One thing that I wholeheartedly believe is that every day you should wake up happy and excited for the day ahead. Some days will naturally be better than others (if you have fun plans or get to hang out with your BFF vs. days when you don’t), but designing a daily routine you love will help ensure every day has something special to look forward to and are continuously working towards your goals!
Since I work for myself/from home and have a few different ventures going on, every day looks different. That’s why I’ve created and try my best to stick to a routine where I can to increase my productivity, reduce stress and overwhelm, and get into the habit of forming daily disciplines that will help me reach my goals!
Why is Routine Important?
There are plenty of reasons why routine is important, especially if your day-to-day lacks the structure of a corporate desk job. Routines create that structure in our lives. When we have structure, we wake up each morning with a sense of purpose, organization and ownership.
This idea resonates so much with me. Without routine, we would all wake up feeling a little lost. Think about your weekends when you don’t have anything going on. Sure, it may be nice once in a while, but imagine every day there was no routine? It would get old pretty quick.
Routines make us more productive. They become habit and allow us to get more done in less time. They also help our mind to focus and function at certain times of the day, and eliminate stress because they give us a structure or what we’re going to do and when.
The biggest reason why routines are so important is that they have the power to shape our future. The things we do (or don’t do) every single day can put us on the path to success and living the life we’ve always wanted. I just finished reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and it’s seriously life changing. It’s all about creating daily disciplines for yourself that can truly shape your life.
These disciplines are easy to do, but just as easy not to do (for instance – listening to one podcast a day). It will take some time to unfold, but at some point the ones who do these disciplines will be lightyears ahead of the ones who don’t. If you haven’t read it, I HIGHLY suggest it!!!
Here are 5 steps to create a daily routine you love!
1. Figure Out What Makes You Happiest
You always want to start and end your day right. Think about what your ideal morning looks like to you. For me, that means waking up, writing in my 5-minute journal, brushing my teeth and washing my face, making a healthy breakfast and drinking a big glass of water with my vitamins, and reading 10 pages of a good book with a cup of tea.
What does yours look like? Once you figure this out, it’s time to work backward to figure out how much time you need to create your ideal morning routine. You may need to set your alarm earlier, but if that means getting in a routine that will absolutely turn your day around and get you started on the right foot, then do it!
The same goes for after work and before bed. What does your ideal post-work routine look like? Does it entail going to the gym and making a healthy dinner? Seeing a friend or loved one? Working on your side hustle? Whatever it is, work it into your daily routine. And do the same for your pre-bed routine as well!
2. Create Goals with Timelines
Your daily routines should line up with the goals you set for yourself. One of my goals for myself is to be fully self-sustaining by the time I’m 30. So I have to ask myself: What can I do every single day to get me there? These don’t have to be huge things, they can be small habits you commit to every day to get you where you want to go. And if these habits get you to your bigger goal, you should love making them part of your routine every day!
3. Figure Out the Tasks that Hold You Back
There’s productive work, and then there’s busy work. The busy work is things you get caught up doing, but don’t necessarily move you forward. Things like checking your emails, scrolling Pinterest for recipes or checking notifications on social media. Sometimes I let myself off the hook scrolling Instagram, because Instagram is part of my brand and business. But being strategic on Instagram and scrolling Instagram are two different things.
Give yourself a set and strict time each day for “busy work”. This timespan is when you can get caught up on emails, set appointments, research recipes for dinner, etc. Midday is usually a good time to do these things to give yourself a break before or after you eat lunch! This will allow you to spend the rest of your work day on your most important tasks and it won’t feel like you wasted your day being “busy”.
4. Determine Your Most Productive Times
Do you work more efficiently early in the morning or later in the day? Everyone is different when it comes to productivity, but it’s usually best for most people to reserve the mornings for tasks that require critical thinking. I always like to get my most “important” tasks done in the morning because I feel like I have the most energy. I define importance by things like due dates. If I have a freelance article due one day and also want to go through my new Instagram course, I will make sure to do both, but write my article first.
Once you figure out your most productive time throughout the day, you can create your ideal work routine around it!
5. Do Something Creative Everyday
Get your creative juices flowing! Whether it’s writing, painting, sketching, baking, photography, calligraphy, knitting, doing home DIYs, gardening, or anything else you love to do, switch on the creative side of your brain every day. This can enhance your overall well being, boost your mood, and make you more energetic, productive and enthusiastic in your work.
Since my work is pretty creative, one thing I’ve been doing lately is trying out as many new recipes as I can. Cooking allows you to slow down and take time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If your work is in the creative field, try something else that get your brain working in a different way.
Take these 5 steps and use them to design a daily routine you fall absolutely in love with. It may take some time and you’ll likely have to tweak a few things as time goes, but consciously designing a daily routine you love is going to make you happy and healthier now and in the future.
What does your daily routine look like right now? Let me know down below, I’d love the hear about it!
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