The psychology behind why we love routines and schedules

“Work schedules are important for being able to create distinct boundaries between our work and personal life and enabling us to switch off. “Therefore, having clear schedules can help us to plan our time more effectively, anticipate outcomes and feel in control. It’s worth noting that schedules that are dictated by others will not necessarily have the same effect, and this again comes down to having an element of control.” For many of us, the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a sudden change to the way we work. “A large body of research exists which supports the role of control and resources as protective factors to mental wellbeing in the workplace. “It can also help to foster creativity and problem solving, increase productivity and boost feelings of self-efficacy and esteem, all of which are positively associated with mental wellbeing.” The benefits of schedules aren’t just restricted to the workplace. Routines create structure and give our days and weeks a more ordered feeling — something particularly useful under the current circumstances. “Creating daily schedules can help to alleviate stress and make you feel more on top of things, which will in turn build your self-esteem and sense of control,” Cooke says. “Shift-based and night time workers are among the most affected by this, partly because the nature of their work schedules are inconsistent, meaning that their body can’t adapt as well,” Cooke says.