Finding a routine can be key when attempting to achieve some kind of normalcy in your day-to-day life. It can help you feel in control by adding some structure to your day and making sure you are devoting enough time to yourself and your loved ones. My favorite part of creating a routine is the organization involved. It takes planning and flexibility to adapt to changing schedules and deadlines.
Time allotted for work schedule:
When I build my routine, I look at my calendar and begin by plugging in any regular or fixed obligations, such as my work schedule. I will enter my start time, end time, and lunch break. Since these events take up the most significant part of my time during the week, I block them in my calendar first.
Make a list of priorities for the week:
Prioritizing tasks week-to-week allows me to stay focused and more effectively pace exciting projects, while keeping me from procrastinating others. I write this list at the beginning of the week (my week begins on Sundays) and include five of the most important tasks I need to complete. Once I have narrowed down my five top priorities, I estimate how long each task should take to complete and tentatively plug them in to my calendar.
Move your body for 30 minutes a day:
Once my schedule is prioritized, I can begin filling in the rest of my calendar for the week. For me, this means deciding when I am going to spend time exercising! I aim to move my body for at least 30 minutes a day. Spending some time walking outside (remember social distancing!) while enjoying the sunshine and nicer weather always makes me feel better. I also like to take advantage of a number of strength training, yoga, and pilates classes that instructors are offering for free through their Instagram accounts. If you are interested in knowing which free accounts I use, please send me a message and I will get back to you with the details. Exercising each day, even for a short time, acts as an instant mood booster.
Refer to your happiness list:
Last week I posted Series One called Finding Happiness During Times of Uncertainty and Looking Forward to the Future. In the blog post, I discussed an exercise that concentrated on listing ten things that currently make me happy. When creating my routine, I refer back to that exercise and review my happiness list. I schedule time in my calendar to do one of my happiness activities each day of the week.
We know that getting enough sleep per night is beneficial to both our health and our productivity. Making sure we go to bed and wake up at the same time every day may seem boring and predictable, but since the average adult generally needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep out of 24, it becomes an important consideration when planning our daily routines.
Spend time reflecting on your day:
Reflection is a way to deconstruct the past and learn from our experiences. I always set aside some time each evening to reflect on what happened during my day. Is there a way I can celebrate that moment? On the other hand, was it something I wish had gone differently and could the outcome have been affected if I had planned my routine another way?
Okay, your turn!
Build a routine that works for you. Create weekly goals for yourself, prioritize them and find ways to incorporate the things that make you happy.
Next week, I will post Series Three where I am going to share how to map out your goals.
Until then, take care.