Routine Building Strategies

Routine Building Strategies Promoting Skills for Organization and Independence

By The Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance Program Staff

Why Build Routines?

Structure and routine are the keys to independent functioning and success. No matter what type of brain injury one has, creating a daily routine adds stability for the person with the injury and everyone else who is involved in their life.

Developing a routine and a memory system is not as easy or as boring as it sounds.  It takes planning, time, consistency, determination and support.  No matter how little or how much this brain injury affects you or your loved one, having a routine and structure will increase independence.

How to Get Started:

Tools for becoming more organized are individual and need to be personalized according to a person’s abilities.  It is not uncommon that the tools in a person’s “kit” will change as he or she becomes better at following a routine. There will be days that tools need to be relied on heavily and other days where life is smooth sailing. That is typical of how brain injury affects people.

Essential Tools:

  • Be willing to try. Be willing to accept help and feed back from others. Be willing to forgive mistakes.
  • Building a routine takes a commitment of time, discipline and support.
  • The strategies a person uses may need to change sometimes.
  • Let people know that a routine is important and if plans are going to change advanced notice is a must.
  • Use a personal organizer or three-ring notebook – and take it everywhere.
  • If the person used an assistive technology device like a smart phone in the past, try using this again.
  • Obtain assistance from a Speech Language Pathologist or Occupational Therapist when able.