Do you have a daily routine? I used to see having a routine as being boring, rigid and stifling, and I know that many people share this view.
I remember as a child, routines were used to keep us disciplined and on track. I kind of used to see it as a punishment then and rejected it because I would rather be adventurous and spontaneous, go with the flow, and keep my schedules open-ended than stick to some rigid plans.
Little did I know that I would grow into a planner addict and a stalker for routines. And now I appreciate it more.
Well, this new point of view came from studying the lives of entrepreneurs and leaders. I discovered that most successful and productive people have some form of a daily routine.
Some of the greatest men and women in history have kept impeccably scheduled routines: everyone from Benjamin Franklin to Jack Dorsey; writers like Gay Talese and Maya Angelou. In fact, the most prolific thinkers all seem to have kept extremely early hours: Angelou, Franklin, and others like Beethoven, French designer Le Corbusier and poet W. H Auden would wake up at the crack of dawn.
This post isn’t about encouraging anyone to copy any successful person. But if you do, and it does work for you, kudos.
What I want to talk about is the importance of following (not just having) a daily routine as it helps to boost productivity and create the life you want.
So, here we go:
BENEFITS OF FOLLOWING A ROUTINE
Keep yourself on Track and Reach your Goals: Having a consistent schedule is a simple way to get more out of your time each and every day. And since you will actually be getting things done, you get closer to your goals and are able to track your progress.
You become more Disciplined: I could win an award for procrastination. But following a routine helps me beat procrastination and become more disciplined and focused towards my goals.
You avoid the time, energy/willpower wasted in making unnecessary decisions: Since I make most decisions such as what to wear, what to eat, to go or not to go to the gym etc. the night before, I get to spend my mornings doing things that brings maximum productivity and I save a good amount of time and energy. A day can be utterly consumed by these small, insignificant decisions, especially if you work from home. By hardcoding these decisions into your routine and automating your daily activities to the point where you don’t even think about it, you eliminate the dreaded “transitional time” that becomes habitual between tasks (otherwise known as “procrastination”) and you save a good amount of time, too.
And you feel better. Mentally, physically and every wise.
There are tonnes of blogs and website that will give you the importance of following a routine, some completely different from what I’ve shared, others completely the same with a few additions. But these are my personal experience from creating and following a daily routine.
So, how do you create or adopt a daily routine?
For the last 3 years, I have been developing my “ideal” daily routine (morning and evening) Adjusting, readjusting, canceling and starting all over. Just to find a schedule that works and fits into my kind of life.
There is no particular way to create a daily routine. People have methods that work for them. If you can adopt their methods and it works for you, excellent!
There is a great TED talk: Shawn Achor’s The happy secret to better work – that discusses the importance of a good attitude and it’s connection to success. There are daily routines that can help increase your positivity that include: meditation, gratitude, journaling, exercise, reading, and acts of kindness. The fantastic conclusion he makes is that a positive brain is 30% more productive than one at negative or neutral.
In addition to creating a more ‘positive’ brain, these other suggested rituals offer a perspective that enables us to better prioritize and feel grateful for all that we have.
At night, or before you finish work for the day, I suggest the following:
- Spend the last 10 minutes of your day planning for tomorrow.
- Review your task list, prioritize what needs to get done, and
- schedule the time on your calendar to complete your most important tasks.
- I also schedule in time for things that are important to me but not work related (exercise, going to the supermarket, calling my parents, etc.)
I always schedule my hardest tasks for my window of peak performance, this enables me to get more quality work done in less time. performing this ritual each night helps you to have clarity about your priorities and you will certainly sleep better.
I will write more about how to create a daily routine and share my ideal routine. But for now, this should get you started.
Over to you: Do you have or follow daily routines? What is the one (or more) benefit you have enjoyed from having a daily routine?