How Routine Affects Your Productivity
We are all constantly learning about how to be more productive. We spend so much time learning the best productivity hacks, how to capitalize on technology, and more. However, this distracts from the simplicity of being productive with the help of a solid routine.
Our bodies and minds work in cycles. Certain energies serve us during certain times of the day, so building a routine around our energy waves is vital to being productive. Routine also helps your body to truly synchronize to a schedule and capitalize on every minute.
Just the Basics
The great thing about starting fresh with a routine is that you get to build it any way you want! You already have some routines that you follow naturally. Brushing your teeth in the morning, taking the kids to school, or stopping by Starbucks for coffee are all parts of your natural daily routine. Adding a few new habits and pieces to your routine will better set you up for a successful day.
Let’s start with your morning.
Studies have shown that most humans feel most productive in the morning. To really take advantage of this, I always pour my coffee right around 8am. This gives me an hour to respond to emails, get organized, and dive into my work.
Then, by 9am I’m really focused and working through my work at an amazing pace! Having this routine of pouring my coffee and getting to work lets my body know that it’s time to get to work right when I take that first sip of caffeine.
Everyone needs a few breaks throughout the day in order to reset and refresh. I schedule these at the same time every single day. This is another routine I’ve set in my mind and body. This way, I know exactly when my breaks are which makes it easier for me to relax and take my mind off work. Then, when it’s time to dive back in, my mind is clear and fresh.
How to Schedule a Productive Day
Scheduling a productive day isn’t as hard as it sounds. It’s hard to get used to your new schedule at first, so grab a planner that breaks the day down hour by hour. This can be a paper planner or an online planner, whichever works best for you. Start by sitting down and penciling in all of your mandatory daily to-dos. This might be dropping the kids off at school, going to the gym, or whatever else you do every day.
Then, pencil in your weekly appointments. Your yoga class, chiropractic appointment, or kids’ soccer games will be in this section. Now, you have everything you have to do during the week written down which allows you to see all of the incredible free time you have available.
Now, it’s time to pencil in your work time and your break time. If you’re working in a 9-5 this might be a little harder since you’re often working on someone else’s time, but you can still properly schedule your time for maximum productivity.
Once again, start with the morning. Schedule your few hours of productive time around 9am, so your brain is up and running properly. Depending on how you like to work and your attention span, you can then schedule your first break. Schedule this for the same time everyday so you know when it’s time to refresh yourself.
I enjoy packing a small snack to enjoy during this break, even if it’s just 15 minutes. This fuels my body and helps me to feel awake when it’s time to get back to work. After that, get back to work until around lunch time.
Lunch time is an awesome time to really relax and recharge your batteries. So, be sure to do this wisely. Enjoy your food. Be mindful when eating, truly taking your time to savor your meal. Get away from your desk as well. Even if this means eating in the break room, your car, or outside on a bench. It’s good for your mind to step away from your workspace so you can clear your head properly.
Also take your lunch break to stretch and move your body. You’d be surprised how different you can feel by doing a few lunges, a few stretches, and simply standing up. Getting your blood flowing is a great way to recharge your entire body as well as your mind!
After lunch, you’re on the homestretch. Plan time in your daily routine for getting back to work. You can schedule another break before you’re done if you’d like. The best part about creating a productive day routine is that you get to personalize it however you need or want to.
Take It Slow
If you’re wondering how to create a productive schedule, make sure to follow these steps, but take it slow! Changing your whole routine in one day is pretty hard, so try just changing one thing at a time. Start with the morning and change one thing every week or two as it becomes easier to follow this new schedule.
Remember that things change, and life happens! Don’t punish yourself if you aren’t sticking to the new schedule 100%. It will become habit and routine after a little while, so just try your best!
Meet the Author: Holly Hickman
Holly Hickman is a Kennesaw State University graduate who has worked with a myriad of clients in e-commerce, Saas, hospitality, non-profits, and more to grow their companies with smart digital marketing strategy. She specializes in content marketing and has a keen eye for language and messaging while focusing heavily on SEO.
Holly is also passionate about health and fitness spending her time outside the office as a full-time bikini competitor and competitive powerlifter. She is also the Founder and CEO of HollyLolly, an athletic apparel company helping women feel bad-ass and confident in the gym whether they’ve been an athlete all their life or are just beginning their fitness journey. You can connect with her on Instagram @holly_hickman.