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How to Make a Daily Routine That Works

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I don’t think productivity planners with daily routines were a thing when I was growing up.

As a child, I was messy.

I would complete my homework, but managed to lose it quite frequently.

It wouldn’t always make it to school.

My mom made me put it in a set spot on my desk when I would finish it. I then put it in my backpack. Yes, I had to learn that. 

If you’ve tried multiple daily routines and you didn’t get the results that you wanted, don’t despair.

The good news is, I wrote this post for people to make daily routines that work for them.

Why Daily Routines are a Good Thing and How to Make One

Being organized is a skill and anyone can learn to improve. Over time, I steadily improved at this skill. I eventually became more organized by reading articles and watching YouTube videos by Peter Walsh, Alejandra Costello and many others.

One of my relatives started calling me Monica from Friends because I had some of the character’s neatness quirks. I knew in some small way, it was proof that I was now thought of as organized.  I especially like to plan my day in advance and find comfort in routines.

The Importance of Daily Routines

Like brushing your teeth, eating your veggies and exercising regularly, we all hear that daily routines are supposed to be good for you. Knowing that something is good for you though, doesn’t necessarily make you drop everything and run to the nearest sign up sheet. 

There are many benefits to having daily routines:

  • It provides predictability
  • It ensures that time is carved out for priorities 
  • It frees up mental bandwidth so we don’t have to remember to do the same things each day
  • It ensures that we won’t miss a step
  • It provides a sense of control
  • It can reduces stress and anxiety
  • It gives structure to the day

And I can go on and on about the list of benefits of a daily routine.

What Daily Routine is Best?

So if you’re sold on the idea of starting or improving your daily routine, you might be tempted to follow Will Smith’s daily routine or insert the name of some other big influencer out there. It can’t hurt to look at daily routine examples of people you admire to start, but ideally, you want to customize it to your habits, lifestyle and goals.

As long as the people you shadow aren’t doing something way out of your range like getting up at 4 am, doing 807 burpees,  making a smoothie with 14 ingredients and then having 4 back-to-back power meetings in a row.  Unless that’s your dream day, see what works for you and tweak things as you go. 

Unless you can already identify what time will work best for you to do XYZ, it can’t hurt to try and see. Some of it will be trial and error. You can always rearrange your schedule later.

For instance, I like to work out as soon as I get up because then I can hop in the shower and start the rest of my day. Other people may like to take their time getting up and need to start their day with a cup of coffee first. 

How to Make a Daily Routine

Routines can be woven into the rhythm of your day in varying degrees for work, home, personal goals that tie to your vision board or any other aspect of your life . You can structure your day with a mix to have balance. Think about what you need and want to do daily.

Maybe you check email right away for work, write out your daily to-do list or other tasks that need to happen at the start of your day. When it comes to managing your household, perhaps you want to do one load of laundry every morning or clean one room per day. This way you won’t get backlogged with household chores on the weekend.

I think it’s especially important to make routines for personal goals such as fitness, self-care, hobbies, bucket list ideas and more. It’s easy to just work, work, work, then default to doing chores and forget to have fun pursuing personal goals. 

What should you include in a daily routine?

1. Think about what you would like to include into your routines daily. You can then schedule time to squeeze it all in. Are you hoping to meditate as soon as you wake up or relax a bit with a cup of coffee?

daily-routine-printable

 

Maybe you’re looking to walk on your lunch break or journal before going to bed? No matter what you look forward to doing throughout the day, knit it together into a routine.

2. Once you pinpoint what you’re hoping to do each day, determine the best time of day to do it. Though I have the most energy in the morning, I can’t do everything at that time.

I started by writing down what I could realistically accomplish each day. I even include some of my mini bucket list goals. I used both a basic morning routine checklist and a daily routine for the rest of the day as an outline to start. Sometimes, I would switch the order of the items. I still incorporate other ideas as I things change or evolve. 

No matter what your preference is, it can’t hurt to use a printable planner to brainstorm all of your ideas when starting out. I use a combination of digital and analog planners for different things, but I keep my routines, planners, and other printables in a binder. 

After talking with different people, I noticed that everyone has their own unique style no matter their age. Some people swear by digital planners, while others love paper planners and some people use a blend of both.

I’ve just accepted that I like having a physical binder. I like concrete reminders that are in front of me. I also get a lot more satisfaction out of physically checking items off of a list. It motivates me to do everything I need to do.

productivity-planner

Before you begin ordering your list, create a rough draft and use what I like to call the Kitchen Sink Rule. People used to say throw in everything but the kitchen sink. This idiom is a way to show how someone is a little extreme or excessive.

For example, my daughter packed everything in her suitcase, but the kitchen sink. Think of it as a dream list and write down everything you would like to ideally do during your day. Brainstorm everything, but the kitchen sink and then we can edit or scale things back later. 

Closing

Plotting out a daily routine doesn’t have to be difficult. Just get started and you can always refine it as you go.

If you liked this post, please share it or send it directly to a friend. It’s only fair, right?

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