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  • Writer's pictureElisa Brazell


Updated: Apr 25, 2020

I'm sure I'm not the only one trying to figure out a new routine now that we're thrown into this "new norm".

I am a very scheduled person- "Routine" is my middle name. Having the kids home every day, all day for #distancelearning brings out the feeling-like-I-need-to-schedule-everyone-and-everything anxiety in me. We go through this every summer...poor kids. But this time, a schedule is truly needed for all of our sanity.

I'm recovering from a lifetime of needing to control my surroundings, experiences and people around me. It's in my type 3 nature, but I am very aware of the need to let that tendency go. I have been doing my best to allow others to use their agency, especially my family members, but I am mid-journey on this one. I get about a daily reminder I'm being a little "pushy". So for what its worth knowing my background, here's my routine soapbox:

Why Routines?

I'm afraid to let the kids slip into a summer mentality when they have a school year to finish strong, good habits to create and keep and a plethora of extra time on their hands that could be used for good.

Routines keep important things from being missed.

As a family, we've made it a point to wake up before dad goes to work to do 10 minutes of scripture study and family prayer at 6:40. We even do it through the summer because we know other times do not consistently work for us. The kids just go back to bed after saying goodbye to dad. We have missed very few days in the past 10 years. It was something we decided was important for our family and we have just made it happen and it has been one of the constants that we can rely on happening... even more than sit down dinner 😬.

So nothing has changed. We still do that now that the kids are home for distance of my children, a teenager, has taken it upon herself to use her agency (despite requests and incentives) to go back to bed until 10 AM... or later 🤯.

Being an early bird, this is tearing me apart! I have so many things accomplished in my day by 10 AM!

In our discussions about this "issue" she's using the "I'm a night owl" and insomnia excuse, bringing up research that supports night owls.

Well it turns out that after some of my own research, she may have some points. Apparently there have been studies that show that people with artistic and visually creative minds have more interrupted sleep and tend to be night owls. Also, according to studies, being an early bird versus a night owl might have to do with being predominantly left brained versus right brained.

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So, to be fair to the teenager, I'll build my argument FOR routines around the possibility that my routine isn't the only right and best one. 😉

Or at least, my old routine. The next-to-perfect one I had when school was still in, where I got my morning walk in almost every day- walking the boys to the bus stop; where I had a great chunk of very quiet time to work on my business and teach some of my guitar students while the kids were at school.

But those times are past for the next few months. So it's time to create a workable routine that will serve me and my kiddos during distance learning till summer (at which point, I'll still need a routine so I'll be reworking it again 😅)

Routines can keep us from slipping into bad habits

➡I'd definitely say our family's morning scripture and prayer routine has had it's place in keeping us from bad habits. It helps to have things of a spiritual and a more eternal nature on the forefront of the mind as we interact with one another and make choices through the day.

I have another routine that has remained in place through social distancing. It is my Miracle Morning SAVERS (from Hal Elrod's book, Miracle Morning) I have missed very few days of this routine over the past 2 years since I started it because it is amazing! Life changing I might say. I wake up between 5:30 AM and 5:45 (not supposed to hit snooze but I have been 😴) And try to hit each of these categories:

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Through productivity, which comes from positive routines, we can accomplish great things.

I am a huge proponent of using our time productively.

Sometimes when I substitute teach at the local middle and high schools I see how much the students are on their phones, most just killing time on games, having meaningless social media interactions, or watching endless Tik Tok videos back to back and I have to wonder what they might be missing out on:

✳There is so much truth and knowledge and wisdom to be found in reading good books.

✳Opportunities to be a light to someone else's life through good deeds.

✳ Meaningful face to face relationships and interactions.

✳Skills to be learned, practiced and mastered.

✳Heck, with a consistent enough routine, you could eventually impact the world in whatever way that can be for you and your skills.

Anyone who has practiced an instrument or sport or something they wanted to improve knows that what helps them become accomplished at that thing is consistent and dedicated practice. This can best be accomplished if that practice period is scheduled right next to something else that happened consistently every day, such as after eating breakfast. It becomes such a habit, you're on autopilot and you know it's going to get done.

Whether you're an early bird or night owl, figuring a good daily routine for yourself will help you hit the things that are important to you for the day and avoid letting things slip through the cracks, keep bad habits at bay and help you live a productive and meaningful life.

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