I Need Routines, and Maybe You Do Too

Routines.  I know a company that is big on routines. They have daily routines that everyone from management to associate is supposed to follow each day. The goal of the routines is to help people know what to do, to accomplish what is most important, and to direct people's time and energy to the most productive and essential tasks. The routines aren't minute-by-minute rules, but general guidelines meant to lead and assist people. They are like the lines in a coloring book. You can color in the picture however you want, but if you stay inside the lines the picture will look a whole look prettier when it is finished.

Routines.  I have been thinking about the routines in my personal life. I really don't have many. I used to consider myself more of a Type A, structured person, but over the years a lot of my rigidity has loosened up. Much of that is due to getting married, having kids, working a job with varied hours, and dealing with the many other things life throws at you. And to be honest, some of it is just general sloth and laziness. Recently I'm feeling the need to get some lines back on the coloring book pages of my life. I'm thirty three years old and I have to acknowledge the fact that I have adult responsibilities. I have to care for my soul, invest in my wife and kids, plan for the future, make sure homework gets done, make sure the clothes are cleaned, make sure the yard is maintained, make sure bills are paid, and balance a whole host of other concerns. This will not happen as effectively and efficiently as it could if I don't develop some better routines in my life.

Routines.  They tell us what we should and shouldn't spend time on. They help direct us to accomplishing what we have decided is most important to get done each day. They give us guidelines for saying yes and no to the things that scream for our attention.

Routines.  One of the reasons I don't like routines is because they seem restrictive. I forget that it is restrictiveness that forces me to focus and be productive. Without the restriction of following a routine I end up wasting a lot of time on insignificant things that give me short term pleasure instead of long term success. Also, I have this weird fear that if I commit to a routine I will miss out on something that comes up along the way. This doesn't have to be the case; a routine is a guideline, not a guillotine. There will be times when routines need to be deviated from. This is fine as long as deviation doesn't become the routine.

Routines.  Some areas where I need better routines include....
- date night
- family devotions and Bible study
- personal devotions and Bible study
- household chores
- finances
- parental discipline
- sports consumption
- missional living
- investment in friendships
- personal health
- kids school work
 - family meal times
- vehicle maintenance

 Routines. Great things don't happen to people who just drift. I have to become more intentional about directing my life to the ends that I desire. Developing routines will help me to develop habits that will help me to become the person I want to be, living the future I desire to live.