Whenever I used to think of a routine, I would think of how boring it is to do the same thing over and over every day, day in and day out. Now I know that routines not only make us more productive, they allow more time for creativity.
One thing you may notice about very successful people is that consistently, they have a routine. It doesn’t matter if you are working in an office or running your home, a routine helps everyone be more productive. I remember one of my former bosses use to spend the first hour of his work day reading the newspaper. Some people thought it was odd that he would show up at work and read the newspaper (even after he had access to information online). What no one realized is that he was scanning the paper to see what our competitors were up to. This gave him an edge when he started the day and ultimately made him very successful.
Take a look at the routine Benjamin Franklin wrote about in his book The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. To me, he was one of the most accomplished people in history. His routine allowed for productivity, leisure, creativity, etc. Here is what his routine looked like:
Here are some things I noticed about this routine:
He started is day by getting organized personally and professionally, listing his tasks and also including some personal growth.
His work time was solid blocks of time.
He scheduled meals and sleep, ensuring he would have enough time for each.
His evening had both a meal and leisure time.
Everyday, he asked himself 2 questions: What good shall I do this day? and What good have I done to-day?
Everyone’s routine is a little different, but to be highly productive, they should always have these 5 things:
Be an Early Riser Take time in the morning to get personal tasks done. Otherwise, if you start your day with just enough time, or a little behind, you will spend your day trying to catch up.
Build Exercise into Your Day When we are working hard we tend to neglect our own needs. Even if you have to break up your exercise into smaller blocks, make sure to do it. Exercise will give you more energy and focus and you will be able to accomplish more.
Use a Task List and Prioritize Your Tasks It’s very possible that you will not get to everything on your list each day. Putting the most important things first, ensures you get done what you need to get done.
Be Flexible There is always something that can come up at the last minute. Being flexible allows you to juggle and reprioritize your tasks when you need to.
Incorporate Downtime Whether it means spending time with your family, reading a book, chatting with friends, etc. Make sure you have time off from focusing on productivity. You need downtime to recharge/regroup.
Take a few minutes to create your routine. It will be worth it.
Photo Credits: Pixabay