Monday, July 15, 2013

Step On It: Routine & Repetition

Today I went to Chuck E Cheese with the boys. As always they had a blast and as always I spent way too much on tokens and crappy pizza. But it's all part of the fun and we make sure to make it a periodic at best trip. It's a treat.

While I was there, a man was playing on the arcade game named Skee-Ball. It's kind of like bowling were the ball will land in different holes which are places strategically. The smaller hole that award the most point is the smallest in the most hard to reach  spot. The points awarded varies from 1000 to 10,000 depending on the hole the ball lands in. If your total score was above 43,000 points; you would get a hundred tickets that can later be redeemed for toys.

This man would put in his tokens and sets himself up and would proceed to throw each ball at the same angle in the same manor and at the same speed, to the best of his ability. Over half of the ball he threw would land in that 10,000 hole. Impressive!!! Having played this game when I was younger I can admit I have NEVER gotten a ball in the high score hole. I would have taken a video to show all of you, but it is my experience that strangers do not appreciate random people taking videos of them.

This man perfected his technique until he was able to get his ball into the 10,000 hole. Once he figured that out, he repeated the same process again and again and again, getting the desired result again and again and again. We both, from the look of it spent, the same absurd amount of money on tokens today. But he ended up with a lot more tickets then we did. Now I am not jealous, those tickets gets exchange for toys that can be easily bought at any Dollar Store for a fraction of the money that we spend on tokens.

I'm mentioning this in this post to discuss the power of routine and repetition. A month or so ago I posted about creating a system. Once that system is in place, maintaining it with a steady routine and repetition will ensure that you constantly get the desired effect and success. Once it become a habit, and the more practice you get at it; it becomes second nature and the results become easier to obtain.

Ok simple, create a routine, form a new habit. Right!  Easy for me to say.

Well here are some tips from the research I did. By now, if you have followed the recommendation from my post, create a system, you have a good idea of needs to be done.

Now you need to decide on timing. Most people have greater energy for creative thinking in the morning since self controls depletes as the day wears on. This would be the time of day you want to dedicate to critical thinking tasks and trouble shooting.

Midday tends to be when the energy and coffee high dissipate. This would be the time of day to designate to boring routine stuff. Answer emails, file, data entry or even run errands.

Evenings is where you would plan for the next day. Create your to do list, complete the get ready tasks for the morning (lunches, lay out clothes, etc), and declutter for a fresh start in the morning.

Now if you are a night owl, of course you would rearrange your timing to fit your need. The same for other activities that may take president, work, family time and so on.

It takes 21 days to make or brake a habit. That means for 21 days, when establishing a new routine, your old routine is fighting you. It WILL be uncomfortable. Start small, commit to your new routine for 4 days. Everyone can commit for 4 days. On day 5 evaluate what you have done, how is the process working out. Then make an other commitment, this time for a week. Now it's been 11 days. By this time you should start seeing progress towards your goals. Things should be starting to come together. Make an other commitment for an other week. 18 days down now, only 3 to go to make this new habit permanent. At this time, evaluate the life style. Is this something that is working out for you? Is it still a struggle to commit and stay motivated? If so, you may need to consider if this is really the life style for you. If your why is clear and strong enough, the thought of the next three days and beyond are not even on your mind.

Well good luck with implementing this new routine. Wish me luck as well as I do the same.