Until last year, my life felt scattered - and if I'm being honest, I liked it that way. It might have been because I've always had the phrase "Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride" ingrained into my psyche. This mindset forged a reality that was full of chaos but also full of beauty. Everything was temporary, so why not seize the day?
This frame of mind allowed me to experience life unpredictably. Post graduating college with a degree in art and with no clear plan in place - I leaned into impulsiveness and having the freedom to do so. I found myself working for over a decade in the service industry, where I wasn't locked into any type of schedule or contract.
What this lifestyle never allowed for, though, was building a foundation. I had been going for so many years I frequently ran out of gas. While it was exciting to live like you'll die tomorrow - I was running on empty and always on the hunt to fill my metaphorical tank. I had the freedom I craved but wasn't reaping many benefits. This fed my self-image of the "starving artist" and that I was destined to live a life of side hustles lacking sustainability.
Along came One Line Agency.
With a set schedule working from home - I had space to reflect for the first time in a long time, and a new feeling hit me. How enjoyable it was to brew my coffee right around 9am after I allowed my body to naturally wake up. Allotting time every day to sit in my home studio and paint. Daily walks in my neighborhood. These are all things that, amidst the previous chaos of my life - I never knew how to enjoy or had the time for. It was as if.. I was building a routine?
Studies show that building an effective routine can radically reduce stress.
Reducing overall stress leads to improvements in mental health, promotes healthy habits and can help you dodge burnout. For years, I was carrying a burden that I didn’t even know existed. With my newfound routine, my mood balanced out - leaving me more time to relax instead of worrying about day to day life. My stress, coupled with working long and odd hours, had led me to live with insomnia. Routines around sleep schedules and habits are proven to help increase your mental sharpness, and I began waking up motivated and energetic.
Familiarity can provide comfort during uncertain and challenging times. Expected outcomes allow us to spend less time stressing about what could happen, and in my case, it gave me more time to think about what I wanted to manifest. Predictability can stimulate creativity and improve cognitive function. As we reduce the "noise" around making small decisions, we create space to conjure up new and fascinating ideas. All of these regular habits set the stage for productivity.
They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit.
Three weeks from now, with a little determination and self discipline, you can build a routine that can dramatically improve the way you move through the world. Having a job that feels rewarding and working with great people can also help, but what do I know?