How to keep a flexible yet productive retirement routine

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Retiring represents a huge day-to-day adjustment in which you’re freed from the constraints of getting up at a specific time and having a large chunk of the day’s events scheduled. Too much unscheduled time, however, can leave you feeling disconnected from others and being too unproductive. You may end up sleeping late, watching too much TV and wondering where the day went.

The following are some of the benefits of keeping a routine during retirement, according to thingscouldbeworse.org:

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Increased productivity – A well-established routine helps you get things done quickly and more easily since they've become virtually automatic.

Refueling and repairing – Good routines include quiet time as well as time for doing activities that you enjoy. This helps make you happier and lets you refuel.

Reduced stress – A routine will help save you from having to deliberate about every part of each day.

Increased sense of control – In an unpredictable, chaotic world, routines offer a sense of stability that help you cope with uncertainty.

The following tips can help you stick to a helpful routine during retirement:

Keep your goals and priorities in mind.

Setting a routine in retirement should be about reaching your goals and priorities rather than over-managing every part of your day, U.S. News & World Report recommends.

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Organize your activities on a daily or weekly basis.

It's not necessary or advisable to schedule blocks of time every day. This can make your days feel like drudgery, according to U.S. News & World Report. It's better to keep a daily or weekly routine and schedule activities such as exercise classes or getting together with a group of friends for lunch once or twice a week. This way, your time has some, but not too much, structure, and you have activities to look forward to.

Stick to a sleeping schedule.

Although it's easy to get out of the work routine of going to sleep and waking up at the same time during your retirement, it's best to keep it up. This makes it easier to get into a routine of being active when you need to and winding down when it's time to go to sleep, retirementtipsandtricks says.

Schedule something you love for early in the morning.

Start the day off in the right mood by scheduling something you love to do, retirementtipsandtricks recommends. This can be something as simple as indulging in a favorite beverage and pastry at a coffee shop and catching up on the news, as long as it's something you enjoy.

Make time for volunteering.

If you're truly retired and aren't pursuing a new profession or staying active in your previous one, you could reap benefits by volunteering regularly as part of your new routine, verywellmind.com says. Giving of your time helps you expand your social ties while boosting your mental and physical health.

Make exercise a priority.

Build exercise into every week's routine. Retiree Jeanette Lewis, writing for postworksavvy.com, creates a schedule with different types of exercise – such as strength-building, yoga or aquatic exercise – during each week.

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Be flexible. 

Spontaneity is an important perk of retirement, Lewis says. Don’t hesitate to be flexible if you need or want to adjust your schedule to care for a grandchild, for example, or go on a special outing.