Learn to Live in Confidence and Control with These Simple Daily Routines

Build your own “Mind Palace” like Sherlock Holmes.

Josie A Andrew
May 2 · 8 min read
Photo by Clément Falize on Unsplash

Do you feel that many things are going on in your life and it’s getting out of control? Trying to keep up with others’ expectations, life pressures, endless demands, and so on. You can’t escape from daily life challenges. The more connections you have with people, the more complex your life will be.

The complexity of your daily life can cause you to feel like you’re not in control of your life or future anymore. Once you lose control of the basic things in your life like your eating, sleeping, or resting pattern, you highly likely lose control of the bigger things in your life as well.

Your relationship and career are some of the big things in your life that could get affected by the chain reaction of losing control. Eventually, the negative domino effect will take over the control of your life as a whole.

According to a study conducted by the University of Connecticut, routines or rituals can help reduce tension and anxiety. The structure and repetition of routines give our minds a feeling of control. Routines make pathways in your mind that link your routine activities to success and removing uncertainty. When you know what needs to be done next, you’ll feel more assured and less anxious. Eventually, you’ll gain control of your life and your future. Let’s start with these simple and easy-to-follow routines to help you be in control of your life.

Make Your Bed And Remove Clutter

Mental health experts agreed that our environment sets our moods and behaviors. A cluttered environment can be an indication of feeling out of control. To set your mood for the day, a simple task like making your bed can be a good start.

It took me only a minute daily to fix my pillow position and straighten my bedsheet. You have gained control over your environment by performing this task. With this routine, gradually, you’ll realize the benefits of decluttering your environments to your mental clarity.

To extend this demonstration of control, you can make it a routine to clear some clutters in your house before leaving in the morning. Or clear your desk before leaving work. By utilizing these routines, you can enjoy organized and clean space, both at home and workplace.

For me to feel comfortable, I’ll make sure the space I’m in is clean. For example, I need to make sure my desk is clean and free from clutters before using it. The control you acquire over your environment makes you feel more in control of your life, as well.

The 80/20 Principle

The 80/20 principle is a standard business axiom. Most of the highly effective people are optimizing this rule to achieve more with lesser work. The 80/20 principle highlighted that 80% of your accomplishments come from 20% of your efforts.

Imagine having a beautiful garden landscape. You can invest a ton of energy burrowing, planting, weeding, and watering. Yet, the time you spend planning and arranging, which is significantly less than the maintenance work, is the thing that transforms the normal garden into a beautiful garden landscape.

To feel more in charge of your life, spend your energy on the things that will genuinely bring you success. You need to identify the things that distract you from being productive. You would be surprised at how much time you spend on the trivial things that don’t contribute to your productivity.

To do so, you can start with restricting interruptions. Figure out how to say no to interruptions and concentrate on what should be done. My boyfriend and I deeply respect each other’s productivity time. It’s not an obligation for us to reply to texts on time. He works as a software architect and needs a high degree of concentration. It doesn’t mean that I’m not his priority. Delaying distractions helps him to get more things done.

When you feel that your time is limited to complete all of your tasks, take control by utilizing the 80/20 principle to do what matters most.

Plan Your Days

Planning your days is another routine to help you feel in control of your life. We knew that the things we wanted to do, don’t always go according to plan. But having a solid plan helps you maintain control of even the busiest days.

Planning requires techniques to make it efficient. Adopt some techniques that suit you and practice planning your days. Below are few techniques you can apply immediately to your daily routines.

Daily planning techniques to adopt:

Time Blocking

Time blocking allows you to manage your time efficiently. It’s done by dividing your time into smaller segments and assign a specific group of tasks to be done in each segment. Apply the 80/20 principle to identify what tasks to prioritize in each of the time blocks.

Schedule Less Significant Tasks

Allocate a block of time each day for things you tend to postpone. Extreme delaying of less significant tasks will make you feel like things are out of control and cause stress.

Don’t assume that you will find time to settle all of the smaller tasks. I can choose to skip making my bed each morning, but I want to do it to feel accomplished.

Schedule distractions

Distractions come in many ways. The common distractions are social media and messaging applications. You can schedule a time for distraction as a reward for your productive hours.

For example, I set aside 10 minutes every hour for distractions and reply to my messages only at that assigned time unless it’s an emergency. Schedule your distractions to suit your productivity time.

Schedule Meals and Breaks

It’s important to give yourself time for meals and breaks to energize your body and refresh your mind. Skipping meals and being drained will reduce your productivity to get more things done. Physical and mental exhaustion will make it harder to maintain control over yourself and your emotions.

Breakfast is especially crucial to me because my lunch could be delayed with unexpected tasks. Breakfast helps me cope with any unexpected delayed lunch so I won’t get distracted by hunger.

Review and Revise

Reviewing and revising your plan regularly will increase your control and productivity. Make it your routine to review your plan each morning as part of your preparation for the day. Before sleeping, update your plan for the next day and revise it as needed. I prefer using a simple application like notes on my phone to make a quick daily review of my plan.

Visualization and Memory Organization

Visualization is the technique or act of creating a mental picture of a future event. Most high-performing athletes use visualization to prepare themselves and help them perform at their best.

Some people think that visualization is a waste of time and prefer diving right into the actual scene. Additionally, many people use visualization but not in a deeper level of understanding.

You’ll feel more in control of your day by seeing yourself executing out your plans, succeeding, and proceeding to your next challenges. By picturing your next moves, you feel prepared, less stressed, and most importantly, it helps to improve your performance. Feeling confident means feeling in control.

Working as a sales consultant requires me to do a lot of product presentations. I usually will practice my speech and visualize the scenario before meeting my clients to do any product presentation.

Memory organization is another important routine to do to be in control of your mind. With the help of visualization, you can organize your memories. Organizing your memories is similar to organizing your belongings.

Assign a function to each room in your house and give an address to each of your belongings. The next time you need to find something in your house, it’ll be easy to find it with the assigned address and function.

Remember Sherlock Holmes’s “Mind Palace”? The mind palace technique had been used to store memories since the Greek period from thousands of years ago. You can use visual memory to assign physical locations in your mind for you to navigate around. It’ll be easier for you to keep track of the memories with the address assigned to each memory. You can create a story to bind few memories together.

It’s better to create your “Mind Palace” using the location of a familiar place to visualize your memories like your house. It’s harder to store memories of more complex things, but daily training would improve your memory organization technique.

I like to use playing cards to improve my mind palace technique. I shuffle the cards and arrange them in a line. After memorizing, I need to tell the card’s characteristics when someone points at any random cards in the line.

I remember them by giving each card identity and place them at a designated place in my mind. Then I’ll create a story to bind the sequence. For example, my boyfriend represents the ace of heart, and I place him at the entrance of my house if he is the first card in the line. Shorten the memorizing time to make it more challenging.


Similar to the visualization technique, the affirmation technique helps to build your confidence. You’re infusing positive thoughts in your mind for you to be calm and in control of your life. Affirmation is the positive remarks you use to enlighten yourself about your abilities and qualities to succeed.

“It’s not what you say to everyone else that determines your life: it’s what you whisper to yourself that has the greatest power.”

— Robert T Kiyosaki

Tell yourself some inspirational thoughts to achieve your daily goal. Make affirmations that are unique to each day to start your morning. A unique affirmation is to emphasize your goal for the day. For example, “I’ll have a productive day and complete my delayed project today.” Adapting affirmations in your daily routines help to boosts your self-esteem and your life control.

I always start my morning by telling myself good things that I wish to happen that day. For example, my client will like my presentation today.

“Nobody controls me. I’m uncontrollable. The only one who can control me is me, and even that’s barely possible.”

John Lennon

Life is full of challenges and uncertainty. Having routines provide you with the certainty of your day and help to keep track of your progress. You are in charge of your life, and the only thing you can control is yourself.

Don’t give up the control of your life to others. Customize your routine today and never get lost in the unknown world again.

If you like what you read, let’s get in touch for more inspirational thoughts.

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Josie A Andrew

Written by

Coloring book addict that mostly writes about positivity, self-love, self-improvement, and life.

The Ascent

The Ascent is a community of storytellers documenting the journey to a happier and healthier way of living. Join thousands of others making the climb on one of the top publications on Medium.

Josie A Andrew

Written by

Coloring book addict that mostly writes about positivity, self-love, self-improvement, and life.

The Ascent

The Ascent is a community of storytellers documenting the journey to a happier and healthier way of living. Join thousands of others making the climb on one of the top publications on Medium.

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