One day last week I got up as usual and showed up at the gym at the usual time as part of my daily routine. There was only one problem. I forgot that it was Saturday. The gym opens 30 minutes later on Saturday mornings. I knew that; I just forgot. So, I put gas in the car and came back, checked messages on my phone. No big deal.
Routines are helpful parts of our usual day because they allow us to execute mindless tasks while thinking of other things or talking to other people at the same time. Think of the mindless tasks we execute every day when we dress, eat or brush our teeth. Multitasking is enabled by simple routines. Routines are helpful.
Establishing routines can be an exercise in efficiency. For example, I know that when I use my key to open the trunk of my car, I will, without thought, leave the key in the lock. This way I won’t lock my keys in the trunk…like I used to do…until I learned a new routine. Now, I don’t have to waste time waiting on a locksmith to open my trunk so I can get my keys.
I like to keep routine office hours. This way, people know when they can come to my office and have a face-to-face conversation without having to bother with an appointment. I do my best to maintain those regular, predictable office hours; but, there are exceptions.
ROUTINES IN MARRIAGE
In marriages routines are important ways to establish and maintain trust. Regular, predictable behaviors and attitudes over a long period of time build relational strength and flexibility.
For example, when one partner knows the other will be at a certain place at a certain time it becomes an expectation. It is part of the routine. A simple text message or phone call when the routine is changed can assure partners that all is well; no worries. However, repeated disruptions of routines without warning can erode trust; a key to lasting relationships.
Partners tend to choose to believe the best when routines are maintained and they are informed about sudden changes. Unexpected changes in routines without clear lines of communication can lead partners to begin to question their choice to trust. If left unattended, trust in one’s partner can become a serious question. In decaying relationships, partners can actually begin to believe the worst, even for the most innocent of alterations to routines.
Routines are important.
A common refrain I hear from the self-employed business owner is that good help is hard to find. When asked what the most common problem they must face with new employees I often hear that they are not dependable. In other words, their routines have not adapted to show up for work on time rested and ready to be productive throughout the work day.
A potential employee may have a predictable routine of staying up late at night playing video games, sleeping later than most in the morning and being sluggish throughout the day. Nonetheless, as comfortable as the potential employee may be with similar routines, they will likely have to change when a typical day-job with responsibilities comes along; that is, if they wish to in crease the probabilities for lasting employment and a good reputation.
More than just something to do over and over, routines can be keys to trust in your relationships.