In August, former procrastinators, I’m taking a break for some summer time recharging. Because school starts this month for many and because all of us are affected by the school year, I’m going to replay our August month on Routine. Enjoy lots of summer play and rest; then this month’s posts will help with new routines. You can relieve pressure and help things run smoothly if you actually do practice runs before the fall schedule starts. (Remember to check out new traffic patterns and routes you plan to follow.)
Communities, organizations, and churches tend to operate with the school year in mind. That makes this an extra good time to set ourselves up for smoother functioning in the months to come. But why routine? Why “a regular course of procedure”? (Merriam Webster)
Routine enables us to do the most important things. It helps procrastinators avoid putting things off.
God instructed Adam to take dominion. We are to govern wisely in the realms that are our responsibility. That can be a lot. Establishing routines is one of the best ways to avoid being overwhelmed. A steady application of ourselves to what needs doing when it needs doing results in progress, accomplishment, and peace because we’re cooperating with the Lord in work, play, and rest.
“You have commanded us to keep your precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed to keep your statutes.” Psalm 119:4-5
How do I direct my ways?
Thinking of bowling bumpers continues to help me. The first time I went bowling as a child, I scored one or two. (Yep, it’s possible.) I needed those padded bumpers that lie along the sides of the lane to protect my ball from going in the gutter and to direct it back into the lane so it would reach the pins. Routines are like bowling bumpers. They protect us from getting off track and direct us into the lane that leads to knocking out the pins, our priorities.
If you cringe at the idea of routine, remember you already use it to your advantage – the route you take to work, brushing teeth in the morning, letting the dog out before bed. Also remember, there’s lots of wiggle room in the bowling lane. You choose the approach.
Setting up some routine is one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves and others. It relieves the mental, emotional, and physical drain of decision making and restarting action day after day. What will I do? When? How? With who? That is exhausting. Lack of routine is our greatest time waster and our greatest energy drainer. Therefore, routine is a gift of time, energy and peacefulness to ourselves and those around us.
In what areas do you most need the relief of routine?