“We are what we repeatedly do.” – Aristotle
Back To Busy: How to create a new Routine as Easy as 1, 2, 3
September brings mixed emotions: it simultaneously marks the dreaded end of summer and the exciting promise of a fresh start with ‘Back to School’. This is a great time to get organized for increased workloads and activities that will be filling up the calendar in the months to come. As the days get shorter, you will need to make the most of those daylight hours. We’ve got the secret to becoming so productive you can take back your free time… create a Routine as Easy as 1, 2, 3!
Successful people don’t become that way by accident. They become successful by habit. They plan, systematically execute their plan, and then optimize it until they have refined the best and most efficient way of achieving their goal. Then they hit repeat…
Habits are formed by routine. If you do something enough times, it will become automated. Automated means it is something you do, almost without thinking, like breathing. You don’t have to waste energy consciously thinking about it or waste time making a decision. You just do it because its what you are used to doing. There are numerous opinions on what that perfect number is to develop a habit, is it 18 days, 21, 66, 91…? Maybe there is no magic number, perhaps it depends on the person? Regardless of the number, there IS a magic formula for creating habit and you can start using it today to change your life. Here we go….
Simple + Fun + Plan = Results
1.) Keep it Simple
The most important factor to establishing and sticking to a new routine is to keep it simple. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too big of a change and too many options for achieving it. Just choose 1 small step you can make toward a larger goal. The less complicated, the more likely you are to follow through.
For example, let’s say your goal is to have a healthier diet. Instead of eliminating everything naughty and enforcing a strict diet, meal schedule and calorie count (hello, unrealistic!), choose 1 item in your diet you would like to change, like drinking less coffee.
Piggy-backing on other habits will also make this easier. If your morning routine includes coffee when you head to work, switch to herbal tea. This substitution will help you achieve your goal without disrupting an already established routine, and will become automated much faster because the habit is already ingrained.
2.) Make it Fun
The only thing worse than disciplining yourself to do something new, is if it is something unpleasant. Making your new routine fun will make the experience enjoyable and more likely for you to participate in it. If you are looking forward to it, it will stay top-of-mind.
For example, if you are working toward a fitness goal such as losing weight but you hate going to the gym, do an activity you find fun instead. Perhaps you love dancing or getting out for a bike ride, so, focus on this rather than creating a fitness routine you find boring or tedious.
Other things you can do to make it fun:
– Create a cute and inspirational chart to track your progress. Goal star, anyone?
– Treat yourself to a reward when you reach milestones for your goal.
– If you’re social, involve others for support or mentorship. Collaborate in a fun atmosphere.
3.) Have a Plan
This seems like a no-brainer but one of the main reasons people fail at maintaining routines is because they didn’t make a plan. Case in point: New Year’s Resolutions. Its easy to make a declaration, “I am going to _______” but it’s an entirely different story to make a plan of how you are going to actually do it. An easy to follow, step by step plan will break down your goal of change into bite size portions that are a lot easier to swallow.
For example, you want to double your business’ income next year by creating a more productive routine. The plan to achieve this will involve many variables. What are your biggest time wasters? How will you eliminate or diminish these? How should you organize your schedule to be more efficient? How can you maximize your billable hours in a day? What kinds of productivity tools or support will you need? What other resources might you need to acquire to support your productivity?
By breaking down your plan into steps, establishing priority for each, and creating an action plan on how to execute the steps, you are creating the roadmap on how to get to the end result of an efficient and seamless routine.
Other tips for creating your plan:
– Write it down. The very first step for taking action is to get the idea out of your head and down on paper where it can literally materialize and become real. Keep a journal of your process so you can make changes as you go and look back to see what worked and what didn’t for future plans.
– Keep a visible To Do List for your routine.
– Establish a timeline for each step, task and goal.
– Set a reminder on your alarm, phone, calendar or scheduling software.
– Make use of your biological clock and schedule your routine at the same time each day. Eventually you will know its time to wake up, go exercise or work on that business plan because your body and mind will feel ready to.
– Stay organized. Keep your information, notes, and research/reference material for your plan all in one place whether that is a binder or a digital folder.
Enjoy using this magic formula for creating lasting change in your life and taking back your free time as you get Back To Busy!
For more information on creating a productive routine specific to your business process, you can reach us at 403 483 9446 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be happy to help with assessing ways you can streamline and automate your business.