Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).
Plan your day by developing a routine
I don’t know about you but most days I feel as though if I just had a few more hours in the day I can get everything that I need done.
Think…30 hour day perhaps.
When you have a family, a job, a home to keep, schools to liaise with, side hustles, social obligations… (the list goes on), things can get pretty overwhelming!
You have your list of tasks in your head that need to be dealt with and start on your first task, but then you decide to switch to that other task because it’s a bit more relevant. Then you come across that thing which will make the next task easier to deal with, so you switch again. Before you know it you have five unfinished tasks in front of you. You’ve burnt out. So you make a cuppa and catch up with what’s going on in Instagram land.
Cue the procrastination…and yes, I speak from experience.
Well wish as I might, 24 hours seems to be the limit, so instead of pointlessly pining for those extra 6 or so hours or simply wasting them away, I accepted that the best way to cram it all in is to organise my time a lot better.
You can do it too, we can get the day under control together and super charge our day and subsequently our lives.
How are we going to do that? Well I’ll tell ya!
By developing a routine that will enable you to work more efficiently and make the most of your day.
Having what you need to do and when you need to do it, in front of you is a great way to eradicate the constant distractions and time wasted thinking what on earth to tackle next.
Imagine being less stressed, finishing your important tasks, achieving your goals. Sounds like perfection huh? As time goes on following your routine will become second nature, as will achievement.
Cue boosted productivity…yay!
Well let’s get going.
How to develop a productive routine
1. Make a list
Make a list of the tasks you need to do daily, from big to small. For example:
- checking emails
- school run
- preparing meals
- working on blog
Yes the list may go on a bit, but do not worry, just get them down.
2. Understand your best working times
Are you a morning person?
(Me?…not guilty, but I’m working on it)
Recognise the times of the day that you are most productive and can handle the harder tasks, and the tasks that need little concentration will be slotted to the times when you can barely string a sentence together.
I tend to have a burst of mental energy in the evening and find it extremely hard to drag myself out of bed in the morning.
I’m working on it remember!
(True story: my kids love to ask for stuff in that hazy moment after opening my eyes in the morning because they know I’ll give them the answer they want and forget the encounter by the time they’ve left my room!)
3. Group your tasks
Work out how much time your tasks will take. I found that grouping your small tasks together into a super productive hour will prevent distractions and leave you with a clear headspace to deal with the more complex tasks.
If you think this will work for you too give it a try.
4. Time to allocate those tasks
How long do your tasks take? You can create a schedule with half hour or hour slots depending on what you believe will fit best. I tend to use hour slots to ensure I have enough time for each task and allow for any extra work that may pop up or even sneak in a little coffee at the end. Speaking of coffee…
5. Schedule in some breaks
This is important, with all the will in the world trying to work non-stop will burn you and those productive brain cells out. Decide whether one or two long breaks or taking a few shorter breaks throughout the day will work best for you. Have a cuppa, walk the dog – take a while to recharge your mind ready to move on to your next task.
6. Understand your distractions
Distractions are a reality, especially with social media at the tip of your fingers for the majority of the day.
Have you ever wanted to check something quickly on Google or Pinterest and 90 minutes later you’ve checked all your timelines on Facebook and Instagram too, congratulated your old school friend on her nuptials, checked out your cousin’s new baby photos?
Yep, been there!
Best thing to do is put the phone away while you follow your schedule and give your social media it’s own slot…and leave it there!
Pull your socks up and work to your new schedule.
Try it out, see what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. You shouldn’t feel overwhelmed so pay attention to how the routine is helping you get through the day.
Are your breaks sufficient and preventing physical or mental burn-out?
You may find that it takes a few days or weeks to find the right processes to stick to. Tweak where you need to and eventually you will perfect your routine and your day.
Keep at it
Now changing habits of a lifetime is never easy and won’t happen overnight. It’s a lot easier to construct a routine than it is to stick to it if you are used to taking the day as it comes.
I’ve read that it takes about 28 days for adults to develop a habit (10 for children). So dedicate a month to concentrating on sticking to your routine. Actually,why not make it one of your short term goals.
Promise yourself a treat at the end of your month because when you look back and realise how much you’ve managed to get through…you’ll deserve it.
You Can Do It!
I have developed a daily planner template for you that I also use to put my daily priorities in order.
I keep my print-outs on the wall of my home office to ensure I know what I’m doing with my day until it eventually becomes second nature.
Are you naturally a routine person, or do you live by the hour?
Do you have a routine that you stick to?
Do you find it easy or hard to follow a new routine?
Why not share some of your own tips?