How to Create a Healthy and Productive Routine

Editors Note: This is a guest post by my good friend Drew Butler.

 

We all go about our days in different manners that work for each individual person. Yet in my own experience, there are two ways to go

about ones daily life.

One is to wake up, and proceed from activity to activity without a plan,
without conscientiously acknowledging time, and  without any sort of
structure.

The other is to wake up, set goals, plan your day, consciously
acknowledge time, and increase your productivity in ways you never
would have thought possible.

A Runners Perspective

While I acknowledge the fact that waking up at noon, rolling out of
bed and grabbing some cereal, then proceeding to watch a movie and nap
all day isn’t the worst thing in the world, getting into a habit of
that routine is a quick way to fall into a slump and never maximize
your potential.

As a runner, I recently went on an extended break from training after
a long season. I fell into the habit of waking up late, not
exercising, and living a non structured life. I went through the motions without really thinking about what I was doing.

The ironic thing is that even though I was sleeping more, I was much
more tired. I ended up getting sick, not feeling my best, and
realizing something was missing.

Although the break was necessary, when I finally got back into
training, my prior habits had a negative impact on my being. My poor diet
choices, which stemmed from not planning my day and eating on the fly,
made running much tougher because my body was not at its best. I also
was very lazy, often hitting the snooze button in the morning
and skipping important training runs all together.

When I finally realized I needed some change I began to put structure back into my day.

I set a strict training regimen and began feeling like my old self
while running. I began waking up early and finding extra time to
complete chores or other tasks I had set for myself. I changed my diet
to three meals a day that were more nutritious and I instantly began
feeling more energy.

It’s remarkable what simple changes can do.

I honestly feel all of these improvements in my life came as a result
of finding a healthy, balanced routine.

Creating Your Own Routine

Think about what is important for you to feel good about your day and
make sure you get that done at all costs.

Take time to really think of what habits and food help to get you at your
best.

The truth is: You know what makes you feel best.

Because you feel better if you eat really nutritious meals, buy those
groceries and prepare them on the weekend so you can make it easy for
yourself to improve on your diet. But don’t stop there.

Wake up early and go for a jog, swim, or maybe lift some weights.

Exercising increases your energy and helps you become more productive throughout the day.

Find something that gets you going.

 

Write or type out goals or tasks and post it somewhere that you will
see it all the time. In the end, your commitment to your routine is
entirely up to you. You create your own success.The more effort you put in the more you will receive.

The key to a happy and successful day lies in your ability to plan out your days in an
organized fashion.

Watch out for your routine becoming mundane and repetitive. Allow for
flexibility and spontaneity to run through your life. If you feel
your routine is becoming unnatural scrap it and start anew. The most
important thing is to become more productive while not becoming a robot.

Stop hitting snooze, set some goals, and start realizing your true
potential in life!

Drew Butler is a sometimes cynical, sometimes optimistic, recently
recharged 18 year old incoming freshman at the
University of Arkansas. He dedicates this post to his recently
deceased grandmother, a lifelong teacher and lover of reading.

9 Comments

  • Hey Drew! This is a great article which I enjoyed reading. It’s remarkable that you’re 18 and you already have a runner’s perspective in life. For sure, you are having a head start against the others your age (though as you probably know, it’s not about competing against them as it is with yourself). Both you and Bud are incredibly wise for your ages.

  • Nice post!

    I find it hard to reconcile the need for a daily routine with my creative inspiration. If I have an idea for a blog post, I often feel compelled to write immediately. In this case, it would be foolish to stick to my routine, and deny this creative impulse.

    But because I follow my creativity, then my routine is all over the place.

    (By the way, the spell-checker on this comments box, doesn’t recognise the word “blog”!!!)

  • Bud and Drew, to me this is very important:

    “Watch out for your routine becoming mundane and repetitive. Allow for flexibility and spontaneity to run through your life.”

    I need to find a balance. Too often I drift from lack of rigor around my routine. However, I don’t want to become a slave to organization either. So I’m trying to put more planning into my day while at the same time remaining open to going with the flow.

  • Celes- Thank you for the kind words

    Kaizan- I completely understand your point in regards to creative inspiration. You gotta write when your mind can flow. My ideas on routine are more about eliminating laziness and not being productive. Your diversions from a routine result in something positive.

    Stephen- That’s what it is all about. When your are in a routine where you are a slave or feel trapped, you are doing worse than if you haven’t got one at all. It is vitally important to learn to enjoy your routine and feel good about it. One must constantly reevaluate their routine to see if it maximizes their potential and is also enjoyable.

  • Hey Bud,

    noticed your Blog throught the bootcamp and thanks to the article Drew wrote I thought about a writing subject and found that the result might be a good comment here.

    Establishing a routine – a report:
    Sometime in May of this year I started reading a book about Visual Reading as I was looking around for something new to learn and make life better. One of the first exercises in the book was to read a text providing information about jogging and how it is best exercised.

    I can’t say why reading this article had an impact, but it did. Soon after I started back into a routine doing some sport in the morning. At the beginning I simply noticed the advantage of “waking up” by being for only 30 minutes on the Cross Trainer. This provided a good motivation to continue and have some sort of a daily routine: waking up, going down and start the day with 30 minutes of light sport.

    I followed the suggestion, that it would be best to train in an easy going manner and pulse not going too fast. The optimal pulse speed depends at least on age and fitness and should normally be discussed with the doctor, which I admit not doing.

    At the beginning I felt a bit strange as it didn’t seem to be impressive or whatever, I mean aren’t you supposed to be sweating and puffing and changing colour when doing your sport ? Wait, that’s not too impressive either, as it shows that you aren’t trained! I decided not to care and try to make the best out of it. Until now the routine works pretty well, when time is there I work out a bit longer. The good news to me is, that speed and distance have grown since the beginning.

    First step is ok, now I can tackle other issues on my daily routine like adding creativity into it 🙂

  • Francoise-
    You are doing exactly what you need to do. You’ve established a routine, stuck to it, and you’re enjoying it. I hope whatever else you add in continues to enrich your life. Remember to analyze each part of the day and figure out whether or not it is necessary within your routine.

  • Drew,

    Great post! I just started getting into running again and am training for a marathon in December. You hit many points right on and on top of that I feel like I can take a lot from this post. Keeping organized but leaving room for spontaneity & avoiding monotony. Love it!

    Also completely agree with writing goals down and exercising to be more productive in a day.

    Thanks again, and look forward to more from of you guys on this blog.

    Daniel

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