Why Routine Matters

I heard Olivia Fox Cobane, executive coach and author of The Charisma Myth, on a podcast recently discussing uncertainty thresholds and the importance of installing and protecting daily routines. Her ideas were new to me and inspired me to evaluate some of my daily routines.

She said everyone has an uncertainty threshold. That is a point in time where life’s uncertainties force us to shift from a rational or logical decision making process to more of a primal fight or flight mode.  In doing so, she espouses people tend to make irrational, less-informed decisions that they potentially regret. She said some people; entrepreneurs for instance, have a very high threshold for uncertainty. They are comfortable with fluidity and white space.  Even with my experience in field-based sales, I know that is not me. I am comfortable with some uncertainty, but I know that when I feel myself losing control of a situation, I tend to make decisions without really counting the costs or spending more time weighing the long-term outcomes – essentially my uncertainly threshold is met. She says the more time people spend making decisions, whether just day-to-day decisions like what to eat or what to wear, or more important decisions like designing the controls of a complex project, the more their uncertainty quotient is raised and the closer they get to the threshold.

Cobane suggests implementing more routine in your daily schedule. By doing so, you will reduce pressure on your uncertainty quotient, allowing room to focus on bigger, more important decisions.  Try installing more routine around diet, exercise, professional development, sleep and other daily activities. You will likely appreciate more focus and a clearer thought process toward the decisions that matter most throughout the day.

Best of success!

Pete Van Epps