I recently covered Finding Your Wasted Time – Time Management Series – Part 1. Today I want to cover a few tips on creating a better routine for your work day. If you’re following this series, then you’ve taken steps to find out where your time is being wasted. Now it’s time to start putting that time back on track.
Changing or creating a routine takes persistence. You will have to consciously follow a routine every day for it to become a habit. Bad habits tend to take hold immediately, but good habits have to be coerced into doing what we want.
Steps to Creating Routines
1. Envision Your Perfect Day
How do you want your day to play out? Think about work time and play/relaxing time. Go through your perfect day in your mind.
2. Take Notes
Write down what you want to achieve in your perfect day. Do you see yourself enjoying morning coffee with your kids, reading the newspaper, taking a swim in the pool? Do you see yourself taking a few minutes each morning to plan your day or going over the day’s plans if you did them the night before?
What’s the purpose of this? It will help you construct a checklist of tasks. It should be realistic and apply to you. It’s purpose is to help you establish new, productive routines.
3. Keep the List In Sight
“Out of sight, out of mind,” really is true. If you don’t keep your list in sight and consciously work on it, it’ll fly right out the window.
4. Conscious Awareness & Persistence
I mentioned this in the beginning, but creating a new/better routine will take conscious effort on your part. Anytime we try to add new things into our daily routine, whether it’s time management, exercise routine, etc.—if we don’t make ourselves aware that we need to do it—we won’t do it. Always be aware when you’re trying to implement a new change into your life.
A new task or routine may not fit you perfectly the first time you create your list. Just as in writing, it needs revisions. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, revise it to fit you better. Don’t give up just because it wasn’t perfect, keep at it until you’re comfortable with it and it becomes productive.
6. Stick to It
Once you get your plan revised and you’re comfortable with it—stick to it tenaciously for at least a month.
It takes at least a month for things of this nature to become habitual. You may stray off course once in awhile, but keep the list in sight and get back on track quickly.
Remember, there is no magic system that works for everyone. We need to find several until we find the one that fits our style and personality. It’s okay to modify any system you find that looks almost perfect but needs a few tweaks to really work for you.
Happy Time Managing!