I am obsessed with routines, particularly the routines that can improve efficiency. Running six separate businesses can take a significant toll mentally and energetically so it is important that I am always testing to find the daily routines, rituals and habits that can give me the edge that I need to efficiently and effectively operate. What follows are the systems that I’ve adopted for my own workflow that can support you in your own professional development.
What follows are routines that I suggest are done without negotiable. This means you schedule the time for these items first and you never schedule anything over them, nor ever bump them – despite how busy you may get. The purpose is to become more efficient.
I start my mornings with either a brief meditation or a few minutes of calm breathing. My goal is to do this before I check e-mail, texts, voicemails or social media. This is the hardest of all the items to stick to because it does not feel concrete. But it is actually an imperative action. I find that the busier I get, the better I feel the longer I meditate. The longer I meditate, the more focused I can be the rest of the day. The longer I meditate the more efficient I can be. Imagine cutting your work time down significantly because you took a few minutes at the start of the day to breath. By no means am I an expert at meditating. That is not the point. The point is to meditate so you can become better at life! Take a few minutes, get comfortable, close your eyes and breath. You can think about things you are grateful for, you can think about your intentions you want for the day, you can think about the future you want to manifest. That is entirely up to you. But at minimum take 5 minutes to breath. If you can’t afford those 5 minutes, then you are simply not serious enough about becoming more efficient.
After those 5 minutes I check my daily journal. I prefer doing bullet journaling. This is quick bullet points and lines about action items and notes I have for that specific day. I write most of these the night before (see below) but will update them in the morning based upon what I feel I need to work on that day.
Day Time Routines
It is only after I’ve done those two things do I allow myself to check my e-mail, texts, voicemails and social media. Now the rest of the day is at your disposal on how you choose to organize your time.
For example, I do my best, most creative work either early in the morning or late in the evening. For example my time writing I do really well in the morning or night. Whereas in the afternoon I can’t be creative to save my life, so I save that time for responding to e-mails and doing paperwork like my invoicing.
I, of course, give top priority to the items listed in my journal. Those are the most important things I have listed that need to get done first. Once I accomplish those I can shift my focus to what every else pops up.
I also try to sweat at least 5 days a week. Typically this means I take a break from work in the afternoon (when I am at my lowest creatively) to go to the gym and sweat. Or I even will just walk away from work to take my dog for a long walk in the middle of the day. The exercise is amazing to re-energize my brain and help me get back into focus for a second wind of work in the late afternoon, early evening.
The point is, the day should be organized based upon when you do your best and most important work.
Night Time Routines
I tend to keep my nights away from my laptop. The big exception to this rule is when I am writing and I feel my creativity fire up. In that case I will hit up a late night coffee shop and write until my brain turns to mush (just my process for writing). Otherwise I actually enjoy the time away from my 15inch monitor (or my two 24 inch monitors in my office).
Each night I then pull out my journal and I will take a few minutes to write out the most important work I want to focus on the next day (what I referenced above). For example, as I am writing this I have my journal open to tomorrow’s page. My notes and action items are as follows:
- Presentation to LSR’s Mastermind Group (9a – 10a)
- Pick up tax documents from CPA
- Update workshop page on website
- FITposium website team call (6:30p)
- Acceleration Assignment #1
- JP Workshop Promotional E-mail Campaign
Then tomorrow morning after my meditation I will look at this entry and add to it with anything that I feel also needs my attention.