Break Your Own Rules

Routines are great! Consistent, effective routines are a sign of a disciplined life. There are tons of blogs (this one included) and books that make routine the topic of their conversation. A good morning routine can set the tone of your day for the better. They allow you to know what is coming, when it is coming, and how long it will be there. With all that is good in a routine, can they possibly be a bad thing?

If you're a sharp person, (and clearly you are) you know that I am leading this post to go answer that question with a 'no'. 

I challenge the ideas of routines only because I challenged mine earlier this week. So let's look at my daily rituals first.

  1. Wake up (obviously)
  2. Brush my teeth (I can't stand morning breath)
  3. Get dressed 
  4. Grab my gym bag, keys, wallet, and cell phone
  5. Start car, turn on podcast (right now, I am really enjoying The Order of Man)
  6. Take the 60-E to the 15-S
  7. Mobile order my Cold Brew as I pass the 91/15 Interchange
  8. Pick up my Cold Brew from the Starbucks off Cajalco
  9. Park in my usually row at work

Pretty standard right? No crazy routine hacks present. Just your basic 'get up and go' protocol. But earlier this week, I had added a little switch up. I nixed number 6 and instead I added a step. I had to drop off a video to client before going into work. This one adjustment caused a significant shift. This shift, though, was for the better! 

I found that I had about an extra thirty minutes in my morning. So instead of grabbing my usual coffee at my usual Starbucks, I decided to visit Augie's in Riverside. When I ordered my fancy latte, I ordered it to go with the intent of making a quick stop. Once the coffee was served, I decided to not rush out the door, but to sit and reflect. It was during that thirty minutes that I was able to write my last post. (You can read 'Acting like a Toddler' next)

It was this little shift in my morning that caused me to walk into work ready to take on whatever came my way! I felt unstoppable! I felt like nothing could slow me down! I felt, in a word, productive! 

Imagine the kinds of days you could have if you allowed yourself to break your own rules, and doing something different! Imagine what you could achieve if you could add thirty to sixty minutes of productivity a day! Would your '6 months from now self' thank you for taking exchanging a few snoozes sessions for putting in a little extra work toward your passion? I'm no soothsayer, but I would venture your '6 months from now self' would be grateful. 

Let me leave you with two thoughts:

  1. When you give what you've given, you get what you have gotten. 
  2. Small, daily decisions toward your goal will compound to larger, long term gains. 

So go ahead, break your own rules. You'll be thankful you did.