The Importance of Routine

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It is common that society – especially in the present day, when new technologies and social networks are the day to day – see the routine expression with some fear. Routine, for most people, refers to something monotonous, annoying, tiresome, that does not give pleasure. When they want to do something new, people often say that they “get out of the rut”, that’s worth it, it’s fun and exciting.

It is worth mentioning, however, that routine is something that is paramount for anyone who wants to plan goals in life. Without it, it is possible that our society had not evolved to the current parameters. The establishment of our species in certain places, as well as the development of agriculture, sought a less unstable reality for survival. Without that, we would still be wandering in search of food.

Fundamental issues in our lives, such as keeping a schedule at work, having a bedtime, eating, or exercising are nothing more than routine. In college, post-graduate, MBA, or any type of qualification, there it is again: the routine of lessons, tests, work, without which we would probably not experience new knowledge.

This does not mean, of course, that our lives should be a timed sequence of routines for every action we take. It is important that we have time to know new things that are not in our daily lives. However, when we complain about the routine, we hardly know that it is precisely the organization that will allow us more leisure time.

The organization of the routine is therefore not an enemy to be fought, but a path that can enable us to plan for our dreams and goals, while at the same time it can create more time for the leisure activities we want, such as trips and family outings. Just as sound is only possible because of silence, to escape the routine, it is necessary to have at least a bit of routine in life.

The Rest is Just Sand

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A philosophy professor stood before his class with a few items on the table in front of him. He picked up a large glass jar and started to fill it with rocks.

The professor then asked his students. “Is the jar full?”

The students nodded their heads and agreed that the jar was full.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again. “Is the jar full?”

The students again nodded their heads and agreed that the jar was full.

The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

He then asked once more. “Is the jar full?”

The students this time responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

“Now” said the professor. “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first” he continued. “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal.”

Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.