix this weekend. But after analyzing my actions (or lack thereof), I see patterns that can be useful in utilizing my productivity. I encourage you to do the same.

About the author  ⁄ danielleallsop


I am a senior from San Diego majoring in English with a creative writing emphasis. I love soccer, baking, and reading! Go Broncos!