I am someone who needs a routine. I need structure. I need to be able to have a set of guidelines to make my day more efficient; mostly it is a matter of time and money. My weekday routine looks something like this: coffee in front of laptop (perhaps write a blog post), walk dog for about an hour, get ready for work, commute to work, work 9 to 5 (eat breakfast and lunch at work), commute (or walk) home, feed and walk dog, feed self, gym, sleep. There are slight variations to this, sometimes I have dinner with people after work, or go to a movie. But basically, that is my weekday routine. I have phases when I get tired of sticking to the routine and skip it. Then I end up taking only short walks with the dog, spend money on taxis, am late for work and don’t go to the gym. I am left with a sense that I have broken the rules (my own, I know) and there is something strangely satisfying about that, but in the long run, costly and not good at all. Being naughty and not sticking to the routine does not pay off! I end up feeling guilty and I rush. So it is back to the routine, perhaps even fine-tuning it to make it more efficient. Come to think of it, that is the ultimate challenge, to better the routine! For instance, make lunch at home and take it to work and leave early for work to avoid rushing. But regardless, I know, we all know, that the temptation to break the routine will be there again. Routine can be so incredibly monotone and boring; it requires too much discipline and motivation. The greatest way to endure the necessary routine is to integrate here and there some form of creativity; writing, reading, painting, listening to music. And laughter too. Life can’t just be all work and no play.