Designing Your Life | Morning & Evening Routines

Most of us have little control over our days. Assuming you have a day job, family, and other responsibilities, most of the time your time is shared.

Though life shared is much more satisfying (for me anyway) than life spent alone, it takes a certain amount of strategy to design your life the way you want to live it.

Linda Mason in the Working Mother's Guide to Life talks about morning and evening routines being the place where you get to set the culture of your family. Organization guru, Fly Lady makes developing a morning and evening routine part of her "baby steps." And then there is the famous story of the $25,000 productivity tip when Ivy Lee told Charles Schwab (back when he was an actual executive under Andrew Carnegie and not an investment firm) where Lee recommended top executives closing out the end of each day with a list of the 10 most important things to be done the next day, starting at 1 and working all the way through. (Schwab reportedly tried it for a month and was so impressed that he gave Lee $25,000--his estimate of its worth.)

This concept of routine frustrates the artist in me. After all, how can you follow inspiration if you are locked into a routine? What I've come to learn...albeit a little grudgingly...is that routine is actually the key to designing your life like you want it to be.

Scheduled workouts, scheduled silence or centering prayer, scheduled art time, packing lunch and laying out my clothes the night before, planning the top 5 before I leave each day in Microsoft Love Note is a source of margin. Breathing room.

Sadly, if we aren't intentional about things, they don't happen.

The beautiful thing about schedules is that on the rare days when we break them, that can be intentional too.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall