1. Structure: Having a routine means you can decide what is important to you and create a routine to your day around these things. You can organise your life so it makes sense to you. E.G.- if you prefer to exercise in the morning you can lock in a set time every day for exercise such as 6.30-7.30 and work your morning routine around it. 2. What’s important gets done: you prioritise what is important to you and lock this in first and then fill the spare parts of your diary with the random tasks that pop up in life, rather than running around “putting out fires” or wasting time on other tasks such as social media or watching TV and then not having time left at the end of the day to do what you really want. I often say ‘we all have the same time available to us – it is what we choose to do with it that is different” 3. Good Habits Stick: if we continue to look at exercise as an example, putting exercise in your diary as part of your expected daily activities means you are much more likely to do it regularly and we all know things that we do often quickly become habits. Routine quickly becomes habit because it requires no thought to act. 4. Efficiency: How much time do you waste organising your days, deciding what to and not to do, well if you have a basic weekly routine alot of this decision making is already done for you saving you time and energy and making your life more EFFICIENT. Also there is a lot of talk about decision fatigue – we have so many decisions to make all the time that when the time comes to make important decisions we find it very difficult. It makes sense to work out a routine that suits you so you are not going through the same decision making process every day. A great example I love is wearing a uniform to work – no need to scour the wardrobe every morning wondering what to wear. 5. Saves work: if you do 1 load of washing everyday you won’t be facing an overflowing laundry basket that will take ½ day of your weekend to do 6. Negates the need for willpower or motivation: If it is locked into your daily routine you do it, and as we discussed before things you do often quickly become habits. How often have you set your alarm to go for a walk in the morning only to roll over and turn it off in the morning in favour of a sleep in? If your routine says you exercise at 6.30 everyday you will quickly get in the habit of doing exactly that (after a little initial will power and motivation to get you started) 7. Skills: You get better at what you do often -repetition leads to improvement 8. Relieves stress: many people feel overwhelmed in life with all the jobs that face us everyday especially if you are juggling work, family and other commitments. With a routine you know the important things are getting done. 9. Sleep better: Research shows going to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time in the morning is one of the most important factors affecting how restorative our sleep is. So lock a bedtime into your routine and stick to it! 10. Children love routine: they have little control in their lives with what they do and when at both home and school so knowing when breakfast is, when we leave for school, bed time etc gives them a little more certainty to their day which in turn makes them less anxious.
Of course your whole life doesn’t have to be a routine – don’t schedule every minute of every day – a little flexibility and spontaneity goes along way. Strike a balance between the two.
One of the things I dread most about the kids going back to school is trying to create a healthy lunchbox (that they actually want to eat!) everyday.We all know eating a balanced lunch will help our children remain alert and active throughout the day as well as help with their concentration and focus during learning. The lunchbox should include: * Lean protein * Healthy carbohydrates * Fresh fruit and vegetables I use a stainless steel lunchbox for my own and my children’s packed lunch with a small frozen block to keep food fresh and bacteria away. As a busy mum here are a few tips I use: * Plan all lunches on the weekend (actually I plan all my meals on the weekend) * Do groceries on the weekend * Prepare and freeze: this works well for biscuits, muffins, scrolls etc * Pack the lunchbox the night before so it is ready to grab and go in the morning Some of the lunchbox favorites in my house include: Main meal: * Wholemeal wraps or sandwiches * Rice paper rolls * Sushi Snacks:
* Veg sticks
* Boiled eggs
* Home made popcorn
* Home made muesli bars, muffins or cookies* Rice cakes If you are having trouble converting your children to the healthy lunchbox, encourage them to help choose and prepare their own food. Don’t forget the WATER and remember to set a good example with your own healthy lunchbox !