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  • Charles Abbott

In praise of routine

In the endless quest for novelty that is modern life, the word routine is often used negatively, implying something humdrum, dull and unimaginative. However, I believe routine to be an overlooked superpower.

Having a routine can free you from making hundreds of time-consuming, energy-sapping decisions every day. The time you wake, the breakfast you eat, the news programme you listen to, the route you take to the station...the list of daily choices would be exhausting, were it not for the liberating effect of having a routine. 

Famously, Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every day, thus freeing his mind to concentrate on more important tasks such as finding interesting new ways to reduce the attention span of young people and hollow out civic society.

Psychologists suggest that we have a finite ability to process information. Studies have shown that the more decisions we make throughout the day, the worse we are at making them. It might, therefore, be a good idea to reserve your mental capacity for the most important decisions. Use it all up on what t-shirt to wear and there's none left to create your magnum opus or plot world domination.

One helpful way to avoid decision fatigue is to build a framework that underpins your day or week. For example, knowing that you always do your online Pilates classes on particular days can help free your mind for higher things.

To avoid any interruptions to this healthy habit, I make pre-recorded classes available whenever I am on holiday, so you can still do all your regular Pilates classes as usual. This is the case over the forthcoming early May Bank Holiday weekend, when I will be away for a few days.

If you would like to do a pre-recorded class, simply book as usual via the online classes page of my website. I will send you the recording in advance, so you can still do the class at the regular time (or at any time for the following seven days).

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