Today I vacuumed and mopped, did a few loads of laundry, made food with my son – a typical Saturday except for the usual errands. The sheer rote nature of these chores was soothing. And that made me think about a word we all mostly despise.
Routine
As a noun it means the practice of regularly doing things in a fixed order. As an adjective it means activities that are done as a normal part of the job or process. Synonyms are “boring, dull, predictable, tedious.” The word itself comes from French and the word “route” meaning a traveled way. The first use is from 1661.
I’m sure so many of us are longing for the old routines that we once despised. The long commute. The getting everyone dressed for school. The Saturday chores. We miss the tedious. But mostly, we probably miss having a route to follow.

Make Yourself a Role Checklist

Most crisis management plans contain role checklists with every item a person in that role must do in order to take action on the crisis. The lists spell out the crisis routine and the process. They give a route for that person to follow in order to increase the chance of coming through the crisis.
We’re now a week in and remember that we have plot twists coming. Stop and think about your new routines – they have probably revealed themselves to you in the past five days. And then be a good crisis planner for yourself and write them out. Give yourself a role checklist. Be deliberate about your new routines. Include:
  • Things that you don’t want to skip or miss.
  • Family meetings.
  • Walks.
  • Checking your financial accounts.
  • Planning meals.
  • Chores.
  • Work hours. Homework hours.
Routine and control are close siblings and can give you a route to feeling soothed and ready for whatever is next.

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