Today I’m going to start my first series of posts on this blog, titled Adulting By Design. (Redundant, I know. You’ll see a pattern soon, I promise.)
All of the posts in this series will be categorized and put into a list at the bottom of the webpage. You can click on the series at any time and be sent to a page that all of the posts in this category will live on.
This series will focus on tips and advice that help you build a more purposeful, effective, and successful life.
To kick off the series, I want to talk about routines. It is my own personal opinion that routines are your best friend.
They help set the tone of your day, keep you focused on what’s important, and hold bad habits at bay.
Here’s my Top Tidbits about routines:
- Create and foster healthy habits.
Routines can help you get and stay into the groove of life, and ensure that every day you perform whatever tasks are of value to you, such as exercising, eating a healthy breakfast, or meditating before bed.
For example, by setting and sticking to a morning routine each day when you get up, you might actually brush your teeth!
But seriously, ew. I hope you do that even without a routine.
- Build time management skills.
Performing the same routine every day at a certain time will help you to manage your time better. I personally make a habit of having a set sequence of tasks I complete every morning when I wake up.
5:30am alarm goes off; cue the fake sunshine and birdsong
5:35am snuggle with kitties
5:45am finally accept defeat that the world is still turning; sit up and stretch
5:50am write in journal
5:55am do an easy Sudoku puzzle to get the juices flowing
6:00am relieve bladder, hop in shower
6:10am dry off, put on deodorant, brush and style hair, brush teeth
6:20am go to closet and get dressed
6:25am put on shoes, look at self in mirror, make sure I look relatively normal
6:30am take dog out
6:40am grab banana/yogurt/lunch and work bag and run out the door
7:00am arrive at work
I don’t always hit the mark with this routine, but I still do everything in this order as best I can. It helps keep me from wasting time and to start the day off on the right foot.
PRO TIP: I’ve heard from numerous different sources that making your bed as soon as you get out of it really helps to set the tone of your day, because you accomplish a task so early in the day.
(I’d do this if my girlfriend didn’t sleep until 7am, the lazy bum…)
- Prep the night before.
Incorporate activities that better prepare you for the next day into your nightly routine.
This helps save you time and frustration when you’re rushing around searching for your keys or sacrificing a homemade lunch because you’re late.
For instance, when I get home from work every day, I place my work bag/purse/jacket on the same chair. It’s always there and I always know where it is.
I never waste time looking for it. Preparation is key, people!
- Keep it clutter free.
I can never stress enough the importance of keeping your home and your life uncluttered.
Personally, I find that when my apartment isn’t clean, I can’t think at work. Or anywhere, really. All I can think about is everything that I need to do when I get home. That doesn’t exactly lend to me being a productive member of society.
Same thing goes for other aspects of life. I stick to a simple budget. I keep my work desk as clean and organized as possible. I don’t hoard unnecessary things, like clothes I haven’t worn in over a year.
- Willpower becomes unnecessary.
Crafting a routine requires willpower at first, but once that routine becomes habit, once it becomes integrated into your day, the need for willpower dissipates.
Once a routine is set, you’re on autopilot. You don’t need to think about what you need to do – you’ll just find yourself doing it automatically.
My advice? Focus your willpower on one thing at a time, and once it’s no longer needed, move on to something else.
Routines can be an asset to your life that will help you to be more productive and efficient, and therefore more successful. Incorporate them daily and I promise, you won’t be disappointed!
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
– John C. Maxwell