How To Set Up An Ideal Routine
Updated: Oct 13, 2021
There are two kinds of people in this world. People who plan everything ahead and have a structure to their day and people who just do whatever they feel like and go with the flow (which sounds cool, eh?). Which one are you? I’m definitely a big plan-ahead type (much cooler, in my opinion). Even if things don’t go according to plan, I like the feeling of having a routine as it gives me a sense of control over my day.
Some want to live a spontaneous life while others want it to be organized and structured. So, is it good to have a routine? Yes and maybe not, at times. A routine is made up of habits that we practice daily. It’s good to have a default/ideal routine that you can turn to when things seem out of place. Sometimes, following the same routine over and over may sound mundane to many. When this happens, you can always spruce things up a bit by doing what excites you.
Planning ahead and having a solid routine can reduce mental tension at the beginning of your day. You wake up with a plan in your mind, avoid stressing over what to do next and get right to the task. An ideal routine consists of all the habits or tasks that contribute to your growth each passing day. It doesn’t have to be too complex in the name of productivity. It may be a combination of just 3 habits like exercise, drink water, and work, or a combination of more than 5 habits.
Define your Ideal routine
Take a moment to think about what a productive day looks like to you. Now, break down the habits/tasks into small-time chunks and there you have it! You can always take inspiration from successful people by testing out their routines. However, only you can decide how your ideal day looks like.
Your ideal routine is something that sets the foundation – that first step towards your goals and dreams. Be really specific with what goes into it. An action that pushes you one step forward every day.
Early bird or Night owl?
Before you get started on anything else, it’s important to figure out if you’re a morning or night person. Know when you’re most active and have enough mental juice to get things done. This is crucial as it concerns your efficiency and energy levels.
Choose your Daily Highlight
I’ve spoken about this before on one of my productivity tips posts and I’m gonna emphasize this again. This was inspired by a Productivity YouTuber named Ali Abdaal.
The daily highlight should be a very specific task that contributes to one of your bigger goals in the long run. For instance, if writing a book is my goal, my highlight for the day can be – ‘make an outline of the chapters’ or ‘start drafting the first chapter’.
Set aside at least 30 mins to an hour for your daily highlight. Make sure it is on the top of your to-do list.
Breaking your goals down into habits
Your daily habits make up your routine. Keeping your goals in mind, decide on the habits that will propel you towards them. It is that simple, really.
When you’re all set with the goals and habits part, it is time to time-schedule your day. I don’t want to sound like a nerd but this helps a lot with keeping up with your tasks.
Be specific with what is going to be done when. For instance, if working out is on your routine, mention when exactly you’re going to be exercising – In the morning or at night? What time? Where?
Prioritize the important stuff
Do the hardest task first and get it out of the way.
When the afternoon slump hits, work on the easier tasks.
Change with Time
Figuring out your ideal routine is going to take a lot of trial and error. With time, you’ll know what works and how you can tweak your way through it. This is a gradual process and not something you can get done in a few days. Committing to your habits is what brings about real change. It doesn’t have to be huge, just one change at a time.
Procrastination will not take you anywhere other than your comfort bubble. As long as you stay consistent with the right mindset, you’re already halfway there. Now, I want you to take 10 mins to think about your goals and check if your current habits align with them. If not, NOW is the time for the change you’ve been putting off.