We all have routines, even when we don’t label them as such. Unless you work in an environment where everyone is mandated to do the same thing at the same time every day, no one person’s routine is going to look the same as another’s.
One trap that many people fall into is thinking that you’re being productive when you’re really focused on busy work that fills up time but doesn’t get you any closer to your goals.
Knowing how you’ve created your work routine and acknowledging whether it works or doesn’t work is the first step in changing your routine so that you can be more productive.
There are several things you can do to analyze your current routine. Here are four ways to get started.
#1 – Journal Your Day
You can’t know what’s working or not working if you don’t actually know what you’re doing. Mindfulness plays a huge part in productivity, and being intentional in your choices really helps.
But before you start to change things, take a week to journal your days so that you can see exactly what you’re doing, when you’re doing it, and any thoughts and feelings you have about it.
Using a bullet journal to do this can really help because of it’s premise of rapid logging… a quick note each time you switch tasks or stop to do something non-work related can give you a really clear picture of how your day flows.
#2 – Be honest with yourself
If you really want to create a routine that works for you, you must be honest with yourself.
When you look at your schedule, you need to decide whether what you’re doing is productive and produces results, is busy work, or is just wasting time.
#3 – Pay attention to interruptions
Since most of us work from home, it’s natural that there are other things going on in the background. These are important too because they can affect your mindset as well as your time use.
Things to notice include:
- What are other family members doing?
- What’s on the tv? The radio?
- Is your phone always pinging away in the background?
- Are your kids and/or dogs pushing for attention?
All of these things can take slow you down and play havoc with your schedule, but they’re a normal part of your life and so can not be discounted when planning your new routine.
#4 – How does your day make you feel?
I think that one of the biggest reasons we become creative soulpreneurs is because we want to do what we love and make a living from it. We want less stress and more happiness in our lives.
Make sure you record in your journal exactly how your day makes you feel. And then don’t be afraid to change things up or let go of systems and processes that just aren’t working for you.
Without a system that works well for you, it’s hard to not feel stressed, bothered, and just plain cranky about your workday routine. When your workdays make you feel this way, then it starts to feel like just another job instead of the dream business you are trying to build.
When it comes right down to it, a routine that works for you is freeing. It feels like you have more time and are getting a lot more done.
So, now that you’ve recorded your week, take some time to look over what you’ve got and decide what works, what doesn’t, what you can change, and what you can let go of.
The idea is to create a new routine or at least tweak the existing one to give you the results you need to achieve the goals you set for yourself and your business.