Elon Musk, the co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and Space X has a rigid and stringent daily schedule. The same is the case across all the most successful people in history and the present, people sometimes referred to as geniuses and luminaries. These masters of the craft have two things in common – their immense talent and adherence to routines and deadlines.
In the Sigmund Freud book, The Psychology Of Everyday Life, the author delves into the notion of how seemingly unintended actions are a result of unconscious thoughts and impulses. The word routine by onset seems to refer to something monotonous and boring. In our head, happiness as a construct is believed to be spontaneous, fleeting, and the antithesis of routine. Good life and routine seem polar opposites. Ambition is the pursuit of more and more and taking not one, not two but three steps everyday. A routine doesn’t mean you sit in the same room for a designated number of hours doing the same thing everyday. A routine could involve you not working on Wednesdays, travelling to a different city every fortnight, customary movie nights every Friday, and so on. It could be breaking the rules and being eccentric every now and then. The important thing is not what your routine looks like but how well you stick to it. Through repeated motions and the outcomes that come with it, you form habits that from your best daily routine.
You decide how your everyday routine looks like and those personal habits will take care of the rest. Following the beaten path day on day creates a mood that adds to the nurture aspect of your personality. Additionally, the impulse is never allowed a free reign allowing you to form work habits so that you end up doing things that add value to your everyday routine. The psychology of daily routine is not confining. Instead, it is comforting as long as you maintain a balance.
Most things of value that bring genuine happiness are not transitory and don’t offer instant gratification but require a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and patience. There is a way to negate the feelings of sacrifice by setting up a cue routine reward and treating the chosen routine as the new normal. Any feelings of resistance need to be met with regulation and discipline. Most happy people tend to adopt psychology in everyday life to crush their goals.
Here’s a list of reasons by implementing psychology in everyday life and following a routine will make you happier:
1. Your Habits Lead You Into The Right Frame Of Mind: Consistency Psychology is the concept that we have a preference for thoughts, behaviours, opinions, and intents that are congruent with each other. This essentially means that all your actions are guided by your mind. We might have believed for the most part of our life that mood is created or altered by thoughts and certain triggers that will crop during the course of a day. This may have some sort of bearing but our moods are guided by our habitualness: what time we get up, what time we go to sleep, how much we work out, what time we eat, how often we brood, what we think about, and so on. The point I’m trying to make here is that one thought, one incident, or one anomaly will not push you into a state of agitation. In fact, routine thoughts and actions that you adhere to will compound over the day and have the most significant results and impacts.
2. You Must Prime Your Conscious Mind To Take Control Of The Day: Your subconscious mind has been programmed over the years by your prominent thoughts, fears, impulses, and junk that won’t help you on most days. An untamed mind is a timebomb that explodes everyday. With zero focus, regulation, and discipline, you’ll go through the motions of the day without ever making decisions that will help you in the long run. The psychology of breaking habits is as tough as nails but imperative. For instance, going for a drink tonight will seem more enticing than preparing for the interview tomorrow. However, going out with your friends to that pub wouldn’t be worth shelling that all-important interview. That’s why letting the conscious mind take control and allowing it to weigh all the available options and the associated results will help you make better decisions.
3. Happiness Is Not About Experiencing Many Things But Doing A Few Things Correctly: More is not always better. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Happiness is not a goal; it is a byproduct.” It is a byproduct of things we do over and over again in different ways to produce results we desire. It is not about doing a hundred things at the same time. Often, you believe that your passion should be enough to drive your thought and decisions towards that one common goal which makes you question if you are doing enough. This paralyses you making you unsure about your own joy.
4. When You Govern Your Daily Actions, You Find Yourself Free Of The Survival Mode: It’s all about deciding on a daily routine and following it day in and day out to overcome the perpetual fight and flight mode. If you have your best daily routine, it will become a habit and provide you with so much joy which is in contrast to people who don’t have one and are afraid of change. Doing something for an extended period of time unplugs your fear instincts making you enjoy more.
5. Routine Gives You A Sense Of Purpose: While growing up, a routine provided safety and as adults, it gives you the intention to work towards something. Cool psychology facts such as both feelings are eerily similar, at least in their origin. The fear of the unknown is surprising, to say the least. As children, you don’t know much about anything, and doing an activity out of curiosity paves the way of facing those uncharted territories. As adults, engaging with routines makes you feel safe and gives a feeling of comfort in having the knowledge of done something in the past, and doing it again would be a walk in the park.
6. You Are Satisfied Since Routine Consistently Restates A Decision Already Taken: If you commit to a decision and do it for long enough, you constantly re-affirm it. For instance, if the said decision is studying a new language and you do it everyday for two hours before going to bed no matter how long it takes before you become fluent in it, you are not only validating your decision but putting immense faith in your ability to do it. It’s the easiest way of getting things done.
7. It Takes 66 Days To Form A Habit: On average it takes about 66 days to form a new habit or routine and in that time period, your body self regulates before you enter the flow state meaning all of it becomes automatic. In this state, you become so immersed at the task in hand that all your worries dissolve into oblivion, and ideas are plenty and pertinent. It’s all about responding to different cues such as 6 am is when you wake up, 7 am is when you meditate, and 8 pm is when you study the new language and so on. Naturally, falling into flow becomes easier with every passing day.
8. When We Don’t Follow A Routine, Fear Runs Amok: Fear is an indicator that you are stuck in a precarious situation and the outcome is out of hand. A lack of routine is the place where procrastination hatches every single time. It gives you gaps and spaces and your subconscious tricks you into believing that you’ve done enough for the time being and it might be a good idea to take a break. This is when the deadline is looming ahead. However, if you take that break only at a particular time for a defined time limit, you’ll know that you’d be able to finish the task.
It’s clear that it is paramount to incorporate an everyday routine into all areas of life and be inspired to do it daily. It is a seamless addition that has the potential to turn that frown upside down. With time, it would be prudent to make certain changes to the routine to accommodate new things and activities. In fact, keeping a daily planner will go a long way in sticking to your routine and trust me, there’s nothing as rewarding as striking things to do off your to-do list. It’s all about consistency psychology in the end!