5 Keys To Establishing A Routine That Works


Our kids officially start back to school tomorrow.  They will both be in high school this year.  (How did this happen so fast?!?)

I love back to school time.  It means the start of fall sports, the onset of cooler weather, and the return to routine.

I love routine!

Seriously, I am a creature of habit, and back-to-school means our family gets back into a regular routine.  Getting back into a regular routine can be a real challenge especially after the relaxing summer months.  In today’s post, I want to help you identify essentials to establishing a routine that works for you and your family.

5 Keys To Establishing A Routine That Works

  1. Recognize the positives of having a routine.  A good routine can lead to more productivity, better focus, and higher energy levels.  A routine also helps to establish appropriate expectations and boundaries for our time and commitments.  A routine improves understanding and communication in relationships.  And a routine can lead to improved trust between individuals.  Those who thrive on chaos might argue that having a routine is too boring, but I’ve seen the benefits of routine in my house.  And believe me, our house is not boring.
  2. Start getting back into the routine before the routine is required.  Our kids have been used to going to bed late and sleeping in almost every day this summer.  The best way to get them ready for the routine of school is to start getting to bed a little earlier and waking up a little earlier the week before school.  For example, if school bedtime in your house is 9 PM but your kids are used to going to bed at 10:30 PM, make bedtime ten minutes earlier each night.  This doesn’t just apply to school.  Maybe you are coming back to work after a long vacation.  If this is the case, find ways to get your body adjusted to the work routine before you actually have to go back to work.
  3. Be willing to adjust your routine if necessary.  This is where I sometimes fail.  I become so committed to my routine that I fail to see where I need to make adjustments.  Most likely, your initially established routine is not the best routine.  It’s a great start, but it’s not the very best.  Learn to analyze and adjust.  By doing this, you will eventually establish a routine that works best for you and your family.  When I went to college, I remember playing around with my studying routine to make sure I got the most out of my classes.  Initially, I did a lot of studying in my room, but I soon learned that I needed to find a quieter place to study.  Eventually, I discovered the stacks in the library.  This is where I went when I needed to give my full attention to a specific subject.  This became a routine that paid off with great grades, better engineering knowledge, and solid preparedness for my career.
  4. Talk about your routine with your family and friends.  Talking about your routine with others is a great idea for two reasons.  First, friends and family can help hold you accountable to keeping your routine.  Second, friends and family can help you discern where you might need to make adjustments to your routine.  I tell people about my running routine and goals.  This helps me stay on task in meeting my goals, and it’s also helpful in making sure my targets are reasonable.
  5. Make sure you schedule breaks into your routine.  All focus, all the time is wonderful in theory, but we all need to take time for relaxation, recharge, and recreation.  We were made to work, but we were also made to rest.  I think this is why God gave us the Sabbath.  This applies to you and to your kids.  Your kids need a break from the rigors of academics and athletics.  Make sure they have a little time to have fun.  Going to see a movie, going out to dinner, or simply playing a game together as a family are great ways to take a break from routine.

September is such a great time find a routine that works for you.  Taking these steps will help you make the most of the season ahead.

How does having a routine stretch you?  How could a routine help you be more productive?