How to set a routine that works for you

Wednesday May 20 2020

Workingmother

Mother holding baby, using cellphone and laptop. PHOTO | FILE 

By Daily Nation

“What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” – Gretchen Rubin

 “What’s the biggest appeal of working from home?” Most people will tell you it all boils down to one thing: the flexibility to set your own schedule.

And while many of us have been advised to work from home, routines are greatly important to structure your day and keep you grounded. Personally, I could literally spend an entire bed in day- eating and binge-watching.

But priorities are important to remember as well, so here’s a guide to help you set up a routine to help you become more productive while working from home. 

FIND YOUR MOTIVE

Think about why starting a routine is important to you. What’s your motive? Why are you trying to create a routine?

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Is it because everyone else says how important it is? Or maybe you want to stop rushing out the door in the morning or stop staying up so late.

Get clear on your reason for starting a routine because this will give you more motivation to make it happen.

MAKE A LIST OF YOUR DAILY TASKS

Write down everything you need to get done daily, both in your home life and at work. Don’t worry about organization; this is a brain dump, not a to-do list.

Take as much time as you need- even an entire day- with a notebook to jot down everything you do, as well as everything you should get done.

GET SPECIFIC

Within these loose outlines of each part of your day, you can get as specific as you want. For example, brushing teeth and making a cup of coffee could be important specifics that you do daily. No task is too small.

STRUCTURE YOUR DAY

Think of when you are most productive during your day. For example, early birds get things done most effectively before lunchtime, while night owls tend to get their creative burst of energy in the evenings. Group your tasks into the time of day that makes the most sense for when you will best complete them.

Some practices work best in the early hours of the day, while other things should be avoided in the evening when it’s time to relax and let go of what happened earlier in the day.

Keep in mind that how you end the day is equally important. It’s the foundation of how you’ll feel and perform the next morning. It’s all connected.

It’s also important to have a set time to wake up and go to bed. This way, the structure flows smoothly throughout the day.

TRY SWITCHING UP YOUR WORKING HOURS

Try to change your schedule. Perhaps, your current productive hours could be making you less efficient than you could be.

Explore other ways of managing your day and discover what works best, and ultimately makes you happier.

BE REALISTIC

Yes, setting up 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.

SCHEDULE IN TIME FOR FLEXIBILITY

Life gets in the way of even the most detailed of routines. The point is to harness your most productive times to use for your most challenging tasks, and your least productive times to do the more mundane tasks.

There might be times when you have to deal with emergencies or unplanned priorities during the hours you usually set aside for work, or your evening is taken up by a social gathering—life gets in the way, but a daily routine will keep things flowing smoothly, despite the unavoidable.

TEST YOUR NEW ROUTINE

Take your new routine for a test drive for 30 days. How does it feel? Did you schedule your tasks at activities at times that make sense? Do you need to adjust things?

Tweak anything that is not working on a case-by-case basis, and then assess after 30 days to see how your new routine is working for you.