3 ways a good routine can supercharge your productivity
You might have read the same articles as I have, that super successful people have morning routines that go something like this…get up at 4am, meditate, do some yoga, drink a green juice and then when you’ve done all this, you can get started on your daily list.
Now, as nice as all that may be, and yes it may very well work for some people (and if this is you, carry on) looking back over my life where I worked full time, and had 4 kids and a dog to look after…this kind of routine was NEVER going to work – and this isn’t even counting the fact that as my nearest and dearest would tell you if any alarm went off before 7 when there wasn’t a plane to catch, there would be a severe killing spree about to happen. (I’m not a morning person!)
All that being said, I am a fan of a routine – but there are some rules around this.
– It has to work for you, and your family. Don’t worry about following convention, instead think about how you and your family will be happiest and work with that. A story that I love is a family that could never all get together for evening meals so instead made their main family meal breakfast. Perfect.
– It can’t become a chore or a noose to hang yourself with. The whole purpose of a routine is for it to make life easier. So, spend some time figuring this out so it does just that. The moment it becomes a chore, a frustration or something that stops you from doing other things it loses its value.
– You have to tell other people what your routine is. I’ll give you a personal example. My sister always used to call me when I was putting the kids to bed. Once I let her know – she called me at a different time. Simples!
Right, so now that we’ve got the rules down let’s look at why we should bother at all.
- A good routine is a great way of creating a habit that really works for you.
We all have habits…some are great…and some are past their sell by date – but used well, habits are our brains natural way of putting us on autopilot. A good routine will do just that. By giving some thought into what you need to do to be at your best you can create a routine that will really enhance your productivity. For example – if you’re an evening person (like me) there’s no point creating a routine where you go for a jog first thing…as you’ll just never ever do it. If for example you’re a morning person who feels great after going for a run…this might be how you choose to kick off your day.
“Do an audit of your daily habits and see what you do that no longer works for you” Barbara Nixon
- Other people know exactly what to expect
The other people that I’m referring to, can be anyone from your friends and family, your boss or your team. By letting them know how you like to work, they can work around that. For example – if you switch off your phone when you leave the office and don’t check your emails let them know that you’ll get back to them in the morning, or if you prefer to keep Friday afternoons free from meetings because your brain is fried by then- keep them in the loop so that don’t bother to book that time in.
- You’ll feel happier and less stressed
Trust me, I’ve been there. Juggling work and home can be a tricky juggle. When my oldest 2 were little I was a single mum, working full time and studying in the evenings. I know how that juggle goes. A routine back then was my saving grace. I worked out what really stressed me out during the day, whether it was rushing to pick up, not deciding ahead of time what we were having for dinner or not leaving enough time to get everyone ready in the morning , and I created a routine to fix everything. Life suddenly became a whole lot easier and a lot less stressful.
A routine doesn’t have to be a straight jacket, but it can really boost your productivity and how you feel about your day…providing you’ve created the right one for you.