Praise the routine: routinize less and stimulate creativity more

Routine is both an organizer and a computer of our life. But nevertheless, Abuse of habits and rituals make it monotonous and colorless.

It is necessary to stimulate creativity to create a balanced equation between routine and creation. This seems to be the formula to activate our brain neuroplasticity and have a healthier life.


Routine, as designated by the Royal Academy dictionary, derives from French routine and is defined as ‘A custom or habit that is acquired from the numerous repetition of the same activity or task’. Thus, the development of a certain routine leads to the systematization of an action or a series of actions in time automatically, which implies that it is carried out without mediating the reasoning or awareness of the action.

The life of all human beings is absolutely routine. In fact, program developments of any kind operate as organizers of steps to follow and with it certain routines are structured in order to achieve objectives. This is observed in diet programs to lose weight, systematized routines of gyms to perform bodybuilding, training plans for running or Therapeutic programs for addicts or alcoholics.

A program basically determines what can and cannot be done.In addition to owning and pointing out a series of boundaries: the actions to be followed, the sequence, the minimum goals, the final objectives, the context in which the actions are developed, the participants or the time, among many variables.

The repeated exercise of a program is systematized in a person's life and will be part of their daily routine, if it should be applied every day.

One of the areas in which the routine is visualized with greater happiness is in the work area. In certain series production machinery run by men and women, the routine is composed of a series of automatic movements in which consciousness is lost. However, this type of stereotyped actions has its risk, mainly in those machinery that cut, twist, tighten and, in case of any distraction, can cause damage to the person who executes the movement.

Routine automatisms lead to loss of attention and drowsiness. Keep in mind that the brain does not accumulate glucose, but consumes it by 25% of the body's expenditure. It is feasible that, after an hour and a half or two hours, that fuel is lost and symptoms of hypoglycemia may occur, such as loss of control, attention, sleep, distractions, among other symptoms. And there you run a lot of risk!

Too everyday life is composed of a chain of routines that organize us. Every day, millions of people get up at a certain time (considering that this time is in relation to the entry of the workday), they shower, brush their teeth, organize their clothes, eat breakfast (and what do they have for breakfast), travel to work (on foot, by train, bus, motorcycle, bicycle, car), and finally arrive at work.

On this routine basic template, there are a series of rituals that color it: I use another coffee that I buy in the Starbucks from the corner of work, I pass the interdental thread after having breakfast cereals, I use a certain perfume according to the day, etc.

Read also: How to turn meditation into your daily routine

The ritualism of the routine

Ritualism It is an important part of the routine. Rituals, like routine in general, are computers. Now, I'm not talking about cabalero ritualism, based on magical thinking, of repeating some action so that the result is the desired one or of the type like the same food when my favorite team plays, because it always wins when I do it.

Nor do I speak of pathological ritualism of obsessive compulsive disorder, in which you always walk on the same tiles of a path or wash your hands exactly 18 times. All these rituals are ruminant, exhausting and have little to do with order and routine.

Healthy rituals

There are healthy rituals that are part of a person's general routine. For example, to practice sports a series of days at a certain time during the week, take an afternoon off to cut the work of the week or leave the morning of a Wednesday to read in our favorite bar.

Some of these healthy rituals are taught in psychotherapy as a task prescription. An attempt is made to insert into the person a habit that desestresar, connect with health and an activity that gives pleasure.

  • If this ritual is systematized as a habit, there has been a small change in the person; change that will produce by domino effect, other changes or a major modification. Habits and rituals, then, are the soldiers who fit into the routine.

However, it should be said that The routine does not have a good press. It has been one of the states of the most beaten, criticized and historically disqualified man. It is normally associated with rigidity, boredom, boredom, more of the same, boredom.

The routine is usually considered the opposite of creativity, which is why vacations are constituted in the period to put aside the routine and project in activities that, due to labor obligations or duties of any kind in the year, cannot be carried out.

Routinization is the abuse of routine. That is, the routine is a great value of the life of human beings. It allows us to abbreviate times, systematize actions, not spend energy on thoughts that have already been proven that their effectiveness is by a certain route.

Routine tells us that there is no need to invent something. If something works, and it works well with a routine, let's not try to improve it! Sometimes, we try to improve or modify something that goes perfectly well. It is a mechanism that provides security, since it reduces surprises and unforeseen events.

The problem is that when a person is routinized, he systematizes his life in such a way that he aborts creativity. Ritualization and systematization of extreme habits become a boring, monotonous existence, discolored.

So it is not the routine to criticize, but the routine of the routine. This is what I call rutinize, attitude that mutilates creativity and spoils free time, and can lead – as they are observed in the statistics of the big cities – to depression, stress and suicides.

Read also: Exercises to develop creativity

I suggest that we be aware of that limit between good routine and abuse. Breaking with certain habits can increase creativity. Altering certain steps eliminates stiffness and devising new programs or venturing into topics outside of plans, also encourages detrutinize.

The abuse of the routine always perpetuates the same routes of neoplastic networks. Activating them implies creating, having new ideas that constitute new alternative paths to these networks: when we break with routine abuse, we create new paths that favor creativity and, of course, the good life.