life: recent publications

Q: “Will a Daily Routine Keep Me from Feeling Overwhelmed?”

Q: “I’m a work-from-home mom with no daily structure. I feel so out of control, jumping from one thing to another. I try to work but then realize I need to do laundry.

Or I’ll get on the phone and never finish my work. My husband tells me I need to set up routines or rituals to avoid feeling overwhelmed. I know he’s right, but I’m lost.

This is causing friction in my household. I don’t get how routines or rituals will help me.” — DrowningMom Hi DrowningMom:I love this question! I often tell my student-coaching clients that establishing routines and rituals can bring more ease and increased productivity to their lives.Here’s how I explain establishing routines to my coaching clients: Planning, organization, and time management all require ongoing, conscious, active brainpower. Routines, almost by definition, do not.

Think of a routine as “I plan it once, and I’m done.” In other words, a daily routine offers you the ability to move through your tasks without thinking about what’s next.Routines are great tools to help battle procrastination because giving your brain a break from consciously planning and preparing specific to-dos means fewer things will get in your way of accomplishing the work that requires effort.A funny thing about routines and rituals is that sometimes they form naturally without much deliberate thought. Brushing your teeth before (or after) you wash your face is a routine you probably just fell into one day. The same goes for putting on your socks and shoes.

Other routines take considerable thought and effort. When students receive their new class schedule at the beginning of a school year or semester, they need to devise all-new routines to support the structure of their days. The same applies to

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