A good daily routine can change your life. That’s a fact. Your routine consists of all our habits; good and bad, where our actions give structure to our day. Depending on what actions we take, is the difference between how productive we are. We can have energising, time-saving habits, or we can adopt draining and unrewarding routines. We all have bad habits that creep into our day, but it’s essential to recognise them for change.
Establishing a daily routine that’s good for us is both, a self-investment, and an opportunity to help others. It provides structure, forward-moving habits and momentum that allows us to show up on the days when we don’t want to. Undertaking a daily routine helps establish our priorities, measure our goals and limit procrastination. We rely less on willpower and motivation, which can be a catalyst for burnout and giving up. The key is to create regular and consistent daily patterns that maximise our life and ourselves on every level possible.
Mental Health Benefits
A daily routine can anchor us. Knowing what time we go to bed, or what time we have dinner gives us comfort. It provides us with the ability to manage the uncertainty that life throws our way. When we have a structured plan throughout the day, coping with unpredictability becomes more doable when there’s a structure in place. Our stress levels reduce because we don’t have to think about a ‘to-do’ list and all the unnecessary energy involved in remembering things. What we do becomes automatic and makes us feel in control and less stressed naturally.
With self-care becoming more prevalent than ever, having a routine helps us prioritise looking after ourselves and our mental health. Organising our time allows us to make time for things that are important to us. Whether it’s relaxing or going to bed at a particular time; we are implementing positive habits to look after ourselves that help with our mental health.
How To Setup A Daily Routine
Make a list of all your tasks and habits you do throughout the day. Not to worry about organising the list, it’s more of a brain dump to understand your daily practices. The list should be in your home life and work life. For example, you might find you switch off at a specific time of the day, or you exercise every morning. Whatever it is, please write it down. Include the habits that work well for you and any tasks you should add to your routine. A couple of questions to think about that will help:
- What errands should you run daily?
- What exercise should you be doing?
- What tasks should you do before getting your kids to school?
- What should you be doing at work to be more productive?
Develop a Schedule
Most of your high energy tasks become effective during your prime time. For example, I write every morning because It’s the best time for me to stay focused. I’m more productive and feel better for the day. For some people, mornings are when energy levels are high. For others, they may find night time works best. Take note of the time you’re most productive and use it to schedule activities that require the most work.
Our mornings often determine how the rest of our day is. Even though a lot of us like to admit we aren’t morning people, it’s important to try and find ways to enjoy it upon waking up. Ways we can do this is to get up as soon as the alarm goes off. If we’re continually snoozing the alarm, we’re communicating with the world that we aren’t looking forward to the day and putting what we have to do off. Of course, we may have to take the kids to school, make lunches and carry out other routine duties. But once completed, we can move on to the activities that stimulate our minds and prioritise them.
It’s prevalent for our energy levels to dissipate around midday. Test our doing the tedious tasks around lunchtime. Answering emails, setting appointments, or running errands are all tasks that may require less effort and energy. Whether you’re freelancing, working from an office or out on the road, taking regular breaks will help improve your productivity and mental health.
Evenings work best when they’re set aside for preparation and planning for the next day. Move your mind away from stress, and focus on yourself and family. Reading, watching TV, exercising, catching up with friends for dinner, are all examples in keeping us consistent in avoiding burnout.
Allow Flexibility In Your Daily Routine
Within our daily routines, life will always get in the way. The point is to hold onto our most productive times for our most energy driven tasks and our least productive times with mundane tasks. Allow for specific events. Whether it’s a social gathering, doctors appointments or a work dinner- having a daily routine gives you the energy to show up and keep your days flowing smoothly, despite any hiccups.
We need to be careful not to get so focused on our daily routines. It can start to cause stress and stop you from being able to do what you want to do. It can also lose sight of what’s important because the idea of a routine is something that becomes fixed, and we think it’s what we ‘need’ to do. As long as your daily habits are helpful and not harmful, you should be able to change them as your life changes.