There is freedom in routine

4 ways routines have helped me be free

Anum Hashim

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Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

When I last worked at a corporate job, I really thought I wasn’t built for a corporate gig because I hated routine.

It was a desk job where I was expected to show up at the same time every day, do the same things every month. That routine was exhausting!

These were my feelings about my work routine: boredom, captivity, limitation. It was keeping me from doing what I loved.

One day, I had the bright idea to try and find a way to enjoy my mornings. After all, that's what all successful executives seem to have in common — a defining morning routine. I thought that it might make me feel better about having to show up to work every morning.

So, I tried all the morning routine tricks. But unsurprisingly, not even the loudest alarm, the coldest shower, or moving closer to the office helped me get out of bed in the mornings.

I realized that becoming a morning person was not a routine that will make my life any better, nor will it bring me closer to my goals.

Since leaving my corporate job, I’ve realized that routines can, in fact, be good for me.

I didn’t hate the idea of the routine. But rather that my routine had no purpose, nor was it fueling me.

My daily routines were not making my life any better or easier.

The time I spent trying to build a routine was not getting me closer to my goals or creating time to do the things I wanted to do.

I learned that you need to find joy in the routine itself or find motivation in the end game. When neither exists, no routine can help.

When you find joy or motivation, that same routine can give you freedom and energy to actually spend on the tasks you enjoy.

Routines can reduce decision fatigue.

Allowing a routine to tell you what to do can reduce decision fatigue. Sure, you might enjoy your morning shower or find that cleaning your apartment is cathartic. But for many of us, these are merely just chores we need to do.

The result might make us feel better, but often the tasks are the chores we really…

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Anum Hashim

Finance professional / CPA on a break from corporate life. I write about money, productivity and life as a content creator.