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Routine - Queue — LiveJournal
March 25th, 2003
08:55 am

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Routine
I was thinking about routine this morning as I was walking from the T to work. I got started thinking about it because I always walk to same way from the Arlington T stop to my work. There are actually two different ways I could go, but I always take the one way.

I started thinking about other routine parts of my life. The one that jumps out at me most is what I do with my wallet, cell phone, and keys. My cell phone goes in my right front pocket, my keys go in my left front pocket, and my wallet goes in my right back pocket. When I get to my desk at work, I am carrying my ID badge, from just having let myself in the door. I set the badge down on my desk. I take off my backpack and set it on the extra chair. I take off my coat. I take my cell phone, keys, and wallet out of my pockets and put them in the middle compartment of my backpack. I put my ID badge in my right front pocket, where it remains until the end of the day. At the end of the day, I put my ID badge in the middle compartment of my backpack, take my cell phone, keys,a nd wallet out, and put them in the appropriate pockets. When I get home, my cell phone, keys, and wallet all go in the same place by the CD player. Repeat.

Now, I didn't set out to establish this routine. I don't do it because I think it will help me not forget things (although it does do that). It's just what I automatically settled into. And everything feels right and comfortable when I do it according to that routine. I don't even think about it most of the time. And breaking from that routine is very noticeable. The couple of times I have left my keys in the front door, I have noticed right away when I went to put my cell phone and wallet in their usual spot and noticed that I couldn't put my keys in their usual spot.

Offhand, I can't think of any other daily routines that I have like that. Consciously, I seem to not like routine, but that little bit of routine with my cell phone, keys, and wallet is the most natural thing in the world to me.

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From:majes
Date:March 25th, 2003 06:34 am (UTC)
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That's it. Just relax and let routine slip over you. Lay back and let the fixers do their work. It'll be good for you....

This kinda reminds me of my post yesterday about getting into routines. Some stuff I have read and seen about how the brain functions may well explain this behavior. It turns out that our brains can only handle a limited number of processes at a time, so it tries to off-load as much as it can. One of the ways it does this is by establishing familiar patterns, and then passing off things that fit into those patterns to the sub-conscious for handling. The best example of this I can think of is when you are taking a drive that you do everyday. Eventually, your brain passes off most of the handling of this activity to the sub-conscious; as such, you end up with those situations where you suddenly are at your destination, but you have little recall of the trip. You are still technically alert while driving, but you only "wake up" if something happens that is outside of the normal routine. So, its normal, natural, and helpful to have such routines. It frees up your brain to think about other, more mentally taxing things, such as when you're going to finish editing the Comsez focus, for example.
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From:queue
Date:March 25th, 2003 06:36 am (UTC)
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Subtle ;-)

So, are we meeting next Wednesday? All I remember hearing is that it was tentative.
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From:majes
Date:March 25th, 2003 06:44 am (UTC)
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I'd still like to do that, but I don't think its going to happen. I'll put a post up on the work site and see if we can coordinate a next meeting. However, I do want to get to a place where we need to meet before going forward. I've been doing my homework, but I'm getting the impression that other folks have been too busy to get their action items completed.
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