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s/o Do you prefer routine or not?


creekland
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Do you prefer routine or not?  

193 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you prefer routine?

    • Yes - pretty much always. It's my comfort zone.
      37
    • Yes - most of the time, but there are some non-routine things I like such as vacations.
      106
    • I don't know that I prefer one or the other. Either works.
      19
    • Usually not. I prefer changing things or I get bored. I can handle some routine, but I'll look for a change.
      24
    • No. I can't stand being in ruts. If I stay in a routine for too long it really bothers me. I often change things.
      7


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Another curiosity got sparked - this time from the After Christmas Funk thread.  Do you prefer a day to day routine and get more messed up mentally by change or the other way around?

 

As always - an anonymous poll.

 

 

I need change in my life as I get way too bored without it, but some things are ok with routine - for a little bit.

 

There are very few full time jobs I could do for long due to the routine needed to accomplish them.  This includes being a SAHM and teaching (the two main things I've done).  Now I do each part time and that works out well as when I get bored with one I switch to the other - and the teaching is subbing so there's a lot of variety there.  Even being a SAHM, I have ponies and a garden and we travel so I can switch roles often.

 

I like holidays and "different days" (most of them anyway) and get more in a funk when returning to routine (returning from travel or sending the boys off to college again).

 

My dream life would be traveling on the road 24/7 seeing new things though.  Very little routine there as we'd plot our travels as we wanted them based upon our whims.

 

If I ever had to live a life where everything was the same day in and day out or weekly or whatever... that would bother me intensely mentally.

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I like routine, but I will NOT self impose it.   

 

So, when I was working, and I was in a routine of getting up, getting the kids to preschool, going to work, working all day, picking the kids up, etc.....I was in a set routine and did fine.

 

Being a SAHM is very hard for me.  It always has been.  I don't follow a self imposed routine because I don't see the point.  I have nowhere to go, nothing pressing to do unless I choose to do it, so why would I make myself get up and follow something? 

 

Now that middle son is in school, I have to get up and get him to school every am, so that does at least get me up, but it is hard to get to bed on time when the HS kids in my family still have night activities, etc.....so now I am just a mess.  Go to bed late, get up super early, take naps, feel tired, get even less done, etc....

 

Next year night activities need to be cut back even further.   But oldest will be at CC, and he has some night classes and I need to pick him up because he doesn't drive.  OY!  (and no, I can't just make him drive, he has special needs and you don't want him on the road until he is ready, believe me!)  And yes, his program is mostly an afternoon/night program, I can't change that either.

 

Dawn

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What I like is to have things at home be completely private and routine and everything outside of the house not be which is probably why I like being a very mobile expat. Also, I really enjoy figuring out how to create a routine at home anywhere we live.

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I thrive on routine.  I go to bed about the same time, get up about the same time, try to do certain errands and household chores on certain days of the week, etc.  I do enjoy breaking up the routine now and then with planned vacations and day trips.  But I always feel a bit "off" on vacations.  At heart I'm a homebody who craves routine, even though I know those breaks are good for me.  The thing I like most about vacations is that it always feels so nice to get back to my routine afterwards. ;)

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I have periods in my life where I need and crave a routine, and others where lack of routine doesn't bother me.  By nature, I'm fine with interruptions, surprises, and the unexpected, but when the chaos gets too much (December: planning a long distance Christmas and a long distance move!), I will impose some routine in my life.

 

Right now I have toddlers.  I am working on establishing a better routine for us because they need it.  I can see our quality of life improved if I have a predictable to them routine, even though right how our days are fairly predictable to me.  I'm learning that it's definitely not the same thing!

 

Will this kind of routine drive me crazy? Probably eventually.  But not as crazy as toddlers.  :lol:

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We are ADD around here.  Routine helps hold us together, otherwise we go into a downward spinning spiral into chaos!  But, since we are ADD, we are constantly not quite doing the routine right most of the time.  Really it is a guide more than something set in stone.  

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I do best with a routine that gives structure to my daily life, punctuated by unstructured spontaneous weekend fun and vacations.

My kids  have always done better with a routine, too, and it made our family life smoother and more pleasant. As was evident whenever we had too long unstructured time in summers.

Edited by regentrude
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The older I get, the more I like routines. I like trying new things, but most changes in my routine these days are the result of something negative that compelled me to make them, not my choice or something fun. There were several times last year when I wished I could have a dull, perfectly routine week without some fire to put out.

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I like routine. I thrive on sameness. My dh, otoh, thrives on spontaneity. This causes great stress for me as it is difficult for me to throw aside whatever staid thing I an doing and go do something adventurous.

Vacations are different.

Edited by kewb
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I like routine. I thrive on sameness. My dh, otoh, thrives on spontaneity. This causes great stress for me as it is difficult for me to throw aside whatever staid thing I an doing and go do something adventurous.

Vacations are different.

 

We're the opposite.  I thrive on change and spontaneity.  Hubby thrives on routine and schedules.  Our first planned trip together (dating) almost got cancelled when he brought me a minute by minute planned out itinerary for our road trip.  He even had rest area stops planned...  I took one brief look at it, then balled it up and tossed it in the garbage can and told him there's no way I was going.  He was in love enough that he quickly caved and we took the trip my way (100% spontaneously except for which day we left and returned).  If he hadn't, there's no way our dating relationship would have continued as I knew I definitely couldn't travel his way and there's no way I'd give up travel.

 

Fast forward 27+ years and  I'm pretty sure I've changed him into being more spontaneous than I've become routine loving.  For trips, we'll semi plan some of them (advanced reservations or known dates), but on others we'll just take off if we get the whim.  None have rest stops planned!  

 

There's a little routine in our day to day life, but not that much.  We don't eat meals at the same time of day (but always eat them together if we're home).  We go to church on Sunday and have that as a routine with the morning schedule.  If I'm working, my morning is routine.  His days rarely are due to the nature of his job.  None of our homeschooled days were scheduled out except for almost always taking Tuesdays as a day off for "family day."  We just tackled what we felt like when we felt like it and had no daily schedule.  We only had the end goal in sight.  My guys didn't seem to mind at all.  They're still quite flexible (usually) now too.

 

I'm pretty sure I'd mentally go crazy if sent to prison where a daily schedule is the norm.  Day to day sameness is super tedious and gets depressing to me.  I get restless.

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I like routine during routine times, kwim?   The work/school week.  Regular weekends when we are home. 

 

I also feel like we get into ruts and I need to shake up the routine, or dump it for a short period of time, such as vacation, or just a random day off from school/work.  

 

One of my kids has ADD and as he approaches adulthood/college, I find myself encouraging routines more and more, as routines help him remember to do things.

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I like both routine and change for different parts of my life. For work/earning, I LOVE organized systems. I love to create an organized system where none exists (this was a huge marriage perk for DH's business ;)). I love knowing exactly how to solve the problems that exist and exercising that. I do not enjoy the challenge of facing a new problem that I can't quickly see how to make it systematic. I think this was what was hard for me in mothering babies. Every day - or hour, some new dischord - what is the problem? Are you hungry, teething, sick, sleepy, or just a chronic malcontent, kid? ;) Definitely like parenting more once I can pretty much expect the kid will be doing these things at this time, for this reason and, if not, there is a readily-identifiable reason.

 

With that said, I love the differentness of holidays and vacations. DH was making soup first thing this morning. My kids were coloring together last night at the kitchen table. I love, love, love having everyone home and not having a billion important projects hanging over their heads. It is also such a nice change when I wake up in the morning without a set obligation I must rush off to attend to.

 

One thing that is interesting, though, when I do go on vacation is that my system-building tendency crops up immediately in the new place. I start seeking a routine for the temporary location. I do have a notion in the future of doing some continuous traveling by RV for no less than a year, but even when I consider how I would do that, I want to stay in one spot for a bit. I want to deeply sample what is happening in that region before I move along. I find I do that better with some type of routine than if I were *totally* spontaneous. My mom, for example, likes to get in the rental car and just start driving with no particular goal. YIKES! I never do that! :D no, I know in advance that this is a great hiking spot and I plan to do that one day; this is where locals eat local flavors; this is the shopping market where artisans sell hand-crafted goods, etc.

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Maybe if someone else had it going for me, I wouldn't mind it that much. But I'm not into wasting all the time into establishing a routine and then maintaining it. I really enjoy being spontaneous. Like today we were supposed to stay home and declutter, but the weather is so  nice so we are all going for a hike.

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I like routine for some things, just because I have ADD, like chores. Otherwise I'm more of a wing it person (like school work, I don't have a routine or anything for that outside of class, I get it done but some times it might be I can only work on it for a few minutes while waiting for something else)

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We're the opposite.  I thrive on change and spontaneity.  Hubby thrives on routine and schedules.  Our first planned trip together (dating) almost got cancelled when he brought me a minute by minute planned out itinerary for our road trip.  He even had rest area stops planned...  I took one brief look at it, then balled it up and tossed it in the garbage can and told him there's no way I was going.  He was in love enough that he quickly caved and we took the trip my way (100% spontaneously except for which day we left and returned).  If he hadn't, there's no way our dating relationship would have continued as I knew I definitely couldn't travel his way and there's no way I'd give up travel.

 

Fast forward 27+ years and  I'm pretty sure I've changed him into being more spontaneous than I've become routine loving.  For trips, we'll semi plan some of them (advanced reservations or known dates), but on others we'll just take off if we get the whim.  None have rest stops planned!  

 

There's a little routine in our day to day life, but not that much.  We don't eat meals at the same time of day (but always eat them together if we're home).  We go to church on Sunday and have that as a routine with the morning schedule.  If I'm working, my morning is routine.  His days rarely are due to the nature of his job.  None of our homeschooled days were scheduled out except for almost always taking Tuesdays as a day off for "family day."  We just tackled what we felt like when we felt like it and had no daily schedule.  We only had the end goal in sight.  My guys didn't seem to mind at all.  They're still quite flexible (usually) now too.

 

I'm pretty sure I'd mentally go crazy if sent to prison where a daily schedule is the norm.  Day to day sameness is super tedious and gets depressing to me.  I get restless.

 

Ok, I am not that regimented where I need minute to minute.  Rest stop planning means I see a rest stop and I stop.  A am a  bit pavlovian that way.  See sign and I immediately need to go to the bathroom. Unless I am driving.  If I am in the passenger seat I have nothing to do except think about how I have to use the rest room and there won't be another chance for 50 miles.

 

Even on vacation I like to know which days we are doing which thing.  Although on vacation I can be more flexible. 

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I like what would call a loose routine, predictable days with expectations that certain things will get done, but not a micromanaged day. I'm not big on surprises, or irregularities. The more stressful things get, the more I tighten up my routine. Too stressful, and I become a drill sergeant. It is not pleasant.

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I feel like about 80% of my life is out of my control. I do not live the way that I, personally, want to live due to the nature of marriage and parenting. So I try to have a few routines so I have some sense of control. But my routines often get derailed, which makes me feel even more out of control.

 

There has been very little routine these past two weeks due to our Christmas holiday and it's been nice. I can roll with no routine on a holiday. But in order to have a successful school day, I must have a routine in place on school days. The kids don't learn well if they don't know what to expect on a school day. They are also not very spontaneous and if I say, "Hey let's do X today!" they're likely to resist and not want to do it if they didn't have advanced notice, even for fun stuff like going to a movie or visiting a friend. I have a white board on the fridge where I write out the plan for the day (at their request) and if we deviate, they resist. So maybe they're people who thrive on routine--or at least like to know what's coming up.

 

I'm someone who would probably also thrive better on routine, but as I said before, due to the nature of parenting and marriage I feel like I can never really stick to my routines. Someone else's needs/wants get in the way. I know it's the nature of it, but it still unsettles me. I'd love to live following my own routine successfully for a while without it being derailed to see how that feels.

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I love routine but that doesn't mean it has to be boring.  During spring, summer, and fall, our routine is mostly work and home during the week and then one day of the weekend is home projects and the other day is a day trip.   One day a week I have a lunch date out with a friend- different friends, but I try to do that once a week.  We go to the movies or watch a movie together as a family once a week.   I ride my bike on the trail a few times a week- I have 50 miles of trails to choose from so it's always fun.   

 

Routine can get a bad rap. I think there's a difference between a routine and a rut. 

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Routine can get a bad rap. I think there's a difference between a routine and a rut. 

 

Not to me.  Any routine can be fun at first when it's new and exciting.  Then it graduates into a rut.  This is why I need to change things often.

 

We used to set things we would do like entertaining friends, etc, but even that got "old" after a while and I'd grow to resent it.  It's far better for me when it's on a "want to do" basis rather than a weekly or bi-weekly scheduled basis.

 

The best life for me is waking up in the morning and seeing what I feel like doing - then doing it.  When things need doing, they go on a list and get done at some point, but rarely scheduled much in advance unless they have to be (vet appts or similar).  I can have a rough idea of what's happening up to a week in advance, but not much gets written in stone, 'cause it can be changed even last minute if desired.  Work/school days get planned, but what I do during those days changes enough that I enjoy it, as long as they don't happen every day.  Two or three days per week is perfect.

 

I know I want to visit middle son at college in April to watch some of his club events.  That's ok to have "planned," but that's a one time deal.

 

Hubby and I know we will go somewhere in Aug for our anniversary as we do it every year.  Exactly where will be hashed out much closer to August - generally only early enough that we can get hotel reservations we like wherever we choose to go.

 

There are times we've set out in the car and just decided to "head north" for a day trip or two.  Those are super fun trips, but now we've lived here too long to have much "new" out there.  I dream of moving to HI for 18 months or so and better exploring there...

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I don't know how to answer, some routines are good for me, going to bed and getting up at similar times- vital for my peace of mind and physical health. I like to break from routine for school but if I'm too loose for too long it all feels a little crazy- so I compromise by doing some the basics on routine and the rest a little more as we want. I like to change things up and I wilt with too much the same- I like to have some variety and I never made it very long in a job either. I worked with juvenile delinquents- the coveted job was in the classrooom while the kids did school, my dream position was working in the outdoor recreation program.

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I love my routine so much. I would go as far as to say I abhor spontaneity.

 

New things can be added or deducted painlessly to/from the routine. And I can plan fun things.

 

But I need mt routine to feel rock-steady.

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The best life for me is waking up in the morning and seeing what I feel like doing - then doing it.  

 

There are times we've set out in the car and just decided to "head north" for a day trip or two.  Those are super fun trips, but now we've lived here too long to have much "new" out there.  I dream of moving to HI for 18 months or so and better exploring there...

 

We have such different lives.

 

As a mother of five little kids, I have a lot of things I have to do daily.  I could do them in a haphazard and illogical order, and call that "unscheduled and spontaneous,"  but it would really be a hot mess. 

 

Part of our routine is that the baby has breakfast and then bathes.  Why?  Because her diaper often leaks at night, she wakes hungry, and then puts oatmeal in her hair.  See, so the routine is  Wake, eat, bathe.  It makes sense.  Otherwise the baby is cranky- hungry and smells like pee. 

 

Even if I moved to Hawaii, the baby would still need to wake, eat, then bathe.  We would also still have to clean, shop, cook, bathe, study, and all the other stuff we always have to do.

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I'm not sure how to answer the poll.  I do better with routine where there's things I have to do, specifically work.  I get more work done on days when I get up early and see the kids off to school and then get busy.  But when I don't have work to do, I much prefer to sleep in and just do whatever I feel like doing when I want to do it.  So I guess, I like routine when I have things I have to accomplish, but as a general rule, I like just going with the flow.

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We have such different lives.

 

As a mother of five little kids, I have a lot of things I have to do daily.  I could do them in a haphazard and illogical order, and call that "unscheduled and spontaneous,"  but it would really be a hot mess. 

 

Part of our routine is that the baby has breakfast and then bathes.  Why?  Because her diaper often leaks at night, she wakes hungry, and then puts oatmeal in her hair.  See, so the routine is  Wake, eat, bathe.  It makes sense.  Otherwise the baby is cranky- hungry and smells like pee. 

 

Even if I moved to Hawaii, the baby would still need to wake, eat, then bathe.  We would also still have to clean, shop, cook, bathe, study, and all the other stuff we always have to do.

 

My kids still had baths, regular meals, and assorted things even in their infant days.  ;)  We just didn't have any sort of regular schedule for them.  Baths came when needed.  Meals came when they fit into other things we were doing that day.

 

It's still that way for all of us.  I just got out of the shower and hubby is currently preparing lunch at 4pm.  There was no need to shower earlier today since working with ponies was on our schedule and my guys slept in putting breakfast for them at about 10:30.  I ate at 6:30am, but since I don't get hungry, eating at any time (or not) works for me.  I work around them.

 

My college boys are the same way at their schools.  They have routine when needed (to get to class or whatever), but never do when they have free time.

 

I'd rather have non-routine, and then shake things up every now and then with routine.

 

I think this would work for me too.  My MIL always had to eat supper between 5 and 6pm.  It didn't matter what was going on in life.  Hubby grew up with that, so assumed it was normal.  Now he's been corrupted.  ;)  He was as annoyed with having to break for supper as I was when we visited them.  Now it's not as much of an issue since MIL has more advanced Alzheimers and doesn't know what time it is, so working around what's going on that day is easy.

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I think everyone does best with a routine.  I don't know anyone that is routine-less that is productive, happy and satisfied as those with a routine.   Not everyone is good at setting one up and following it though.

 

Does this mean you just met your first example?   :lol:

 

I'm as productive as I want to be (as is hubby) and we're both quite happy & satisfied with our lives.  ;)

 

I tend to think those who can easily handle life without a routine do better with lack of stress, etc, but not everyone can easily handle life that way.  (Handle it meaning both mentally and getting accomplished what they want/need to have done.)

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Well, as one of only two people who voted no, I can see I'm a member of a very small minority here. :tongue_smilie: 

 

When I worked, I almost always had jobs that were project-based rather than routine-based. My last job was as director of publications for a large nonprofit, which involved a mix of editing, graphic design, and project management for a wide variety of projects, from flyers & invitations to conference proceedings & academic books to posters & signage. It was very intense (long hours and a lot of responsibility and pressure), but it was never boring and it included the perk of international travel. I would go crazy at a desk job where I had to do the same thing over and over every day, and I would feel the same way about routine at home. 

 

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I think everyone does best with a routine.  I don't know anyone that is routine-less that is productive, happy and satisfied as those with a routine.   Not everyone is good at setting one up and following it though.

 

The fact that you don't know anyone like this doesn't mean we don't exist.   :001_smile:

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Well, as one of only two people who voted no, I can see I'm a member of a very small minority here. :tongue_smilie:

 

After reading this thread up to this point, I'm seriously wondering if I should change my vote.  I can handle routine in small doses when necessary, but honestly, I'm not really content during that time except for the first few days when the routine is "new" or it's morning either before school/work or church and routine stops as soon as I arrive at work or after church is finished.

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I think it's interesting to consider the wide variations that could be considered "routines," too.  For example, there are daily routines, which would really bore me, and then there can be weekly routines, and I'm sure other variations, too.  I teach college classes, so I guess I do have a routine given my class times.  But, given my courses and class times, no two days are alike.  But I guess that could be considered routine from week to week.  Similarly, taking kids to their appropriate activities on time could be considered routine, but that's not boring 'cause I'm just the taxi driver anyway. :D

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My choice was not offered. It would have been YESSSSSSSSS! I don't even like weekends ! And I generally resent any weekday that gets messed up by having something irregular going on. Evenings are different...that's playtime. But I hate days that are disrupted and unproductive. December is my least favorite month.

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Lack of routine gives two of my remaining homeschoolers anxiety, but if it weren't for them, I'd be even more spontaneous than I already am. I'm really good at scanning everything that needs doing and mentally prioritizing multiple times during the day, week, and month. I'm more productive when I'm in the mood to do something. I depend on intrinsic motivation to accomplish things. I often tell people my favorite part of homeschooling is waking up each morning and asking myself, "What is it I want to do today?"

Edited by Barb_
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I think everyone does best with a routine. I don't know anyone that is routine-less that is productive, happy and satisfied as those with a routine. Not everyone is good at setting one up and following it though.

Haha! Nope!

 

This thread is probably an eye opener for a lot of people. Especially those who thrive on routine who have kids who are better without and vice versa. I used to believe the opposite, routines were something imposed on people from the outside and everyone would be more productive if they could choose how to spend their time each day. Boy did I stress out a couple of my older kids before I learned. Altogether I have four who need schedules and two who are as free spirited and productive as me, and one who prefers no routine but must have one to get anything done.

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This thread is probably an eye opener for a lot of people. Especially those who thrive on routine who have kids who are better without and vice versa.

 

:iagree:

 

Working at school taught me about the variety out there.  However, it wasn't until my youngest was older that he told me he liked more routine and didn't like homeschooling because we had none.  I think I wasn't capable of believing I could have an offspring who might be that way.  After all, I brought them up correctly.  ;)

 

I'm now convinced only part of what we prefer is environment and the rest is genetic just like most of our other traits.  I'll admit I've wondered how much routine hubby would go back to if I weren't around.  He lets me run pretty much everything with the house from paying bills to investing to homeschooling, to planning all trips, etc.  I even let him know when the cars or areas around the buildings need work (usually).  I'm not sure how much he'd know how to do if it were suddenly in his lap.  Even with his routine built in, he was horrid at paying bills when we first got married.  That's how I got the job actually.  He does our taxes though.  I'm not so good at keeping/storing receipts and I don't have the patience to fill out all those forms.  He does Fafsa and the CSS Profile too, though often has to ask me value questions for it.

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Not sure what to vote. I need routine to get things done. I need to be spontaneous too. I use routine to do the things I have to do. I get into the habit of doing them until they are part of my routine. Then I can do those tasks in default mode. I don't have to think about doing it and that frees up brain power so I can think about other things that I'd much rather think about.

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 Evenings are different..

 

Same here. Because it is my routine to have evenings to myself. I likewise resent work unexpectedly popping up in the evenings.

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Same here. Because it is my routine to have evenings to myself. I likewise resent work unexpectedly popping up in the evenings.

 

This is why I have to make myself get up and get busy on days I have work to do.  By 4 p.m. or so, I'm ready to be done for the day.  If I let myself sleep late, then very little work would get done before 4 rolled around.

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I can't vote because my answer isn't an option. I love routine. I am a creature of habit. But, since I quit working before my second child was born, my life has very little routine. I'm working on it. Lack of routine is really tiring for me because it means I have to make decisions all day long.

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