Is having a Routine good, bad or indifferent?

My mum said the other day, she felt she was a little out of touch with what me and my sister like and do. It was sad to hear this and I've promised to be more proactive about feeding back some of my work and personal stuff. But what was really interesting was when my mum asked if I was stressed at work. This came after I tried to explain what I do at work. I think what suprised my mum more that anything was the lack of a routine.

This got me thinking, is a routine a good or bad thing? Some would say, not having a routine means everyday brings new challenges and opputinities but at the same token, it also means you don't get to research, master, reflect, etc for long because who knows what will happen tomorrow? Having a routine can be as interesting and challenging but also means you can plan a little better and give things the time they need.

Don't get me wrong, I do have a slight routine to my life but its certainly not as tuned as others. My typical day includes getting up about 9am, going to work soon afterwards having lunch some time between 1-3pm, leaving work about 7pm-ish and going to bed about 1am. Recently I've been going out a lot after work, so typically in December I was eating out which meant eating at different times everyday. Work has very little routine, one moment I can be replying to emails next minute running around the city looking for a venue for our christmas party. I tend to have quite a few meetings off-site over coffee or even lunch-dinner. Events including Geekdinners and BarCamps are usually dependant on other peoples time, so there never regular. I do try and go to other regular events but due to the lack of routine in my calendar – I do miss some regular events like Minibar, Pubstandards, etc. I also tend to do things like food shopping, clothes shopping, computer bits when I can be bothered rather that on a schedule. I don't know if this is good or bad yet.

I have a lot of tools which help me manage the lack of routine in my life but they could be improved now I sit and think about it. However maybe its time to have a little more routine in my life, even if its just so my parents know which city I'm in that week… (*smile*)

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and