Things have been hectic, full of uncertainty and pretty scary for months. Now, the days of summer are here, beckoning us outside. Even the normally super productive and focused leaders among us are struggling right now to manage all the change and emotions.
So, if you are like so many people right now who are feeling some unease and distress, it could be because your daily routine has been shattered. Building new routines can be a game changer for your productivity and happiness.
Here are six steps that will help you in building work routines that will serve you immediately and for the long term.
- Review your former routines, looking for the winners. Chances are there were some parts of your past work routines that worked and were helpful. Take time to determine the routines you liked and write them down.
- Translate the old into the new. While the routine might need to change, the success of the old one will give you clues. Let’s say you always stopped at a particular coffee shop on your way into the office. Perhaps the coffee you make won’t be as yummy, but that cup in hand as you walk to your laptop down the hall might help you set the workday off on the right foot.
- Ask yourself “What do I need now?” Think about the patterns that have been interrupted by your new working from home situation. Think about what you might need at three specific times: the start of your day, during your lunch period, and at the close of the workday. The situation is different and so the needs for your routines might be different too. Now is the chance to brainstorm and create what will work for you.
- Decide, then map it out. As you determine the pieces you want for your new routines, write them down. Perhaps you will start small, but to get the power of a routine, it must become a habit. Write down the routines you have identified, with the steps you want to take. Writing it down will make it clear and help you make it realistic too.
- Make a checklist. Before it can become your new routine, it must be practiced. Turn it into a checklist, at whatever level of detail you need to make it helpful for you. This will give you the road map for practice.
- Get started.Now you can begin applying the new routine! It is new and so it might not be natural at first, and in practice your checklist may still need to be adjusted. All of that is OK and natural. Give yourself a break and give it a try. Even when it isn’t perfect or yet a routine, you will begin to see the advantages it brings you.
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