Why You Should Establish A Daily Routine
Successful individuals tend to have a daily routine, and more importantly morning routine, that is tailored to their own personal success and optimised for productivity. And, more importantly, they keep to it. Many of us have the expectation that setting a routine will make all our time-management and efficiency problems disappear, but the routine we set ourselves has too much to do to be helpful in organising our time, so coming up with an agenda that maximises our own personal success is crucial.
Having a set daily routine, into which you can slot the specific to-do’s of the day, can revolutionise the way you run your day, making you better geared to achieving your own personal goals. A routine helps you get your life in order and makes you more efficient with your time, minimising possible time-wasting activities. Equally, a routine means you can never be swamped by work; you give yourself a set amount of work to get through that day that is a reasonable amount to handle and that is it. It means you aren’t trying to do too much, and then not getting through it all, carrying that guilt home with you, but on the other hand you aren’t left not doing enough, giving into procrastination. It gives you the structure to your day that you need to have the energy to face each task individually, rather than being overcome by the work for the day as a whole.
Having a daily routine not only helps you in work, but can help you schedule your free time to optimise your life for success. Planning time for out of work activities and relaxation time means you stick to them, and that precious recuperation time isn’t crowded out by other commitments. Successful individuals need a strong routine so that they know they are being as productive as they can be, but they also know that they have everything they need to lead a happy and healthy life in perfect proportion.
When trying to outline your own personalised daily routine, start with sleep: many people know roughly how many hours of sleep a night they need to be as alert and dynamic in the daytime. A staggering 89% of self-made millionaires get seven or more hours of sleep every night. Factor in how long you need to sleep each night, and work from there. Equally, it’s not enough to just have the same amount of sleep every day, that sleep needs to be regular; set yourself a bedtime and keep to it.
More importantly, make sure that bedtime is early; studies have shown that we are more productive in the mornings, as well as better at problem-solving. Going to bed earlier means you can wake up earlier, giving you more of that ultra-productive time. We work best in the morning, so don’t waste that time with sleep.
Then we can move onto the morning: a strong start sets up the day for success. Give yourself time to have a good, hearty breakfast. A good breakfast is not only healthier for us, but it stops us from being distracted by hunger and dips in our blood-sugar level that can derail our concentration while working. Equally, it gives us time to pause and reflect on the work ahead of us. If you need more of a start to the day, factor in some time to go for a quick run, or read the paper to get up to date. But, try and get to work as quickly as possible after waking up; the quicker you start work the longer you will work for, and the more productive you will be.
When you are scheduling your working day, split your time into 45-minute or hour blocks and divide up what you have to do using these. Make sure you have short, five to ten minute breaks in between each of these blocks, so you are refreshed and ready to concentrate for each one. Try and make time for concentrated work at some point in the day, where you focus on getting one thing done for a period of time in the day without distractions. Make sure those working around you are aware of this and you have secluded yourself from things you know distract you, such as your phone.
When it comes to finishing work, especially in high-pressure, vocational or start-up jobs, the temptation is to continue working into the evening, or take the work home with you. Whilst it may feel like you are getting more done, the work you do will not be of the same standard as the stuff you were doing in the morning; tiredness will take a toll on your ability to concentrate and your personal successes. Know when to draw the line, and leave the work with the job; it is better to leave it for the next day and do it properly than do it late and do it badly. If you are keeping to your routine, and you have scheduled your time well, you will be working so efficiently that you will have completed everything you need to for that day.
When you get home, make sure you have a big, hearty dinner. Try and share this with family or friends, who will help you mentally disconnect from the events of the day. Before the day ends, take some time to yourself – it only has to be ten minutes – to reflect on the successes of your day, and cement your agenda for the following day, using the template daily routine that works for you.
Make sure you check out the rest of the articles in our series on success:
- Avoiding Time Wasting
- Why A Healthy Body Is Crucial For A Successful Career
- Being Persistent
- 5 Steps To Success