As we close off on summer, our minds inevitably wander back into rules and routine. Don’t let the latter scare you: though it may seem daunting and impossible to find one that sticks, the key is to establish one that works for you. Feeling frazzled with routines that won’t quite latch? Here are a few things you can do to create a routine that fits your lifestyle.
Write out a list of things that you want to accomplish
Does the day run out of hours before you can cross out all of the lines? The best routines start with a good framework. Begin by identifying the things you want to work on, the ways you’d like to grow, and then number them in order of priority. By creating a list, you’ll be able to itemize your goals and set them into motion. Treat these as your “to-dos” by breaking them down into sizeable, actionable chunks that can be accomplished and spread across the week.
Create a schedule
A dream without a plan is just a wish! Press “play” on your objectives by setting a schedule. Put timelines and expected completion dates next to easy “action” item. Plot them out into your daily diary and be sure to check in throughout the day, and as you plow through your new-found “to-do”.
Create a “pantry”
Some Silicon Valley executives have been known to keep a wardrobe full of exactly the same clothes in order to make one less decision a day. If there is one thing we can’t afford to waste during the workweek, it’s time. Heading to the shop for small things may seem slight in the moment, but small amounts of time add up, often hindering some long lingering ambitions. To avoid the mid-week grocery store line-up, stock up on simple things like soups, couscous and veggie pastas to breeze through weeknight dinners and refocus on your goals and objectives. After all, time wasted can very easily lead to goals unachieved.
Establish a meal plan
One of the largest components, and biggest challenges, of routine is diet. With so much on the go, it’s easy to lean on fast food and pre-made meals to get through the work week. Though these may be tempting, many of these are full of preservatives and low in nutrition. But waging war on the food court isn’t the way to get to your regimen goals. Preparation is a surefire way to ensure nothing is left to chance. Make sure your pantry is equipped with the foods you’ll need to get to the better side of you.
Not sure what to prep? We’ve got a list of weekday meals that will get you through the week unscathed. If you still can’t find the time, supplementation can help fill the gap when your diet isn’t quite up to scratch. Some fortified supplements, like this protein, are an easy and convenient way to ensure you are receiving all of your essential nutrients without all of the mealtime prep.
Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is the most fundamental part of obtaining your goals. You can’t get where you’re going if you aren’t approaching the journey with your best foot forward. Studies show that people who are happy generally perform better at work and self-report as more productive overall. Self-care doesn’t have to be costly or overly time consuming. Try something simple like carving a moment out to stretch and realign. Taking stock of your mood can help ensure you’re on the right track through the day and beyond.
We know making it stick is a challenge on its own, so start small and commit to changing one thing at a time. Keep yourself accountable by maintaining a journal, or telling a friend. Most importantly, take stock of your progress weekly, and measure your routine accordingly. That’s the only way to be sure you’re doing what’s right for you!
- Burnett, D. (2018). Happy brain: Where happiness comes from, and why. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.
- Editors, T. (2016, September). The Science of Working Smarter and Happier
- Patel, N. (2016, September 08). 15 Daily Routines That Will Boost Your Productivity.