You wake up with a start, slightly panicking. A quick glimpse at your watch tells you that it’s only 20 minutes till your online meeting. You stumble out of bed, put yourself together hastily, and rush to the kitchen looking for anything edible. Bagel in hand, you turn on the computer and realize that the files needed for your meeting are on your iPad… in the office! By now, you’re miserable and moan, “Argh, if only I had stuck with that daily routine I tried to build last month…”
- A daily routine is a key to taking good care of yourself and achieving the most out of your day
- The morning routine is particularly significant as it sets the tone for the whole day
- It takes identifying goals, laying down concrete plans, and persevering through them to form good habits that lead to success
- Examples of a daily routine include rising early, staying hydrated, eating healthily, exercising regularly, decluttering, meditating, and turning off devices before bedtime
What is a daily routine?
If you’ve ever been in those shoes, you’d know how necessary a daily routine is. As its name entails, a daily routine is a habit of doing the same series of things at a similar time every day. There are good and healthy habits; there are also bad and harmful habits. Consciously establishing good habits and getting rid of habits that are damaging to you (such as hitting that snooze button ten times until 20 minutes before your meeting!), can make a huge difference to the overall performance of your day. Want to know how to reach and maintain your peak efficiency? Read on to find out!
How does a daily routine affect your life?
Having a daily routine provides structure to your day. It is the foundation for which planning and organization are done in order to optimize the full potential of your time each day. You are able to get enough rest, exercise, eat healthily, steward your money and resources wisely, as well as purposefully nurture your mental health and relationships if you successfully establish and live out a good set of routines. Building a personal strategic plan and implementing elements of that into your day can further unlock your potential.
Why is the morning routine so important?
We are most vulnerable when we first wake up. What we do in the morning sets the tone for the entire day! Would you rather be in control of your schedule and prepare well to face the challenges ahead, or spend the whole day feeling like you’re rushing and trying to catch up while still trapped in your morning daze? Get a jumpstart with your responsibilities and obligations by building a good set of habits in the morning. Your productivity will thank you!
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How to Create a Good Daily Routine
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.” (John Maxwell) Building an everyday routine is not hard, but it has to be intentional. First, decide upon your goals. This can be a combination of what you want to achieve, or what you’re lacking and want more of. Secondly, transfer all of your goals into action points. Avoid vagueness and make them as concrete as possible. If your goals are big, break them down and build one small habit at a time. Thirdly, find a way to record your plan. Put it in your calendar. Set alarms for it. Stick it on the fridge. Make your plans accessible. Seek accountability by telling your friends or partner about it. Fourth, stick to the routine that you’ve made. This is one of the most important steps of all, and requires persistence, especially if you’re trying to break off old cycles that are unhealthy. Lastly, track the progress you’ve made. You might be surprised by how easy it is to actually achieve your goals. Remember to increase motivation by treating yourself too!
Watch this TEDx talk on routines to further inspire you on the benefits of forming good habits and how they impact us.
7 Examples of Good Daily Routines
1. Rise early
There is something in common for many who are highly successful in life – they know the value of seizing the quiet morning hours. Our brains function the best when it is given the quality of an undisturbed and quiet space. Before the rest of the world wakes up and the duties start rolling in, set apart time for completing the hardest tasks, for stimulating creativity, and for simply grounding yourself. This will help you be in optimal shape for the rest of the day.
2. Keep yourself hydrated
Water is an essential part of our body, and there are so many benefits to keeping yourself hydrated. Your energy levels, brain function, gut health, blood pressure, and even your emotional state are all highly influenced by how much water is in your system. Do not get so busy that you forget your eight cups of water a day. To further boost your immune system, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into warm water and drink it first thing in the morning.
3. Eat a nutritious breakfast (and other meals too)
You don’t need to be a nutritionist to know that a balanced and rich diet is the groundwork of a healthy life. All that we eat will eventually circulate to our whole system. Getting the right nutrition helps improve productivity while eating too much of some things can “weigh” us down and even disrupt our sleep cycles!
4. Exercise regularly
Some people look at their schedules and think that daily exercise is near impossible. While you might not be able to hit the gym or go on a one-hour cycle ride every day, it’s always good to do some stretching exercises on a yoga mat or go out for a brisk walk around the neighborhood mid-afternoon. Your endorphin rises, blood circulation increases and your mind does a “reset” with restored clarity after even a brief and simple workout.
5. Declutter your living area
There is so much benefit to our mental health if we live in an organized and clean space. Therefore, it’s good to spend a little bit of time before the day ends to make sure that our desktop is clean and there are not a million bags lying around from the activities of the day. This will help us start the next morning fresh and ready to tackle new tasks instead of feeling sluggish from any accumulated mess.
When quiet and solitude are built into our routines, we take a pause from our fragmented, multimedia-filled world and refocus ourselves. Our self-awareness increases and we are able to breathe through stressful situations. Just 10-15 minutes at a set time daily makes a huge difference to our well-being!
7. Turn off all screens before bed
It is the recommendation of the National Sleep Foundation that we unplug and turn off all our devices 30 minutes before bedtime. Protect your Circadian Rhythm by limiting the amount of blue light that suppresses melatonin, the sleep hormone. Give your over-stimulated mind a break. Set yourself up for an earlier bedtime, which is the precursor to an earlier morning as well!
How can I stick to a daily routine?
When we choose which habits we want to reinforce, remember that they are all interlinked with each other. This means that following through with one habit leads to success in completing the next, and so on. Planning ahead is also key in our pursuit of a solid daily routine. Make sure that you set your alarm before bed, set out the things you need the night before, remember to stock your fridge, do meal planning, give yourself those extra 20 minutes in between meetings for a quick pilates workout… Lastly, persevere, persevere, and persevere! It’s not as hard as it seems, and you got this.