Are you overwhelmed by life, juggling too many things at once and not feeling like you have enough time for anything? Are you wondering how to build a routine you can stick to?
You’re not alone. In fact, most of us feel that way at one time or another. The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to to create realistic routines for your daily life and start getting things done.
In this post, we’ll walk through 4 simple steps to help you get started. So read on and get ready to take back control of your life!
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Why is routine building important?
Each of us has a unique time and energy requirement we need to feel rested and rejuvenated. In order to do anything at our best we have to have met that time and energy need.
Routines help us to set boundaries around our time and energy so that we decrease the burnout and stress that society constantly pushes us towards. They help us ensure that we are able to do the things we want to do and the things we need to do.
Additionally, when we build routines we are also able to:
- – Get more done in less time
- – Reduce stress and anxiety
- – Improve your focus and concentration
- – Boost your productivity
- – Achieve your goals
How to build a routine
Now that we know some of the benefits of building a routine, let’s walk through 4 simple steps you can take to build a routine you can stick to.
Prioritize what’s important
The first thing you must do to build a routine that is sustainable is to get clear on what you value. To do this you must sit down and write out all the things that you value or want to incorporate into your day.
This should include a mixture of NEED to do (like work) and WANT to do (such as family dinner. These are the tasks that are going to be considered the non-negotiable parts of our routine.
One way that I encourage moms who I work with to determine the WANT to do items is to have then journal their ideal realistic day. In doing this, subconciously we add both the need to do and want to do tasks.
The second step is to determine and eliminate distractions. Distractions come in several different forms and differ from person to person. They can be external distractions such as a cluttered house or social media and technology. They can also be internal such as some limiting beliefs or an overtired mind.
In order to build routines we have to be aware of what distracts us and find ways to limit or remove those distractions.
An example of this is if you notice that you spend a lot of time on social media, set a rule for yourself that you can only use social media during designated break times in your day.
A note here, distractions can also be things that are important but do not have to be done by you. Such as home cleaning, grocery shopping, etc. For these types of distractions you will want to either outsource, delegate, or automate these tasks so that you do not try to incorporate them into your routine.
Block out time for each priority activity
Once you have determined your priorities and eliminated distractions, you’ll want to determine the amount of time you believe you will need for each activity. You will want to be realistic in your planning this part out.
Many times we will create a routine and give a time consuming activity an inadequate amount of time. This is unsustainable and can be disappointing after you spend so much time building a routine, only to find that you are unable to keep up with it.
I encourage you to overestimate the time you think you will need for an activity and then as you get better at completing the routine, you can readjust the amount of time needed.
Test and reassess
The last thing you want to do is put your new routine to the test. You will quickly discover if there is still tension in the routine or areas that can be improved. The tension will give you the guidance you need to make appropriate changes to better your routine.
Testing and evaluating your routine also gives you a chance to find what works best for you. What time of day do you feel most productive? Do you need more or less time for certain activities?
Your routine is something that should be fluid and change with you as your needs and wants change.
I encourage you to not get discouraged if it takes a few tries until you find the routine that both realistic and sustainable.
A routine can be a game changer in productivity and help you to finally achieve those goals you have been wanting to. I hope this has given you some clarity on how to get started in building your routine.
How to keep a routine
Now that we have a better understanding of how to build a routine, the next logical step is to get some tips on how to keep it. Routines are intentional, so they can be hard when the intention isn’t there. The goal of routines is to make the activities in them a habit, which is more unconscious and therefore easier to maintain.
Here are a few tips you can use to help you maintain your routines.
1. Wake up early: This is one of the most important keys to success. By waking up early, you give yourself more time to get things done and avoid rushing around. I will admit, however, that early is relative! While having a morning routine is critical to a successful day, it doesn’t have to be long and drawn out if you are not a morning person.
2. Don’t procrastinate: Procrastination is the enemy of productivity. If you want to get things done, do them. Don’t wait until later when you are more likely to get sidetracked or find excuses not to do them.
3. Set simple goals: Trying to accomplish too many things at once is a recipe for disaster. When you have a routine, it’s important to focus on one thing at a time and not try to
4. Take breaks: In order to avoid burnout, it’s important to take breaks throughout the day. This will help you stay refreshed and focused.
5. Get organized: This will help you save time and energy so that you can focus on what’s important.
6. Be flexible: Things will come up that you didn’t plan for. That’s okay! Just be flexible and adjust your routine as needed.
7. Reward yourself: After completing a task or reaching a goal, it’s important to reward yourself. This will help you stay motivated and on track.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a routine that you can stick to!
Daily routine examples
One of the best ways to really drive home a new technique is to see it in action! So I surveyed several of my family and friends for their routines! They range in age, career fields, and life season! Here’s what they had to say about the routines that they loved!
Morning Routine: Wake up with my daughter at 7, get her dressed and ready for the day, make us both breakfast, get myself ready, and then head to work once the babysitter arrives.
What do you love most about this routine? Spending time with my daughter before work since I don’t have much time with her after work before bedtime!
Coach/Speaker at Mindful of Christ
Morning Routine: When I wake, before opening my eyes I talk to God, say Hi and spend time in prayer, I then see the kids off to school and spend time in the word. Then have a workout between 20 & 45mins, breakfast, shower & worship. All before I get on with any work.
What do you love most about this routine? Spending quiet 1:1 time with God
Mentor/Coach at Firestarter Ignite
Daily Routine: Everyday at the same time, I do the same thing, on repeat, I rarely switch to something different.
What do you love most about this routine? I love order and organization in my routine!
Daily Routine: My day starts with morning prayer. Then I get to shower, face, hair and makeup.
What do you love most about this routine? Starting my day with Prayer & Praise!
Morning Routine: Wake up, check weather, kiss hubs goodbye, brush teeth, clean face, take meds, get dressed, wake up twins, make breakfast, make lunch, drop off twins to school, go to work.
What do you love most about this routine? I love that I get myself ready for the day before anyone else.
Morning Routine: I wake and linger just a little in bed. Thank the Lord for waking me and keeping me through the night. After washing my face and dressing (I shower at night) I go downstairs for a cup of coffee and my Bible study prayer time. No matter how late I rise my husband gets up later so I have time alone with the Lord.
A verse, a song, a prayer, or all three. Then I pet the dog because she treats every morning like she hasn’t seen me in days. I review my day, walk in my garden (if it’s warm enough—during the winter I stare out the window) and gently start my day. I try to remember I’m retired and shouldn’t be in a rush.
What do you love most about this routine? The time I spend praying and listening to the Holy Spirit. I also like the quiet of the day and the fact that the dog treats me like she hasn’t seen me in days (and she does that everyday).
Kiume Hawa, 43
Lead vascular sonographer
Self-Care Routine: I give myself a break by going on a walk in nature, working on a crafting project or reading an engrossing book to mentally relax.. Creative rest is especially important for anyone who must solve problems or brainstorm new ideas. I love DIY craft projects.
What do you love most about this routine? Working and surrounding myself with inspiration can help replenish my drained resources—and take the pressure to problem solve (patients care) off my mind. I have better night sleep and not as agitated at work. Read more at Music Bed.
Sales Director, Mary Kay
Self-Care Routine: Coffee always, kids off to school, walk & yoga, quiet time/devotional, send to do list to my accountability group
What do you love most about this routine? I feel awake and relaxed at the end and ready for my day.
Premarital, marriage and intimacy coach with Sweet Honey and Sacrifice
- I get up at 6:15am
- Wake my kids for school
- Make coffee with my hubby
- We all eat some kind of breakfast
- Get the kids out the door by 7:30am
- Sit down and drink coffee with hubby until 8am and then work from home.
- I take a break at 10am to do a LIVE devotional in my Facebook group.
- Have a session from 11-12
- Take my lunch break
- Back to work until 3pm
- Kids get home and so we have a snack
- Help with homework if needed
- Sit down in the living room as to be available for the kids and work on my own school work.
- 5:30pm start dinner
- Eat dinner (hopefully outside on back porch)
- Sit with kids and watch tv, play game or read
- 8:30pm kids go to bed
- 9-midnight I hang out with my husband, finish needed homework, we do something with our teenage son (usually talking)
- Go to bed after playing my game on my phone and having “sexy time” with my husband.
What do you love most about this routine? Time with my husband and kids to just be present
These routines from women of every season in life are a great example of the fact that routines are unique. They fit what is important and prioritized in your life! They give you space to be intentional about the time you spend on the things you matter! Got an awesome routine you want to share? I’d love to hear it! Simply shoot us a message in our contact form and we will get the survey right to you!
Build a realistic routine
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful in creating a routine for yourself. Building productive habits is an important part of reaching your goals and improving your life. If you need more encouragement, we have a FREE Productivity Journal that can help give you the boost you need to keep going. The journal includes helpful prompts and challenges to help you on your way to forming great routines! So what are you waiting for? Get started today!