viernes, 8 de abril de 2011

The establishment of a routine

I have had routines more or less defined since I have memory—that is, when I was two. Excepting the Summer, I had to attend some kind of educational institution during the whole year between 1986 and 2008. Because I quitted the Baccalaurate of Arts in Greek and Latin Philology in May of 2009: therefore, I just hold the Associate of Arts degree. After this, I was not attending any educational institution (at least not as a student) until July of 2010, when I began the Master of Philosophy in Classics. In the menwhile, however, I still kept some kind of routine. Because, let me say it clearly, I am a very routine man and routine goes beyond the academic affairs into my life.

Perhaps you would feel surprised to listen that routine is always changing, but this is entirely true. My experience, at least, has shown me that this is like that. Even though some little actions may be performed without changes along many years, we will always face changes as time goes. For example, I used to shave every working day morning between May and October of year 2007, but now I shave only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. And I faced the last change on shaving just a few weeks ago, when I decided not to replace a damaged piece of my electric shaver and started using, for the first time in my life, razors. Perhaps I did not like them because I remember to have cut my fingers while playing with the razor of my father when I was a child. But I am not sure that this actually happened. Whether be it true or no, I was surprised with the nice feeling of the razor—it was much better than the electric shaver. And the final result was really good as well.

But I am talking about routine. So, I find sometimes myself thinking about why is routine so good. And I give myself the following answers: it makes life easier, it saves time from taking irrelevant decisions, it allows you not to think about little things (you still have to reflect about routine itself, but not every day), and, as a consequence, it makes you happier. I do not spend my time thinking which shirt would look better or even deciding which one I am going to wear every day: I have arranged this on the base of a planification. So I wear all my shirts, which are divided into two groups (one for Summer, the other for Winter), successively. I have no reasons to change this right now, for it is working pretty well. But I do not discard the possibility to change this in the future.

In fact, I make little changes into my routine almost every week. The most important changes have been related lately to the food. The last one was this: I decided to eat a piece of bread and drink a cup of tea after preparing my sandwiches for the next day and before going to bed, because I noticed that I was feeling hungry in this moment of the day. Certainly I did not satisfy my will to eat before changing my routine. If I did not so, it was not because I wanted to observe strictly my routine, but because I felt too lazy to wash the dishes after eating. So here you can see some “conservative” character of the routine, because it demands certain conditions to be altered.

Routine can both make your life happier and make your work better. I have experienced this for many years, but especially after leaving the Lyceum. Before this, the routine was given by the timetable of the Lyceum, so I did not have to think about it. Later, in College, I had to take care of my routine more closely. I had to decide what courses to take, partially depending on the timetable, and also what time I was going to use for my study at home. And then I decided to dedicate specific times to the single courses while studying at home. The result was very good. I did not performed as well as I actually wanted, but I still was considered to be an excellent student at both the Department of Castilian and the Centre for Classical Studies.

So you have many benefitial outcomes from the establishment of a routine. And it is even better when you extend this practice to many aspects of your life. Because it “automates” many processes without taking the control away from you. And, therefore, it makes everything easier, faster, and more pleasant. It makes you better and happier.