Routines are an important component of success in both your professional and personal life. They provide structure to your day and consistency to your life. Routines make it so that you already have your day scheduled for you even before waking up. You need not decide what to do with your day. You already know. You know what time you should wake up, what time you should exercise, and what time you should work. The whole day is decided for you without any additional brain power dedicated to scheduling your day.
So routines are important, but how do you build a stellar daily routine that works for you? Here are a few tips to build a daily routine that fits your exact needs.
We all have a finite amount of energy that we can exert in a day. That is why energy management is just as important, if not more important, than time management. In managing your energy, it is important to recognize and realize what activities are ideal for the time of day. If you are most mentally alert in the hours between 9am to 2pm, then it is best to set that time to do the most mentally challenging tasks.
Energy management also means that you need to get good sleep to ensure you are ready to attack the day with gusto when the alarm clock goes off.
Build exercise into your daily routine
It is imperative to make time for exercise in your daily routine. Modern society spends way too much time sitting. Not only is prolong sitting dangerous, but it also causes fatigue and zaps all your energy. Exercise not only makes you feel more energized, it also improves brain function and focus.
The times between 5-7 are the most busy for gyms, so if you want to exercise at a gym but want to avoid the large crowds, don’t plan your daily exercise regimen around that time. Some people try to get in their exercise first thing in the morning so that they feel energized and ready to attack the day.
Make time for your loved ones and friends
Humans are social creatures. That is why it is important to make time for your loved ones and friends. The evenings are a great time to spend time with people. Social time can consist of happy hour, dinner, or just a little phone conversation. Spending time with loved ones keeps you grounded and is a constant reminder of what is truly important in life. One of the five greatest regrets of the dying is not spending more time with loved ones.
The start of your day matters
The start of your day is a huge determinant in how the rest of your day goes. Waking up early builds momentum for the rest of your day. You should wake up with time to spare so you can do some morning planning and have time to prepare for your day. When you wake up with time to spare, you feel ready to attack the day, instead of feeling rushed and playing catch up with your day.
Make time to work on your passions and doing what you love
Most of us are not lucky enough to have our passions be our source of income. Some of us may like our jobs, or even love our jobs; but very few would call our job a passion. That is why it is important to store away some time for your passions and doing what you love. Doing what you love ignites the soul and makes life colorful and enjoyable. If your passion is painting, writing, photography, or whatever it may be, make sure to make time for it in your routine. Someday, maybe your passion can turn into a source of income. My passion is martial arts—and while I have no hope of becoming a professional MMA fighter, I do dedicate 2-3 hours on most days to learning martial arts.
Make sure to be prepared
Having a routine doesn’t automatically mean that you are going to be productive. If your daily routine consists of writing between the hours of 9-11 in the morning, but you don’t know what you are writing about, then it is just wasted time. Plan your day ahead so you can be productive in the hours you have blocked off in your daily routine.
The night before is an excellent time to plan ahead for the next day. Write down what you need to do, get all your stuff ready and in place so that you do not have to scramble around the next morning.
Make time for reflection
Your daily routine should include some time for daily reflections. This can be reserved for the end of your day. It is important to sit down and review what you’ve done during the day and plan for the day ahead. The reflection and planning portion of your day can be as little as 15 minutes or as long as an hour. Just depends on how much reflecting and planning you want to do.