From a young age, most of us are taught by our parents in a way that provides us with structure and discipline. From learning to listen to our parents, waking up for school on time, and brushing our teeth every morning and evening, we are placed into routines that are supposed to benefit us throughout our lives. However, when you finally become a “grownup”, this can go out of the window completely. If we find ourselves unemployed, or in any situation that doesn’t have a set schedule, and things can become confusing and messy.

We may have been reluctant to adhere to routines as kids, but truthfully looking back in hindsight, most of us can say that those times were the least stressful of our lives so far. From my point of view, having a routine is not akin to having shackles placed on you, restricting your freedoms, but rather the opposite. Having a routine has given me freedom from stress, uncertainty, and has definitely helped to improve my happiness. Below are some of the reasons why I believe it is important to have a routine.

1) We save time and become more efficient

The one thing we can’t get back, so we absolutely have to make the most of it. By following a routine, we save time on what many have been spent on planning and decision making. For example, by routinely waking up everyday at a certain time, working out, eating and heading to work at a certain time, you actually save time. By honing your routine, you begin to use your time more efficiently and may even be able to squeeze other activities there (or have more free time) too. It helps when the other aspects of your life align with this too. When my employer installed a simple room scheduler to help us book meetings, this saved my colleagues and I many hours of planning and communicating.

2) We build good habits

Ask any successful person and they will say one of the keys to their success is keeping their good habits. In order to build these good habits, we need to perform them repeatedly, and a routine can do just that. There was obviously a reason why our parents made us brush our teeth twice daily as kids, and we benefit from that for the rest of our lives.

3) We learn to prioritize

Just like when building good habits, having a set routine allows us to focus on what is important and beneficial to us. If good health is a priority, having a daily routine where you meditate and go to the gym is a big step in achieving your goal. Instead of deciding daily whether you want to workout or not, a routine will put you in a position where you will do it with no excuses.

4) We procrastinate less

Having a routine reduces the chances of us procrastinating doing tasks and activities. If, for example, you have yet to get yourself into a routine of going to the gym every morning, the chances are that you will find it easier to put it off and make excuses as to why you didn’t do it.

5) We build momentum

You can’t be successful without first building momentum to get yourself there. If you want to get physically healthy, this isn’t an overnight achievement; you must start by going to the gym once, then twice, and so on and so forth until it becomes normalized. As with most things in life, the more frequently you do it, the easier it becomes.

As we can see, all of these points about the importance of routines are all linked. Nothing in life comes easy, no matter what the get-rich-quick ads say. If you start by creating a routine for yourself aligned with your goals, you will surely find yourself on your way there.