‘Routine’ – The word can bring to mind negative connotations of a forced environment or ‘stuck in a rut’ behaviour. However that doesn’t have to be the case…
Having a set routine can be highly beneficial to you and your career, allowing you a regular schedule which keeps you happy, healthy and focused on the work at hand. Lots of successful individuals have very specific routines that they swear by. We’re going to look at tips from some of these individuals and see how we can apply them to our own everyday working routines.
Have a Plan of Action:
Jack Dorsey (Twitter founder) plans out each day of his weekly routine in advance. Here is an example of one of his weekly plans:
- Monday: Management and running the company
- Tuesday: Product
- Wednesday: Marketing and communications, growth
- Thursday: Developers and partnerships
- Friday: Company culture and recruiting
Having a clear plan for the week ahead allows you to know exactly what you are doing each day, to focus on specific tasks and set clear goals for yourself.
Prepare For the Day Ahead:
Eva Chen (Editor of Lucky Magazine) wakes up every day by first checking her twitter and favourite websites to see what has been going on. Seeing what has been happening whilst you were asleep can always be useful for the day ahead as you never know how it could fit into your work.
Steve Jobs started every morning by asking himself “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
Though he may not have been the easiest person to work with by all accounts, he was a highly driven and motivated individual who got things done and was hugely successful. Asking yourself a question such as this can allow you to think about whether your routine is working for you and if you are achieving everything you wish to from your job. You don’t ever have to settle for ‘good enough’, strive to be the best you can be, doing work that really matters to you.
Reenergise with Breaks:
Evan Williams (Twitter, Medium, Blogger) tries to go to the gym in late morning or late afternoon to take a break from work. This allows him to reenergise for the work ahead.
According to the Mayo Clinic ‘physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.’ A happier and relaxed body is sure to be helpful during a stressful day right? If exercising isn’t really your thing, then reading a book or going for a walk is sure to allow your mind a rest from work related activities, which means you are ready to resume at full pace on your return.
What Have You Accomplished?
Benjamin Franklin used to end every day by asking ‘What good did I do today?’ Spend some time thinking about what you have accomplished during the day. This could be something you have done that you are pleased with or perhaps a situation that you could have handled better. This allows you some time to think your day through and work through problems that may not have even realised were an issue at the time. As it is always important to congratulate yourself for things you have achieved or done well that day, as it gives you a well-earned sense of accomplishment and ends the day on a positive note.
Plan for Tomorrow:
Spend a bit of time at the end of your day planning for the following day. Kenneth Chenault (CEO of American Express) always ends each day by writing down three things he wants to achieve the next day. This allows you to set a clear target of what you want to complete when you start the following and avoids any stress or timewasting trying to figure out what you are going to do that day.
The Evening is For You:
The evening is the time to relax with your family, exercise or work on personal projects. If you want to feel refreshed and motivated for the following day of work it is important to have some down time to yourself away from the hustle and bustle of work.
Michael Woodward Ph. D (organisational psychologist and author) says “The last thing you need is to be lying in bed thinking about an email you just read from that overzealous boss who spends all their waking hours coming up with random requests driven by little more than a momentary impulse.”
You need to enjoy your time away from work so that you can enjoy your time at work. The evening is an important time to release that stress from the day, forget about the issues and problems, and prepare yourself for the coming day.
We all have our own little idiosyncrasies and day to day patterns which make us who we are; such is the beauty of life. However not all of them are healthy behaviours and sometimes can actually be quite damaging. By looking at these successful individuals and the best tips they have to offer we can all hopefully learn a thing or two, making our working life a healthier and happier experience.
Author: Mark Porter, Marketing Manager at Signatrol.