For many of us, August marks a time of transition as summer winds down and the fall academic term begins. With that transition frequently come changes in schedule: sleep and wake times, meal planning, commuting, work schedules, and recreation activities may all be affected by new schedules for you and/or other members of your household.
As you begin to plan for these changes, it can be helpful to look at what’s currently working well for you -- even (especially) if you think that your summer routines can’t possibly extend into the fall.
What is a routine
A routine is simply a sequence of actions that you perform each day. You probably don’t have to think too hard each morning about how to take a shower, brush your teeth, and get dressed for the day. With repetition, many of the tasks in your routine become habits, like brushing your teeth, something you can do without thinking about it.
Identify your routines
Most of us have a morning and an evening routine, whether or not you think of them in those terms. There are certain things you do every morning when you get up (make coffee, shower, brush your teeth, etc) and certain things you do every evening.
You may also have a post-work routine of activities you do when you come home or finish the day’s work. Or routines for different parts of your workday. whether you work at home or elsewhere.
What’s working well?
The most important question to consider right now as you go through the August transition is what’s working well? What do you love most about your summer routines?
For instance, perhaps in the summer you tend to linger over coffee in the morning, enjoying some relaxed time to think before starting your day. Rather than just assuming that such relaxed mornings are impossible to achieve during the fall semester, maybe there’s a way to bring some of that relaxation with you into your new schedule.
Create a new routine
If you want to create a new routine, identify no more than seven tasks and write them down as a checklist. For instance, an evening routine might include washing dishes, packing lunch, and choosing clothes for the next day. If you’re not used to packing your lunch in the evening, it will take a few days or weeks for it to become a habit. A checklist can help make sure you don’t forget anything.
Analyzing and improving your daily routines now can help ease your transition into fall’s new schedule.
What do you like best about your summer routines? Let us know in the comments!
[Creative Commons licensed image by flickr user antwerpenR]