You participate in some form of a routine every day and you’ve probably never stopped to think about it. Some routines are set with intentions and are highly effective while others — are not. Following a routine doesn’t make life boring instead it can help you better manage sudden changes that are thrown your way!
Automatic Vs. Intentional Routines
Automatic Routines are tasks that you do every day out of habit. Things like brushing your teeth, getting dressed for work, dropping the kids off at school, and taking your dog for a walk. Intentional Routines are things you need to complete on your To-Do list and the smaller steps that help you reach your bigger goals.
Making a routine in this post-COVID world will probably look slightly different than your former everyday routine, but it’s important to have a purpose and improve your outlook. Here are 5 simple steps to get you started on making an intentional routine that works for you!
Step 1: Clear Your Mind with a List
The tasks that run through your mind keeping you awake at night need to be released. Start by jotting down everything you need to get done in a typical day. Don’t organize it yet — just get it out. You may find you need to add to the list as the day goes on (totally normal).
Step 2: Structure the Day
Studies show that structuring your day based on your productive times and energy dips are helpful. By working with the natural flow of the day you are more likely to meet your goals and complete your list.
Early Morning: This is literally when the early bird gets the worm! Use this time to get dreaded tasks out of the way before everyone else in the house is awake or the workday starts. For example, a lot of people answer emails or exercise first thing in the morning.
Mid-Morning: According to a study by Priceonomics, “Our most productive day time of day is 11 AM . . . because after lunchtime, our productivity drops.” Your focus and energy are at a high point mid-morning so use this time to get anything that requires brain-power done.
Afternoon: Aside from nourishing ourselves with lunch this is also a great time to take a break, stretch your legs, indulge in self-care, or get some fresh air.
Late Afternoon: After 4 PM your energy plummets, so this is when you want to complete mundane tasks that don’t require a lot of brainpower. Things like completing chores, prepping dinner, or decluttering your space. Anything you can do on autopilot.
Early-Evening: Relax & disconnect. Use this time to check-in with yourself and reflect on the day. Reviewing the success of your day will help get you into a positive mindset for the next day.
Before Bed: Wind-down time is critical for getting mindful and showing gratitude. Harvard Health published a study that showed, “Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness and those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives.”
Step 3: Schedule the Details
When writing a routine it is helpful to be specific with each part of your day. Make time intervals with a detailed list of what you are going to complete. For example:
- 6 AM: Wake up, brush teeth, get into exercise clothing
- 6:30 AM: Workout (leg day, arms, core, etc….)
- 7:15 AM: Shower, wake-up kids, and get ready for the day
- 7:30 AM: Family breakfast & have coffee
- 8:30 AM: Review work e-mails
Remember, using details is easier when you are first learning to set routines as it breaks things into clear manageable tasks.
Step 4: Make Time for Flexibility
Things come up. Life gets hectic. Kids don’t cooperate. We get it. The point of the routine is to schedule challenging tasks during your most productive times to optimize your success. Use your less productive times for common or mundane tasks. If you follow this plan then changes to the schedule or hiccups won’t throw you off course leaving you feeling frazzled or stressed out.
Step 5: Give Your Routine a Trial Run
Now that you have an intentional routine give it a trial run. See what is working or what needs to be modified and tweak things to meet your needs. Sometimes schedules and routines change so check in monthly to see if it’s still working for you.
Get Started on Healthy Routines
Setting intentional routines helps to keep your days from becoming a stressful blur. Accomplishing daily-tasks will bring greater happiness and self-pride while reducing boredom and frustration. Denise Semple & Associates can help with your Health Routine by using our Personal Trainers, Naturopathic Doctors, and Physiotherapists to meet your optimal health while you focus on other aspects of your daily routine. Book Your Appointment and get started today!