In defense of predictable routines

Over the 2019 holiday’s I took a trip to Coronado.

Saw the famous hotel, did a bike ride around the island. All in all, it was a nice visit.

Except, for one incident.


I went downtown to have breakfast one morning – to a restaurant who shall remain nameless, because the food was pretty good.

Since it was holiday, I was expecting to have breakfast around 11 am. Brunch if you will.

Sat down outside. It was warm, sunny, this was the perfect environment for a great breakfast.

Asked for the breakfast menu.

Then, was politely informed that breakfast ends at 10 am.


You serve a sit-down breakfast and end it at 10 am!?

What are people supposed to eat between 10 am and noon!?

I was confused. Appalled. Flabbergasted. And many other things.

I was forced to have a club sandwich and truffle fries. While delicious, it’s not appropriate at 11 am.

For me, breakfast comes first. Before any other meal.

It’s a morning routine and it provides me comfort. Even if the island of Coronado is actively working against me.

Routine can be as simple as eating breakfast first. Or, as complex as a traditional work schedule. Like the old school “9-5”, that so many have an aversion to.

In the millennial work world – and I am a millennial – there’s an aversion to being “9-5”. Or, I shouldn’t have to work 40 hours a week.

You might hear things like, if I get the job done, I should be able to do it where I want, when I want, and for however long I want.

While I don’t disagree with this, per se, I don’t think we should abandon a predictable routine.

What the old style of working does, if we think of “9-5” as the old style, is provides a stable routine.

It ensures you are putting in the time, even if you don’t feel 100% that day. It forces you to show up, and showing up is a huge part of the battle.

It holds you accountable. There is an expectation you will be there when you say you’re going to be there. Even if that expectation is just with yourself.

All of these things are beneficial to doing good work. Even the strongest opponents of the office based 9-5, like Tim Ferriss, advocate for a routine. It’s why he tries to understand the morning routines of highly effective people.

Anecdotally, I can say routines like this are nice. A stable routine allows me to be more creative.

Particularly now, while COIVD-19 is doing its best to destroy all our routines. It’s more important than ever to keep at least a small piece of our routine.

Like the solace I get in eating breakfast first. Before everything else. That’s the routine I like.

It’s comfortable, predictable, and I can go about my day putting my mental headspace towards problems and pursuits that I find more interesting.

Whether it’s between the hours of 9-5 or not.

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