Routines are wonderful.. Additionally, disciplined routines actually afford you more “free-time” in your days. The more your day is structured and prioritized, the more time you free-up to deal with the unexpected. Taut structure creates slack.
However, routines are ideal when life lends itself to being routine. There will inevitably be times when a daily routine fits your day like a square peg into a round hole. Forcing the routine on these days leads to defeat. Sometimes you have to let the slack come from within you. The good news is that when your disciplined with your routine, a few days of letting go of the reigns, letting some of the accumulated slack loose, is good for you.
Routines afford you the opportunity to present your best self on a given day. It’s not a guarantee, but luck favors the prepared. When you must surrender your routine to days that don’t fall in your favor, consider the why behind the reason you’re letting go of the slack you created with being structured – slacking off, if you will. When you cannot put self-care first, what are you prioritizing instead? Family? Loved ones? Friends? Community? Vocation? Whatever the answer, don’t those things deserve your undivided attention too? Slack is the balance between being taut and completely letting go. It’s knowing you have created space for yourself without sacrificing what motivates you to be a better person in the first place. We don’t want to be better for ourselves afterall. That’s just the side-effect of selflessness. We want to be better for those we serve: our families, our loved ones, our friends, our communities, our colleagues, etc.