We all have some amount of routine in our lives, planned or unplanned.
I lean towards having a little more routine in place. A routine helps me to get what I need done. The point of having systems isn’t to make us feel claustrophobic. If done well routines can help us increase our focus on the tasks at hand. These are the reasons how a routine can help us be more productive every day.
1. Saves Time
This is the obvious one. When I reach my desk in the morning, I know what is expected of me for that day. I have broken my days into smaller tasks, some routine and some more creative for each day. By allocating certain days to do specific things I don’t have to wake up to the unexpected, or sitting not knowing what my day beholds for me. You can break up your day in small blocks or delegate complete days during your work week to do certain tasks. Either ways the idea is to intentionally focus on certain tasks.
2. Reduce Stress
We all can get easily frazzled, when we are thrown a curve ball. I get stressed easily when I don’t know what to do, or have to come up with things not planned for. Having a routine helps reduce that stress for me. I know on certain says of the week I have to complete certain tasks. The last thing we want is to remember a small task that needs to be completed as we are wrapping up for the day. A routine can help reduce the stress of urgent matters so we can focus on the important ones.
What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
3. Encourages Predictability
For us leaders, being predictable helps calm the team around us. They know what we expect of them and what we have to complete. Imagine working for someone who can suddenly explode, or break down under stress, I know most of us will find it difficult to succeed when the environment around us is unstable.
To avoid emotional overwhelm, Natasha and I are always striving to get our daughter in a routine. This gives her a sense of security and once she knows she is safe, is more willing to take on more challenges. Of course, there are days where things don’t work out as planned, but having a routine helps get back to the normal easily.
4. Enables Flexibility
Having a system for every second of every day is bit over the top. We should structure processes to make sure all the important work is completed. Creating margin for the unpredictable, or simply to take is break is just as important. This way if a friend shows up unexpected we can make time for a longer than usual lunch to catch up with them. Having margins can help reenergise us when going through our daily routines.
5. Requires Less Motivation
A routine enables us to focus on the important tasks. Ensuring that we have a system in place for them, helps reduce the motivation needed to complete them. Promoting is always difficult for me, so I set up all the promotion that needs to be done in advance, and then engage with the clients when questions arise.
At the end of the day a system is personal, not everything will work for everybody. We should try out what fits us best and go for it. A routing avoids distractions and give us a great start to a task. It build momentum while we focus on the small things which have a big impact later. Routines identify what we are good at and what we should delegate to our teams. It enables us to focus on the important and ignore the nerve wrecking urgent tasks.