Right now, a vast majority of people have had their normal, everyday routine turned upside down. With working from home, home schooling or even not having any work at all, causing a huge disruption to everyday life, it is easy to let things ‘get away’ from you when it comes to maintaining the routine and good habits you had prior to a major virus outbreak.
Creating a system that works and following it every day is an excellent way of becoming your best self. A successful routine gives you a laser-like focus from the second you get up to the time you go to sleep. Read on for tips on how to establish a daily routine.
Make a list of your daily tasks
The first step is to look into what you need to do every day. Do not worry about organising the list at this point. Simply focus on jotting down the list. If you cannot remember everything, carry your notebook every day for a week, and write down all the tasks you do.
Include the tasks that work well for you and those that you should add in your routine. While at it, these questions will help to refresh your memory.
- What things should you do before going to work?
- Which tasks should you do to get your children to school?
- What errands should you run daily?
- What should you do to exercise?
- What tasks should you do to have healthy meals?
- What should you do to maintain an organised house
Make a list, and remember that no task is too small. It is okay to include simple things like brushing your teeth.
Develop a schedule
Assess your energy levels. What time of the day do you perform tasks best? Most people have high energy levels in the morning. As such, you should schedule the activities that require the most work at this time.
What your morning should look like
Waking up marks the start of the day, and your attitude determines how the rest of the day will be. Even if you are not a morning person, you should find a way of enjoying the first hours of your day.
Try waking up after the first alarm. Setting several alarms is a way of communicating to the universe that you are not looking forward to the day, and you would like to put it off for later. When you wake up passionately and with excitement about the opportunities that the day offers, you will be off to a great start.
Some tasks must be completed in the morning, such as taking your kids to school (pre COVID-19), and preparing for work. Once you are done carrying out the routine duties, you can move to activities that require high levels of critical thinking and troubleshooting.
Stay active during the day
At this time, your energy levels have dissipated. So, you can do the boring, routine things. Use your midday hours for tasks like answering emails, organising upcoming activities, setting appointments, and running errands.
Take breaks during work, preferably after every hour. Whether you are freelancing or working from an office, taking regular breaks will help to improve your concentration and boost your mental health.
Have an evening ritual
In the evening, you should put an end to your income earning activities and focus on yourself and your family. You should get your mind away from the stress and responsibilities of the day.
Evenings are best left for planning and preparing for the next day. Use this time to do things like packing lunches, de-cluttering the house, laying out clothes, and cooking.
Here are other things you can include in your evening schedule:
- Have a chat with your family or friends
- Do some exercise
- Meditate on how you spent the day
- Think about how you can make the next day better than today
- Read a book in bed to catch sleep naturally
Your routine and expectations might not fit in nearly as perfect as you expected, and that is okay. The point is to make use of your productive times for the challenging tasks and your less productive times for the less challenging activities.
Test drive your new routine
Once everything is all set up, it’s time to practice the routine. Write it on a paper and test-drive it for 30 days. Take note of your feelings. Did you schedule the tasks in a way that doesn’t make sense? Do you feel that adjusting some aspects would make more sense? If yes, do not shy away from making changes. In the end, you should have a routine that works best for you.
Having a routine and sticking to it is incredible, but you should give yourself time. Productive habits take time to develop. If you are too hard on yourself, you might never have the chance of enjoying the benefits of a routine. Your success depends on how seriously you take your routine. The benefits outweigh the willpower you invest at every step, so it is worthwhile.